beautyfoodnerdrunningshoptravel

February 27, 2013

"chicken dumplings for the soul" or "chicken dumplings on my hips"

a little off topic from my usual posts but something that has been bothering me none the less, my eating habits.

rhoda morgenstern once said of food as comfort, "cottage cheese solves nothing, chocolate can do it all."

not a week goes by that my boss doesn't comment on my choice of lunchtime food. it used to be daily, but it seems 2 years of working together has dulled the shock. in my 28 years before moving to la i can't remember anyone commenting on the composition of my meals. the quantity occasionally, as i'm a tiny person, but never the items i was choosing to eat. while complaining about this to a southern friend over dinner, i finally gained some clarity as to why that may be. my conclusion was supported in the october issue of southern living magazine.

southern living, oct. 2012



food in the south is something special. it isn't just the kinds of food, but the way we connect to it. food isn't something that simply provides nutrients or fills our bellies, it shows how we feel about one another. we give food the way anyone else would give a hug. be it a bridal shower, baby shower or, most recently, a funeral, we give food to show our love for one another.

we bond over food, create memories and ease heartaches. whether it's the chicken casserole and pound cake my nana made me every summer, the microwave bbq chicken my mom made almost weekly or the deviled eggs my alpha phi sister susan made one hot forth of july. i cherish these memories as much as the memory of susan's wedding to her darling husband john, who happens to be quite a grill master.

the power of smell and taste are no doubt my strongest memory makers. pillsbury cinnamon rolls take me back to my parents kitchen on special occasions. i still make iced tea the way my dad taught me. jambalaya will never taste as good as mrs.kiwadas after a cold day of sledding. the best gingerbread i ever tasted was at the raleigh bakery in colonial williamsburg, never mind i haven't tasted it since i was 9. hell, the state fair can be summed up as such: ham biscuits, brunswick stew, hush puppies, roasted corn on the cob dipped in butter, maple cotton candy, fudge, cheerwine, apple cider, hot chocolate, fried oreos, funnel cake and caramel apples. yes, i can eat all that and i do each year.

i have an extreme love of food, but it's a comfort, not a crutch.