Cinnamon Toast, Cocoa and Hot Tea, Oh My!

Hey, Susan Mermaid here, inviting you to take a dip in our lagoon! The water’s warm, the drinks are fresh and fruity, fizzy if you like, and always have umbrellas or a floral garnish. Welcome!

The topic this month is COMFORT FOODS. Wow, that’s a huge topic for this mermaid – I have so many. But hey, let’s get started!

There are some comfort foods I never tire of. Foods that bring me back to the child state. For me, cinnamon toast is my first comfort food, but it has to be made the right way. You see, the house I grew up in sported a double oven with a gas broiler, and Mom never made toast in the toaster.

Bread slices were buttered and laid under the gas flame, and we watched through the glass as the butter foamed and sizzled and the bread browned on the edges. For “special,” we sprinkled sugar and cinnamon on the buttered bread. The result was a sweet, crunchy, caramelized, taste of heaven.

And, though some of my comfort foods are true “memory” foods (chocolate pudding, lemon pie), others are foods I decided were my “new” comfort foods as I adulted through time, by ten, twenty, or even forty years. Such as…

In my twenties: graham crackers with peanut butter. Making my own popovers on a Sunday morning

Thirties: Toasted English muffins with sharp cheddar cheese melted during a second toasting. Learning to make rice pudding from the Southern Living Cookbook (hubby swears he’s never had better). Also, their banana bread recipe is killer. Also, scones from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book (more butter than is healthy, but who cares? It’s scones!). Also, my recipe for Half-a-Pound Cake. Yummmm….

Forties: Hot chocolate before bed. Or, on sleepless nights, plain warm milk. For Christmas, the joy of making and eating pizzelles. So tedious. So delicious!

Fifties: Hot tea. It’s amazing how a cup of hot tea fixes you up. The “younger me” always doctored my tea with sugar and milk. This afternoon, two months before my sixtieth birthday, I drank a cup of hot tea. Just the tea, no fussy sugar packets or dollops of milk. Just tea. Its heat and deep flavor warmed me up, calmed me down, and set me straight for the rest of the work day. If  that’s comfort, I’ll take it!

And that’s a short list (I promise! It’s shorter than it could have been) of Comfort Foods in my corner of the lagoon. Did your idea of comfort foods change as you grew up? Kindly post your thoughts on your favorites in a reply below!