This is going to be my easiest blog post ever. The topic is comfort foods. Two of them will be no-brainers for most people. The other one is steeped in family tradition.
If I’m happy, I love to eat ice cream and chocolate–preferably together. When I’m sad, I have to eat ice cream and chocolate–preferably together. Those are just my rules. They’re simple, and they’re easy to follow. Those two comfort foods work for all occasions, and they’ve never, never–not ever–let me down. That’s not to say that they’re miracles because I’ve been known to pack on a few pounds when I’m in desperate need of comfort food. So, I will admit that they should come with a warning: “The ice cream and chocolate you’re about to enjoy will 100% offer you the comfort you desire. However, be warned, they will also 100% add to weight gain. Eat at your own risk.”
Now, the other comfort food goes back to my childhood, and my children are following in this family tradition. It’s an easy one, and the speed to which it can end up on your holiday table can be measured by how fast your electric can opener works.
If I go to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving, I sneak in the canned cranberry jelly (not the sauce with those pieces of cranberry in it–that’s just not the right texture, and I will cry if I buy it by accident.) When the hostess talks about her family recipe for cranberry sauce, I smile politely. I dish out one spoonful onto my plate because I do have manners. But then I’ve been known to sneak my Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce like I’m doing lines of coke under the table.
It’s become a joke in the family because my five kids all prefer the canned cranberry jelly, too. When we host Thanksgiving, we make everything from scratch. We don’t cut corners on anything, but that’s what makes the jelly so special. I always joke: “Just like my mama used to make” when I run that knife around the inside of the can and slide that blob of cranberry jelly into the Waterford crystal bowl with a satisfying plop. The ridges from the can on the outside of the jelly always makes me smile. Always.
I’m hoping they still have the canned cranberry jelly when my grandkids (which I don’t have yet) make their Thanksgiving dinner. I imagine them smiling and saying: “Just like my Grandma used to make.”
It’s the little things, people. Enjoy them!