So yesterday, after church, my husband and I went to get some groceries and a hot dog at Costco. I know, it is definitely not a healthy choice, but, who can resist a meal for a buck fifty, right? I guess I just appreciate the fact that though the cost of living continually rises, the cost of a hot dog at Costco has not budged since my children were little babes. When I’m munching on my hot dog, I cannot help but think of our family of seven gathering around the Costco picnic table enjoying a meal for ten dollars…….good times. In fact, I could not help but notice the many families sitting around those same tables sharing pizza or a hot dog, laughing and enjoying being together on a Sunday afternoon. It just seems so ordinary and normal in a world full of chaos and abnormalities. It actually felt, well, comforting.
Anyway, we trekked our way through the store, our bellies now full of a giant hot dog, and actually checked out with only two, yes two things. The cashier even complimented our discipline. But though my hot dog satisfied my hunger, and brought back comforting memories, it was now giving me heartburn and discomforting indigestion. I think, that is a common consequence of comfort food. But, we do find it hard to resist sometimes. Let’s imagine chocolate, or a nice bowl of hot soup on a cold rainy day, or maybe a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with a hot buttery roll on the side, or………ice cream……yes,let’s talk ice cream.
On that very same Sunday afternoon, after the heartburn had subsided and memories of the giant hot dog was long forgotten, I turned to my husband and said, “I feel like having some ice cream”, to which he replied, “me too”. So, we quickly got in the car before we could come to our senses, and drove off to locate the closest Baskin Robbins, while smacking our lips and salivating as we anticipated the 31 flavors we could choose from. An ice cream cone would have been quite satisfying, but, nooooooooo…….I went for the ginormous banana split with chocolate, pineapple, and whipped cream topped with crunchy walnuts. It was comforting just to look at it. I, for reasons I cannot explain, ate the entire thing before we even got home.
I guess I needed a lot of comforting yesterday. I cannot explain why food can and often will have such power over us. We turn to it when we are sad, we celebrate with it when we are happy, and we often crave it for no valid reason at all. As a woman, I can say, that if we crave it, whether it is chocolate, or a hot, just baked, buttery roll, we must have it. Men need to understand this.
Times have certainly changed for many families that used to gather around the dining table and communicate with each other surrounded by home cooked meals. It has become a challenge for everyone to have the time to eat together, let alone for moms who have to work outside the home to prepare those home cooked meals. The dining table seems to be more a catch-all for school books, or paperwork, etc., and eating is often done on the sofa watching T.V. I am guilty of that.
But there is still hope for families and all of us who crave the comfort of food. Even if it’s not around our own dining tables. There will always be the Costco hot dog and let’s not forget ice cream, lots of ice cream and chocolate.
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