Monday, April 27, 2009

Down Home, Old Country Comforts


Do you ever watch shows on the Food Network, hosted by folksy Southerners like Paula Deen, and wish that you had that all-American background? (Just hold the butter and ham hocks, please. Hot cakes will do just fine.)

I must admit that although I have no desire to be a WASP (not that there's anything wrong with that), and that I enjoy and often cartoonishly emphasize my yiddishe Eastern European background, at times I desire to be from a small town in Middle America. It would be fun to be 'just folks' from June Junction, Mississipi for a little while.

Once this three minute fantasy is over, I usually snap back to reality and appreciate that I grew up as the grandchild of immigrants, in good ol', down-to-earth Queens, New York.

It is then that I appreciate the comfort foods of my youth - stuffed cabbage, mashed potatoes, my bubby's apple cake and star cookies, my mom's meatballs and spaghetti. And of course - macaroni with ketchup. (Don't say ew - it's delicious! Try it!)

It was this nostalgia that was behind today's lunch: a huge bowl of spiral pasta and tons of ketchup. I enjoyed each bit of grainy, gloppy goodness while watching trash TV (Judge Jeanne Pirro). It was just as good as the steak I scarfed down last month at Prime Grill. In fact, it was better, because I could eat it in my muu muu (very Mrs. Roper-esque).

Take a minute and think about it - what foods bring you back to that warm and fuzzy age when The Muppet Show was must-see TV?

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