Bapopik at AOL.COM
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Jun 6 01:40:22 UTC 2000
John Mariani's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN FOOD & DRINK has:
_comfort food._ Any food that a person considers to put him at ease, often as part of nostalgia for a favored childhood food. Often it is of a soft consistency, like mashed potatoes. In her book _Comfort Food_ (1986), Sue Kreitzman wrote of her subject...
It wasn't exclusively "her" subject.
I have "comfort pie" from at least the 1960s. It may or may not have influenced the term.
BON APPETIT, May 1978, cover: "Exclusive M.F.K. FISHER ON COMFORT FOODS." The contents page has:
THE MIDNIGHT EGG AND OTHER REVIVERS...72
By M.F.K. Fisher--Foods that comfort! Some well-chosen words from the doyenne of American food writers.
The story on pg. 73, col. 1 begins:
A cold potato at midnight...," and at about the turn of our century, a Midwestern writer put this haunting phrase in one of her forgotten essays, although I can find no reference to it. I remember it clearly from when I first heard it in about 1940. She was lonely. She felt comforted, or perhaps merely revived, when she could sneak down to the silent family kitchen and pull out a boiled potato from a bowl of them in the icebox. As I see it now, she ate it standing up in the shadows, without salt, but voluptuously, like a cat taking one mouseling from a nest and leaving the rest to fatten for another night.
In general, there is a clear difference between revivers and comforters, of course aside from their equal importance in our survival.
Most of us have a few private revivers, which we administer knowingly to ourselves, usually in the company of one or more companions. Comforters we eat or drink alone. Revivers demand a certain amount of public ceremony and can be cold or hot, no matter how plain, but comforters are a private ritual and almost always warm.
Maybe I'll take out a nice big apple and cry some more for another ten years.
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