Five Minute Friday is a community of bloggers who get together weekly to write for (literally) five minutes on a prompt word. They’re a great source of support and encouragement and I recommend you check them out at http://fiveminutefriday.com/2017/07/13/where-do-you-find-comfort/
Why, when I saw this week’s prompt, did I immediately think of food? Perhaps it’s because I’d been listening to a radio interview this morning with a cook who has written her first book of recipes inspired by her nanna’s, simple dishes which she described as those that everyone loves and feels comforted by.
I know, rightly or wrongly, that I do turn to food for comfort in times of stress. So when I saw ‘comfort’, I thought of cheese on toast, eaten meltingly hot from the grill, dipped in cooling tangy ketchup. I thought of bittersweet chocolate biscuits – has to be dark chocolate on digestive, nothing else – served with cold refreshing milk.
Both of these were late Friday night suppers in my early teens, tucked into after nearly two hours of swimming lessons. A light tea earlier on, to make sure I had the required energy but didn’t get cramp in the water, needed supplementing by the time I came home, and I devoured these whilst the whole family crammed into every chair in our front room to watch Pot Black on the TV. No Sky or even a video recorder then so 9.00pm was the tight deadline to keep to. Even my grandmother watched, although my parents thought she didn’t understand the game, just enjoyed the colourfulness of the snooker balls.
Maybe the real comfort is in these safe, happy, familiar memories of childhood and family, that sense of sharing and being loved. Perhaps certain foods are a way to access those feelings again.
It’s easy to focus on the thing itself, the food, and assume that is the comfort I need but surely the true source of the strength I seek is the knowledge that I am held safely, that I am not alone, and that I am loved.
‘The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms’ (Deuteronomy 33.27)
(I couldn’t write a post about food and love without including a picture of some of the amazing cakes my best friend has made and comforted us with over the years. I wonder if God bakes cupcakes?)