Friday, December 12, 2008

Cheese is a dirty bitch.

Let me tells you internets, I love cheese.

No I really fucking love cheese but most cheese does not love me back.

You see, I am lactose intolerant to varying degrees. Sometimes I can eat my cheese and I'm fine and I'm happy. Other times, holy shit watch out world don't near my ass.

Thus, cheese is a dirty bitch.

I bring this up because on my way to work the wind absolutely demolished my umbrella in a ten second bi-directional gust that almost knocked me down. So I went to Starbucks and got a cheese plate.

Cheese plates are among my top ten list of culinary anti-depressants. My perfect cheese plate must include brie, apples, grapes, at least one good very sharp cheddar and some bonus tasty bit. This one in particular came with the requisites and cubes of a mediocre assiago. But it did have green and red grapes, and crackers. It is delicious.

I bring this up because I want to talk about soul food.

Soul Food is not strictly a Black thing. I have watched enough travel and food shows to put that idea right out the window.

Soul Food is food someone who loves you makes for you when you've had a bad day. When you're sick and cranky (like me, yes STILL sick what kind of shit is that?), when you are inconsoleable because you lost your wallet, fell down, someone hurt your feelings.

Soul Food is what your partner hands you when you come home and you're soaked to the bone cold and angry.

Soul Food is what you eat after someone close to you has passed away and people feed you.

Soul Food has emerged from the tables of poor people around the world and has taken over.

Soul Food is the stuff that makes it better when nothing is okay.

If the weather weren't so gross I'd send Uniballer out for the makings of Shepherd's Pie and lots of beer.

So instead I am going to sit and drink gunpowder green tea, pop my last bite of creamy brie and crisp sweet apple in my mouth and try to relax.

Fact is folks, I have been in a murderously, have to try really hard not to commit felonious assault mood for the past two days because I still don't feel good. And the barrage of cold medication has made my appetite weird and given me gastric distress of epic proportions.

It is just not fair to be coughing and snotty and have the runs. Just not fair.

I am also going to get to work on my next big writing thing.

I am putting together (read: struggling and whining while writing) a collection of autobiographical essays that I am going to self publish.

Scary shit.

But I'm doing it.

So while I am in STAB STAB STAB mood, tell me about your Soul Food. Provide recipes if you like. Share with me, share with each other, it's good for us.

Homo Out.


Lindsay said...

The beautiful thing about soul food is not the food itself, but in the act of it being given, being provided. The thought behind it, the act of someone saying, "i recognize that you are too distraught or upset to provide yourself with the most basic of human needs, and i care enough about you (and what you are going through) that i can do at least that much."

An old Tsalagi roommate of mine put it best: Food is Life. When you give someone food, you are giving them Life.

Sheathen said...

Home made brownies, from the Betty Crocker cookbook. I love making these for myself, because I know the ingredients are always at hand and brownies can just happen in a half hour. Also, oven-fried tofu sticks. It sounds crazy but they are so delicious dipped in A1.

Jen said...

In our rituals that we do, our cakes and ale are always blessed with the same words:
"Good bread has the salt taste of your hands after a hard day's work.
The salt taste of your mouth, it smells of it's own death.
Lift these ashes to your mouth.
To know what you devour is to consecrate it. All bread must be broken to be shared.
Together, we eat this Earth."

Food IS life, and Soul Food is even more important, because when the soul or mind suffers, so too does the body.

My favorite soul food is a hot cup of chicken soup with a hearty sandwich, all preferably made by someone else.

Janny said...

Mmmm shepherd's pie. That's one of my favortie "I feel like crap" meals. So's fried cubed steak with mashed potatos and gravy. And porcupine balls, which is ground beef mixed with uncooked rice-a-roni and egg,made into meatballs, browned, and served with gravy.

I realised that gravy makes me far too happy....

Piffle said...

Oh, fresh homemade bread, no question. With butter or Tillamook Vintage White.

Tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Mmmm. Particularly when I'm sick.

Tea, if I'm sick with cream and sugar, otherwise plain and hot.


Twistie said...

Mmm...Shepherd's pie...that's definitely soul food to me.

Cream of tomato soup, hearty stews, fresh bread, homemade mac and cheese, and palak paneer.

Pie is soul food for me, too. That's good for me to make as well as to eat. Pie crust never lets me down, so it's theraputic to make it when the world is completely screwed up.

Also, there are few things quite as comforting as hot cocoa with whipped cream.

Feel better soon, Nudemuse!

rike said...

A huge baked Sweet Potatoe and all-time-favorite when I am really really I mean physically sick (coughing, snotty AND nauseous) it is bread rolls and orange lemonade.

rike said...

....should wake up first...then comment on things....ofcourse I meant 'potato' and not 'potatoe' ..but looks kinda funny... ;)

Anonymous said...

To me, it really is the food - not someone making it for me. I can make it myself, eat it myself, and it's still comforting. For me, it's pasta and red wine. And, like a lot of soul food, this is poor people food. I'm southern Italian on my dad's side, and he used to make this, too.

The pasta is going to be drowning in a sauce with peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic, basil, oregano, and parsley - all fresh (if possible - I use dried herbs if I don't have fresh) and sautéed in olive oil before ground tomatoes and little bit of red wine are added. Sometimes, I mix in ricotta cheese and/or melt mozzarella into it, too. Some would add meat, but I like it best with just veggies and cheese. Then, I add freshly grated parmesan or romano.

And (assuming it's for two) a fucking magnum of red table wine, in case we want more than 1/2 a bottle each. Either Citra Montepulciano D'abruzzo or Concha y Toro Frontera.

Premee said...

Hey Shannon! Most hard or fermented cheeses have almost no lactose in them. The lactose is drained off with the whey. You might be intolerant of milk fat, however, which stays in the curds. That is a far more common food intolerance than true lactose intolerance. Lay off the brie, baby! ;-)

As for soul food, my mouth was watering as I read the other comments, but hells yes to the homemade bread - thick-cut, toasted, covered in real salted butter, and made by my mommy, please. The Texas Toast stuff from Co-Op doesn't cut it.

Insane said...

Cookie dough. I remember the best wake-up I ever had was when I was living in the dorms, and I had left my door unlocked. My friend Tim came in, and woke me up by handing me a piece of cookie dough.

Big In Day-town said...

My mom's oyster dressing. Lots and lots of sushi. Big glasses of chocolate Quik.

Anita said...

Samgyetang - chicken soup with rice and ginseng, served with a generous amount of salt. Also, cheese enchiladas and sopapillas, fried chicken and cream spinach, and kugel. Why yes, my soul food is ethnically diverse.

Rachel said...

Just wandered over, and this was a beautiful post. Thank you, and I hope you're feeling better!

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