Archive | November, 2008

Comfort Food

21 Nov

I made Macaroni and Beef (or goulash, as I prefer to call it!) (also, I highly recommend that recipe site) because I was craving comfort food and it’s ridiculously easy to make. I didn’t use whole wheat noodles or anything because I really wanted it to taste like I remembered it as a kid. I think I came pretty close. I made sure to call dad before I started to get the right tips. Maybe the dash of paprika did it.

He also said, “remember when I used to make it without the beef and serve it over bread?” I don’t think you need anymore info than that to see how I might have come to have bad food habits. Since he grew up in a household run by parents who survived the depression, he ended up with some interesting food likes that he passed on to me. Our favorite breakfast? Buttered toast dipped into tomato juice. Another bread-tomato staple that my grandfather liked to call “Depression Pizza” was basically ketchup on toast baked in the oven. And don’t get me started on the legacy of Polish food, okay?

Anyway, I am still struggling with eating and cooking at home. Not only is it important for health issues, it’s also financially necessary. Right now I am okay, but if I ever lose my contract freelance job, I’ll be in some deep water. Plus, I’d like to get some things paid off so that when my lease is up, I can afford to sign a new one here if they don’t raise the rent too much. I really love the neighborhood and walking to work!

Part of my love for the neighborhood is the Whole Foods around the corner, which sort of goes against the saving money thing. However, I’ve found that if you go in with a plan, it’s a little easier to come out with some of your paycheck left. It certainly makes it easier to dash over to get forgotten ingredients or fresh produce.

As with all things I attempt, I am struggling with my standard ALL OR NOTHING approach. Hence the goulash. It’s not exactly the whole grain-filled goodness that it should be, nor does it go beyond my love of tomatoes to encorporate any sort of leafy greens. But like I said, it’s easy to make and the ingredients are relatively inexpensive. I figure maybe if I start out as simple as possible, it will become a habit and then I can move on to healthier things later.

Obviously, I also need to look in to returning to therapy, as all the healthy food in the world isn’t going to help if I eat three helpings of it in one sitting. (Which, btw, I did not do. Even though it was very tempting!)



12 Nov

(Sorry to those seeing this twice. I wanted to get it down in this blog, as it’s very relevant to my food issues.)

I recently watched Girl 27, a documentary about a woman who was a chorus girl at MGM in 1937 when she was raped during a salesman convention, the cover-up that ensued and how it effected her for the rest of her life.

It was really interesting and kind of emotionally draining on several levels. First of all, the fact that shit like that still happens, that attorneys and the media still make the claim that a woman’s “morality” is somehow relevant and that women still take the blame onto themselves, more than 70 years later, and that these things will probably continue to happen for years to come.

But also, mother and daughters and granddaughters and the secrets that are kept for generations and how that shapes relationships. My mother didn’t know her mother had been married and divorced before she married my grandfather until my grandmother was in her 80s, and only then because someone brought it up at a family reunion.

My mom waited until I was in my thirties to sit me down (at the Outback, of all places, between the salad and the steak) to tell me that out there somewhere I have a half-sister that she gave up for adoption when she was in her early twenties. How my grandmother basically forced her to hide in the attic and wear wigs when she went to the doctor during the entirety of her pregnancy. That she never told me because she had somehow come to the conclusion that I was judgmental and would look down on her for it.

And then when my mother came to visit this last time, I brought up being molested by a neighbor when I was very young and she claims she has no memory of anything like that, something I personally didn’t even remember until I was in my late teens, even though my father swears she was there when I told him, a moment which I have still have no memory of at all.

I just…we take so much onto ourselves, as women, these things that are done to us, and hold it inside and find ways to keep it there. It makes me so sad, even as I continue to perpetuate it. My dad is always asking me why I am so angry all the time and all I can ever really say to him is that there is no way that he will ever ever understand what it’s like to be a woman in society and all the baggage that goes along with it.

I wasn’t expecting it to stir up these things. I was just indulging my dorky love for documentaries. Not exactly the happiest of Friday night viewage but interesting nonetheless. Also probably a reminder that getting back into therapy would probably be a good idea, as I have obviously not worked through a lot of these issues.