Day Twenty-Seven: Comfort

I love those quiet moments in the kitchen when you can combine ingredients to make a favorite dish.  Mine is my father’s lasagna.  It’s legendary in our house and the one dish I request every time I go home to visit.  Every Christmas there is a bowl of lasagna, sauce, meatballs, and homemade bread adorning the table.  It’s my comfort food. It’s my favorite food.

I like the sound of the boiling water for the noodles, the metal pan touching down on the tile counter, and the frying pan sizzling with meatballs.  I love the resistance of the spoon stirring in the spices and eggs into a giant bowl of ricotta.  The pot of sauce has been simmering all day and the whole house smells of olive oil and tomato sauce.

Steam billows from the sink as I dump the noodles in the strainer. The long layers of al dente noodles are too hot to touch and I run cold water over them then layer carefully and equally to make the layers as even as possible.  A little sauce on the bottom of the dish, noodles then cheese and repeat until both the noodles and cheese are gone. Throw in a layer or two of mozzarella and sprinkle the rest on top, cover with a greased tin foil layer and bake for 45 minutes.

Let it sit for 15 or so minutes then cut a giant square of lasagna out and put it in a bowl, top with a generous ladle of sauce and make sure to catch a few meatballs in that sauce too. That first bite.  That first bite is the best.

-Jackie

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I pride myself on being a cheap date, a low maintenance kind of woman.  I am easy now, but I haven’t always been this way, sorry to say.  As I have grown older, I have found what gives me great comfort.  I only wish I had discovered my healing balm when I was a younger, hard to please hormonal woman.  Nowadays I find comfort in the simplest of things:

A book I can’t put down.

Ice cream, especially after a much dreaded doctor visit.

Coffee, just smelling it in the morning lifts my mood.

Rainy days and snowy days.  Perfect for sitting by the fire.

My hubby’s belly laugh.  Holding hands with him at a movie.  Sharing popcorn.

Afternoon tea on the porch with a good friend, tea with just the right combination of sugar and lemon in a pretty cup.

Hot bubble bath.

Time spent in solitude on my porch, listening to the owls, wind chimes, and the rain on the roof. Telemann and Vivaldi playing on the speakers.

Receiving a handwritten note in the mail.  Something to be savored.

Discovering buds on my camellia and gardenia bushes.

An afternoon hike in the woods, especially in the fall.

Seasons changing, especially from summer to fall.

The scent of pine and apple cinnamon candles.

Wrapping myself up in my aunt’s afghan is almost like receiving a hug from her, especially after putting it in the clothes dryer first.

Listening to Christmas carols sung by little children.

Looking outside my kitchen window on a bleak winter day, and seeing my pansies with their colorful little heads  bobbing in the breeze.

I am not a phone talker, but a rare, long, delish conversation on the phone with a dear friend can boost my spirits.

Preparing my porches and yards for spring with ferns, herbs, and colorful potted plants brings joy to my life.  I know the birds will move in soon to build nests and lay eggs.

All of these things bring such comfort to my life with their promises of good cheer, coziness, peace, quiet, rest, warmth, and well being.

-Wanda

{featured image: fossflakes}

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