Today’s Word from Rev. David Bieniek

Breakfast was biscuits and gravy! Now the biscuits were simply out of the can from the refrigerator section, literally just like Mom used to make. But the biscuits were really only a vehicle for the real treat – the cream gravy!

You can get me to eat almost anything if you put gravy on it, with the notable exception of liver. I have been known to eat whipped cauliflower, venison steak, and even green peas as long as they are smothered in gravy. But my favorite is still chicken fried steak!

I have a young memory of my mom coming home late in the evening from her job. I would meet her in the driveway, and we would go to our favorite all-night diner for a late chicken fried steak. Is it any wonder I still struggle with my weight? Chicken fried steak with cream gravy became, and still is, my comfort food. It’s one of the few things I miss in my hometown where a restaurant serves the best chicken fried steak ever.

Comfort food evokes happy memories, feelings of safety, and being “home.” Comfort food helps us connect to a time when we were our most content with life and knew that things could not get any better. Comfort food might be connected to childhood or to particular family members and conjures up love and community.

So, I ask, what is your comfort food? Perhaps it is fried chicken, apple pie, a Philly cheese steak sandwich, a burger from your favorite restaurant, lefse, pancit, pad thai, chicken tika masala, or green chicken enchiladas. Often comfort food is connected to our culture, but not always. But it is almost always connected to a community where we felt safe and loved.

Hopefully during this quarantine, you have allowed yourself to indulge in some comfort food. If you cannot find it locally, try looking for easy recipes online and making some at home. Even if it is “bad” for you, allow yourself to indulge once in a while to re-engage those memories of family, love, community, and safety. We need those right now.

If you will excuse me, time to go find some chicken fried steak! And as Julia Child used to say, “Bon Appetit!”

“Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Rev. Dave Bieniek

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