Comfort Food gets all the attention. The creamy, cheesy, starchy, and heavy food that we seek when it's cold, when life is hard, when we need a bit of love and a set of arms to hug us isn't around. There comes a point when comfort food isn't enough or it's become too much. That's when we have to pull out the Happy Food.
Happy Food is the food that we love to grow, pick, cook, and eat. It gives us pleasure in thought, touch, smell, and taste. When you think of Happy Food you can't help but smile. In a way it is comforting, but instead of hiding in relief it bursts through you with peace or joy.
It might seem that Happy Food is seasonal. The snow finally melts, green things poke up from the ground, calves are suckling on the ranches. So we start thinking of the ease of warm weather and the fresh food that comes with it. We dream about sun-warmed tomatoes and fresh asparagus. The stews, baked pasta, and spices of winter kept us warm but they need to be put away for at least a few months.
I would argue that we need to find the Happy Food regardless of the time of year. Feed yourself to nurture the joy in your soul, not the pain. Feed yourself the food that fills you with pleasure long before one taste reaches your mouth. Feed yourself happy.
These are the things that feed me happy.
Tomatoes, warm from the bush, salted on toast with aioli, or slow, slow roasted and eaten like candy.
A good burger, preferably my husband's, or a thick, medium-rare steak.
Raspberries picked from the bush, and hopefully made into gecko fingers, and eaten one at a time.
Carrots thick with the flavour of the stock they flavoured in a long, slow simmer.
Poached eggs, peppered and placed on hash, last night's veggies, or sauteed greens with feta.
Brussels Sprouts. Roasted is the best way, but I'll take them any way I can get.
Pink Grapefruit, eaten in sections on cold, cold winter days. Best with company.
What about you? What are your happy foods?