Comfort Ye

Husband announced the other day that he considers Gjetost to be a comfort food. I have never considered it to be so, but he was really happy when he found some at the store earlier this month.  It is too sweet and chalky for my tastes.

This is a year that has screamed a need for comfort. It has been hard to find at times over the past ten months.  I think the worst day in memory was yesterday, as we anxiously waited to see if Daughter’s plane left Denver with her on it.  We hadn’t seen her for a year.  Her flight into Bismarck on Tuesday was cancelled, and she couldn’t get a flight home until Christmas Eve. She had an excellent  time with her grandmother. though, which was a comfort to both of them.

I was so worried all day yesterday.  I tried to distract myself with music. The King’s College Lessons and Carols service was a good start, but it was a really long day. I made some soup, cleaned the kitchen, played solitaire, did laundry, and wrapped some presents, all with a horrid sense of dread and apprehension.  Our cat must have sensed my distress, as she stayed unusually close by me all day.

The only thing that would provide comfort for me was to hear that she was boarding her plane, and then to give her a big hug (but not, she insisted, until she showered to get the Covid germs off her). She was texting us  in caps as she waited for the plane to take off.

What foods, books, music, people, places, activities, or  other things give you comfort these days?

36 thoughts on “Comfort Ye”

  1. I was making rice pudding this morning using the recipe my grandmother used when making rice pudding for my Swedish grandfather. Despite the fact that I have been making it at Christmastime for 50 years and my mother before that, it takes me right back to those earliest Christmases. Rice pudding, you could say, is my madeleine.

    Christmas, 1950:
    C-tree

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Rice pudding was our holiday treat for more years than I can remember. About 10 years ago I took over making it for our Christmas Eve celebration. I did so again this year and shared some of it with a couple family members, since there is no big gathering this year. Usually I make one large bowl with raisins and one small bowl without. This year, only one small bowl. Music wise – The Carpenter’s “Christmas Portrait” – one of the best Christmas albums ever (in my humble opinion).

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I have a pot of rice on the stove right now – it’s not a true rice pudding, since it has no eggs and is not baked. It’s really just rice cooked in milk with some sugar, and then when it’s cooked you add more milk – cold – and lots of cinnamon.

      Liked by 5 people

    3. I love that photo with the Christmas tree, beautifully decorated including a lot of tinsel, and the old TV set, complete with the rabbit ear antenna. Is that a popcorn garland I spy on the tree?

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Merry Christmas friends. Last night I got a happy surprise when I found a YouTube tape of my favorite Christmas story by Truman Capote. This 1966 film won Emmys. It has been recreated since then, as it is very dated, but the newer version suffers because it lacks Capote’s unique narration and the splendid acting of Geraldine Page. This YouTube copy is pretty good, Running 49 minutes, it is too long to be watched today. But it is a classic, one our family enjoyed enormously.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My sister says that for the first time in her life she’s kind of dreading Christmas, the main reason being that my nieces had a big falling out recently. There was some question of one of them not coming to the family Christmas if the other was going to be there, or at least not coming at the same time. My brother-in-law laid down the law and told them that either they both came at the same time for the same meal or Christmas would be canceled. That forced a reluctant truce. We’ll see if it holds.

    I took a minimalist approach to Christmas, buying some restaurant gift cards to give, nothing else. I didn’t do any baking, but I might make some spritz at some point. I will just listen to some Christmas music today, and I have a jigsaw puzzle going. Christmas 2020 is just a lost Christmas. I’m not terribly depressed about it though. The pandemic is something that must be waited out. Next year will be more traditional.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Rise and Say Merry Christmas, Baboons,

    I do not have much comfort this Christmas—today we finish packing the kitchen and our Arizona stuff, so we can leave by 8 am tomorrow. But for Christmas we get a beautiful new, MOUSELESS, kitchen. Therefore, I am happy to wait til April for my comfort.

    My favorite Christmas has always been spending the day with friends, giving only small, homemade gifts (I give my jelly) and eating wonderful foods, then playing games.

    OT, last night at 4am, a malfunctioning smoke alarm which had its battery changed in November, awoke me chirping. Argh. So I turned on the lights, pulled a chair under it, changed the battery. Lou snoozed through all of it and I was awake for 2 hours. Sigh. Note to self. Replace the damn thing in April.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love Linda’s sense that 2020’s Christmas is something we should accept while hoping for something better next year. Of course, the virus is the main Grinch stealing Christmas this year, but for me it is not the only one. Old age and my personal history have combined to make this a Christmas that could charitably called “odd” or much worse. The cherry on top of that for me was losing heat in my apartment. That might be fixed Monday or Tuesday. Or not.

    It would be foolish to try to make this anything but a “lost Christmas” (using another line from Linda). I’ll see no living person today. My erstwife will take me on a Zoom tour of her Belgian apartment at noon, and that will be fun.

    Other than that, I’ll try to please the eccentric old guy I live with: myself. I already served him the kind of breakfast he likes: an English muffin topped with a fried egg, alfalfa sprouts and a dash of soy sauce. When you live alone you get to do things the way you have come to like. And that is its own kind of blessing.

    The music in my rooms will be wonderful. Sooner or later I’ll open a few gifts from my daughter. A book lover, she rarely gives me anything else, and I look forward to that. Tonight I’ll allow myself a little wine. And I’ll offer a heartfelt toast to this day. With all that is welcome or regrettable, this day is still a gift I treasure.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We’ve scaled back Christmas celebrating a lot over the past decades, boiling it down to a family get together the Saturday before Christmas (other than Dec. 24), a “special” Christmas Eve dinner, and a trip up to Mom’s for her Christmas Day open house. No gifts other than charitable donations in lieu of gifts we would have given each other. Easy to do when there are no small children on our side of the family anymore.

    I take comfort in listening to old favorite Christmas CDs (Percy Faith’s Orchestra, Connie Evingson, The Blenders, Mannheim Steamroller, Sam Robson (a newer favorite Christmas CD), and many others.

    There are also a handful of Christmas movies that are must-sees between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day: White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, and, if my wife can persuade me to suck it up and endure, Miracle on 34th St. (the original with Edmund Gwynn).

    We don’t have a traditional Christmas Eve meal. Every year is different, which is fun. With no open house at Mom’s today, I’ll be making Beef Bourgignon tonight.

    I also take time to reflect on Christmas morning about religion and spirituality and why I’m not religious in the least but feel I’m very spiritual. Especially on Christmas mornings like today, when there’s a fresh blanket of snow on the ground, mostly clear and calm skies, and little to no traffic on the road outside, I feel a sense of peace that I like to believe everyone else who celebrates Christmas is feeling too. The sense that for at least one day, we’re all truly peaceful and happy and enjoying and celebrating what is truly important in life.

    I think we take comfort in traditions we’ve inherited or established because, for at least a few moments or hours, or days, we don’t have to think and create and entertain ourselves in new and “exciting” ways. And we feel a sense of family and community that we’re carrying on traditions that may be generations in the making or mere years in the making, or perhaps are the first iteration of new traditions we or someone else we love have started. The chance to just let our brains rest for a while and not deal with external forces beyond our control. Forget about our and the world’s troubles and be genuinely happy for a moment.

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good day/night/morning/afternoon/twilight. 😉

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Now Daughter and Husband are kvelling over the recipes in a barbecue/grilling book she got for him this Christmas. All food is a comfort here, it seems. I am just enjoying a cup of the wonderful coffee husband makes me every morning.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Last night YA made fondue and at the last minute I pulled out the Christmas dishes as well as holiday table linens and napkin rings.

    This morning we did stockings with the Yule log log playing on cable (since I don’t have a working fireplace still) and Alexa streaming holiday music. Comforting to be able to mix older traditions with newer!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I made a good decision this holiday season. Normally Nonny only wants the Ukrainian egg ornament as she lives in a small condo. She’s been stoic this year but I couldn’t stand for her to have nothing for Christmas Day. I made her a gift basket with homemade peppermint cocoa mix, chocolate spoons, chocolate-dipped peppermints and some oven mits made from peppermint fabric. I also decorated a calendar with all the family birthdays. And I made a peppermint theme gift card holder for an Aldis card (her favorite store). She called this morning in tears, saying that she had been dreading Christmas morning this year and the basket really made her happy!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Normally Christmas Eve is controlled chaos at my sister’s house. Her husband is a church musician and she assists at all the services so we don’t have a traditional sit down dinner. Instead we set up a buffet with Swedish meatballs as the centerpiece and invite the other church musicians to join us when they can between services. By the time we are all done at church, it is nearly midnight. Sometimes we stay up to open gifts, other times we are so tired we wait until Christmas Day. None of that is happening this year. Everyone is staying at home and we will have a Zoom gathering with both of my sisters and their families this afternoon. That will be our comfort. This evening just my local sister’s family and I will have a Zoom gift opening session. We do what we can this year and hopefully resume our usual traditions next year. Merry Christmas to all……..

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Merry Christmas to the Trail!
    I sure appreciate having you all here. This gives me comfort to read the posts.

    I am missing family a bit more today. We’ve been texting, which is nice. And we’re gathering in moms parking lot at 2:00 to talk with her through a window. So will be nice to see everyone even if outside and bundled up. Been texting with some former students which has been nice. There sure are some good people out there in the world.
    Woke up at 5AM feeling like Kelly’s stocking needed a card and more goodies. Then she laughed that she hadn’t gotten me a card. Ha, wish I’d known that at 4:59.
    Daughter has been talking about Santa for weeks. And we do stockings right away, but gifts can wait until later today. I find that pretty funny. She’ll get excited about it then.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. This year comfort is coming from –
    – lots of Christmas music, hours and hours of it because I am home to hear it – our CDs and tapes, MPR…
    – connections with people electronic, like the Trail here – so good to know you all are her with me
    – phone calls and Facetime with family
    – having projects that Husband I can work on together (another possible blog post)
    – lots of comfort food, like the pumpkin gingerbread I made yesterday
    – and tonight I intend to watch some Christmas movie, perhaps what Steve mentioned.
    Also, last night listened to this, which included Kevin Kling telling stories:
    https://www.classicalmpr.org/story/2020/09/18/minnesota-orchestra

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And our Martha, on the other hand, is one of those cats that never purr. Never. Even in states of perfect bliss, no purring is going on. This has been the case since we first got her at the age of eight weeks. Yet, she’s still a source of comfort, as is Bernie, who doesn’t purr either.

      Liked by 3 people

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