Thursday, June 28, 2012

Comfort Zone

I read the wikipedia article about Comfort Food recently - I have no idea how I stumbled upon it. I wanted to add German comfort food, but haven't gotten round to it.
Then yesterday I had a really bad day; stress, TBE vaccination, the hot weather, and whatever else, taking it's toll and I did something incredibly stupid at work. I kept thinking about how embarrassing it was and was shocked at how and why I had such a mental black-out. But later that evening, after watching some anime and listening to some music, I felt much better.
So I realized there's not only Comfort Food, there's other "Comfort stuff", too.

Comfort Food
I grew up with my Canadian relations, so Mac & Cheese (or Kraft Dinner, how's it called in Canada) is definitely comfort food for me. (Unless I eat too much of it.) Then there's also Lasagne - made by my mum, of course.
Chicken Soup is a favourite, too (this one seems to be nearly international), especially chicken noodle soup.
Something that always reminds me of my childhood is bread and gravy, it's basically just dipping good bread (without butter) into good gravy. It's something you only get in a family home, with left-over gravy.

Now over to the sweet stuff. Hot chocolate of course! Ice cream in summer.
Then there's "Pudding" which in German means something else than what you'd probably think of in English. It's a creamy dessert. Hot chocolate pudding - that one's probably my number one sweet comfort food. Followed by Grie├čbrei (a sweet semolina pudding) and sweet rice pudding - hot or cold.

I can't cook, so either these foods I only get at home, or they're convenient food. Mac & Cheese only counts as the convenience food by Kraft.

Comfort Movies, TV and books
The publishing company who publishes Bollywood movies in Germany has "Bollywood macht gl├╝cklich" (Bollywood makes you happy) as a slogan. And it is true - if you have enough time to spare for a traditional Bollywood movie, which usually last about 3 hours. The average Bollywood movie is a "masala movie, which means it has a bit of everything, and probably a happy ending. My favourites are probably Main Hoon Na and Paheli.
Then there's a couple of fantasy movies from my childhood, like Labyrinth and Willow, the one or other odd newer movie (like Penelope) and a few Ghibli movies, especially Howl's Moving Castle (you can read about the movie and the book in my recent blog post, too).

A few years back, when I was suffering from depression, one of the only things that made me laugh was Ranma 1/2. I got to the TV everyday in time to watch it, and dearly missed it on the weekend. It was my first anime. but nowadays other series took its place: I'm currently re-watching and enjoying Saiunkoku Monogatari. Ah, who wouldn't love some Seiran in their life?
I've also been thinking about watching Star Trek - The Next Generation. I only have one DVD box, so I've been thinking about buying the complete series. Star Trek TNG is a special TV series, one in a million. Not only is it Star Trek and has great actors like Patrick Stewart. I really appreciate the philosophy behind it (and agree with much of it) and the wisdom it countain; and what makes it a comfort TV series is the underlying positive attitude.

Then there's books. The perfect way to flee from reality.
Lord of the Rings: long enough to get you through some serious troubled times. That one helped me a lot when I was suffering from depression and living far from my home and family. Sometimes I think it saved my life. I got through the day because then I could go home and read.
Howl's Moving Castle is another one of these books. And books by Terry Pratchett; not all, but many.

Comfort Music
Queen of course. Queen has been with me all my life - it's hard to describe what their music means to me. When I hear Freddie's voice, I feel my shoulders relax and it all doesn't seem half that bad. It reminds me of my childhood, safe, carefree times.
Then there's Bruce Springsteen - he's also connceted to happy childhood memories. But also some of his newer songs have that uprising "Yes, we can" spirit.
Also, maybe Marillion.

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