Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Comfort Food

Yesterday, I had a "car crash day." Which means that everything and everyone, without intention, sent my thoughts screaming into that wall again. That stupid, ridiculous wall that is now built out of silly putty rather than brick, but it's still there at the moment and it still hurts when I hit it. At least with it now being made out of silly putty, I got to shape it into a nice glass of wine and a huge bowl of popcorn covered in Old Bay at the end of the day.

I've had this same can of Old Bay seasoning since I moved to England back in 2000. Scary, I know, that I'm still using these spices but there is something so very comforting to me about being able to shake out just the tiniest amount of flavour from that very same tin and feel my lips burning, my hang nails exploding, as if I was back in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, listening to the crabs we just caught in the bay get steamed in my grandmother's big black pot.

We'd haul up the crab traps right onto the grass in front of my grandparents' mobile home, tip out the captured crabs, and watch them scurry this way and that, pinchers at the ready. But they were never any match for my grandma and her silver tongs. She'd catch them and place them quickly into the already simmering pot, the Old Bay smell invading the air. We'd start getting the table ready, throwing down newspaper and finding the mallets, anxiously waiting for the crabs to be ready.

And then she'd come carrying that big pot and dump the crabs in a steaming pile on the table. Our eyes would water, our fingers burn, and we'd we would get comfortable, knowing that we would spend the next couple of hours picking those crabs, laughing, talking, and sharing. Comfort food from the sea. All of us grateful for that which was set before us and around us.

It may only be popcorn that we had last night, but as The Man and I would reach into that bowl, our hands bumping as we went for the same little kernel, we'd laugh. Our fingers burning from the spices, the taste of my youth and home being shared between us, piece by piece.

That wall is no match for my grandmother's silver tongs.

1 comment:

RHB said...

Loved this- thanks for sharing your memories and you thoughts. I'm hoping that no one was hurt...