The nostalgic food memory from through a bowl of porridge
I woke up to one cold winter morning, and all I could think of was a warm bowl of porridge (Asian porridge that is cooked with rice). So I braved the cold and headed to the kitchen, checking for any ingredients that I could easily whip up for a pot of porridge for the family as well.
As I was deciding whether to cook a plain porridge or a savoury one, I noted that we have leftover rice (the fastest way to cook porridge) and I had actually defrosted chicken mince the night before. So the decision was easy – chicken porridge!
With the minced chicken, garlic oil, leftover rice and water on hand, the chicken porridge was quickly coming into fruition. And very soon, my husband and I were both enjoying the hot bowls of chicken porridge. I felt so happy, satisfied, and comforted and my soul was being nourished with each mouthful of porridge, such that I emptied the bowl very quickly and went for a second round.
My chicken porridge featured on Nyonyalicious Facebook Page
Why was I so happy with the plain chicken porridge? What was in that which was so special?
Often, we associate our childhood food (food that we grew up with) as our comfort food. It allows us to associate or experience the connection to our childhood, our family, and our community through the warmth and comfort of memories of the environment we experienced that ties us to our roots.
Thus we tend to reach for something that we are comfortable and familiar with as a form of support when we live far away from home, especially when you are missing home, or feeling lost, upset, stressed or frustrated. Yet food is one of the main forms that we can easily connect to.
What I was experiencing with the porridge is no different. When eating the porridge, I recalled the plain porridge that we used to have together with my family in Penang on Sundays. Most of the time the plain porridge was eaten with fried salted fish, omelette with preserved turnip, salted duck eggs, braised soy sauce pork and more.
So for me, the porridge offers a comfort of warmth when I was experiencing the depressing feeling of the cold and gloomy winter morning. The thought of warm and comforting porridge in a form of food naturally came to mind. It was definitely the comfort food that linked to my family eating together growing up, and also the hot porridge provided the warmth during the cold winter morning.
It was definitely a joy and blessing to be able to still enjoy my special childhood comfort food while living so far away from home.
What’s your comfort food during the winter months?