Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Meal that Takes Me Home

Last Saturday we took the girls to Disney's Ratatouille at the American Fork "Sticky Shoe" theater. We enjoyed the movie thoroughly. If you are a foody, like our family is, you no doubt also love this movie. But one scene really touched home for Kulani and me. It's the scene where the food critic takes his first bite of the ratatouille meal the rat made for him. The movie flashes back to his boyhood days, his bike is broken in the doorway, and his mom is cooking at the stove. He sits down at the table, and his mom places a bowl of ratatouille in front of him to help ease his suffering. The true definition of comfort food.

So Kulani and I were discussing our comfort foods. We each have many meals that bring us back to mom's home cooking. For me, it's homemade spaghetti, roast and mashed potatoes, and dad's pancakes. Mom's fried chicken is still the best I've ever tasted, and it's the simpleness of it that makes it great. For Kulani, it's pancakes with sweetened condensed milk, fried rice, and meatloaf. He also has a fondness for custard-filled long johns and Kentucky Fried Chicken, because growing up in Blanding, those were two food items you couldn't find. So when his dad was out of town for work, he'd bring back custard-filled long johns and Kentucky Fried Chicken that didn't even reach the table before it was eaten.

But the main dish that would take Kulani home faster than a jet airliner would be kalua pig and poi. Good times in Kulani's house growing up were marked by having pig and poi. Even now, no one is in a bad mood around Kulani's family's dinner table when pig and poi are on the menu.

For me, the item that takes me back are homemade french fries. Sometimes for a family outing, we would follow the harvesting combines picking up renegade potatoes. Our goal was to find the biggest potatoes we could. We found some doozies. Then we'd take them home, peal them, cut them up, and deep-fat fry them. It made for long nights, but the french fries were sooo good. And it seems that was the dinner for the night; just potatoes, with ketchup as the side.


Fish said...

I wonder what it will be for our kids.

Mr. Flynn said...

I crave mexican food from certain restaurants in California often times. Frankly, I can find no substitutes around here. I can get sort of close in Utah.

My grandma used to make some great chili verde. Oh man it was good. She died about 18 years ago. I still haven't nailed that recipe.

MarySquare said...

C-ster -- I hope you put up a Birthday post for Lilia -- Happy Birthday LiLi!

Amo said...

Homemade french fries were and still are awesome! In fact, I recently made some for my kids and that is pretty much all we had that night (plus ketchup). What more do you need?