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Some comfort food is questionable

Now that football season is over, there’s not a whole lot of good TV to watch on the weekends. Yeah, there’s the XFL, but comparing it to the NFL is like comparing a gecko to Godzilla. The XFL excites me about as much as watching the video footage of my last colonoscopy. Since there is no football to watch, as dictated by our wedding vows, my wife gets custody of the TV remote during this time of year, except during the NFL draft, of course.

My wife likes to watch cable channels that lie dormant in our household between August and mid-February. HGTV, Bravo, the Food Network and some channel that shows graphic surgeries on ugly feet, hideous lumps and humongous human beings have caused that gluteal indentation in the seat cushion of my recliner to disappear. My wife has discovered that by watching Hoarders, the trash gets taken out and her car gets washed.

There are some interesting programs on the Food Network that I’ll watch with my wife, but I get irritated to hear diners talk about their meal as “comfort food.” I just can’t grasp this terminology, although my tolerant wife has tried explaining it to me. If I am hungry enough, pert near any vittles would be comfort food to me, unless it has a lot of dairy in it. Being lactose intolerant, there’s little comfort in driving home from the restaurant when those cheese enchiladas are creating enough gas to fill the Goodyear blimp.

I have asked my wife what constitutes a meal as “comfort food.” She explained for the umpteenth time that it can be food you enjoyed eating as a child, and tasting it again brings back pleasant, comfortable feelings. My grandmother made the absolute best enchiladas, and as a kid, I often ate more than any human should ever consume. Nowadays, I still love enchiladas, but too much queso will cause me to relive a blast from the past.

I can understand labeling certain meals as “comfort food.” Like a pot roast with potatoes and green beans. Or a chicken-fried steak with mashed taters and collard greens. But on some of these Food Network programs, a diner will eat some nasty concoction with nary a morsel of beef or pork and call it “comfort food.” How can some sautéed dandelions and grilled cauliflower be comfortable when your stomach is growling like pit bull during a prostate examination?

Speaking of grilling veggies, last night, Guy Fieri watched some chef grill up a “cauliflower steak” and plop it on something that looked like a coughed-up hairball. How can you call a chunk of cauliflower a steak? According to Mr. Webster, a steak is a thick slice of beef or other type of meat. Not a single mention of any vegetable or some abomination created by a vegan in a lab coat. As a rancher and a carnivore, I’m thinking of filing a slander suit against that scrawny chef.

Personally, I can think of numerous meals that I could call “comfort food.” Fried chicken, pork chops, beef fajitas, a juicy rib-eye steak or a platter of fried catfish would provide me with a ton of comfort. A pizza and cold beer would supply hours of comfort to me. Some Chinese food might be considered as comfort food, but after an hour, I’d have to go searching the fridge for a little more reassurance. Is there a limit to how many foods can be labeled as “comfort food”?

Dang, all this talk about food has my stomach talking like a politician during early voting. And with this dreary weather we’re having today, I might need some extra comfort. I just hope we have enough mustard for two corn dogs.

Clint Younts can really eat – enchiladas, steak – as long as there is meat involved. He draws the line at those nasty feral hogs, though. They aren’t good for anything, except feeding coyotes.


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