Have you ever thought about bread? I mean really thought about it? Before my pregnancy, I rarely ate bread. Occasionally we would have some at a restaurant, or at someone’s house, but generally speaking we did not have bread in the house. I have always (and still do) feel like bread is a filler food. I am one that believes that we should always fill our bodies with food that is fuel. Such as vegetables and fruit.
Until being pregnant. Now I cannot get enough bread. I have had a few cravings. Nothing too exciting. Chex-Mix, animal crackers, and for the entire pregnancy I have wanted bread. In the form of toast, sandwiches, and pizza. It is the only thing that ever sounds good. My OB said that my appetite would come back in the second trimester. It has not. Nothing ever sounds good. I never really am interested in eating. Except I know when I need to. When I start to get nausea (although I never had morning sickness) I know it is time for a snack or a meal. When that happens I only want bread.
It is comfort food. If you think about it, we have the option for bread in many different meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in different cultures (roti, naan, flatbread, to name a few). Now we even have gluten-free. You can have it plain, or toppings galore. I remember as a young child when I did not feel well, or when I wanted a treat, my grandma would make me toast with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top. My dad loved peanut butter on his toast, my mom loved apple butter. At the moment, in the middle of this pregnancy, I want jelly. There have been times though when all I wanted on my toast was melted butter.
Now bread has become a phenomenon via the not so new culinary concept of “toast.” In San Francisco and New York you can find menu items such as buttered toast for $4. Yes. Maybe it is on high quality brioche, but still. I might sound like my grandma but I can almost get a loaf for that amount. In any case, bread, toast, what have you, it is my comfort food of choice as I ease into my third trimester.
I am a bit of a holiday downer. Not a complete Scrooge, but close. I have a hard time with Thanksgiving and Christmas, partly because I think we should be grateful everyday, and I think Christmas has lost its true meaning.
I have fond memories of the holidays when I was a kid. I remember the food at Thanksgiving, and my mom spending hours cooking. Pumpkin pie, turkey, mashed potatoes. We did not have any traditions like going for a walk, watching football, or inviting other families over. Mostly I remember the food, the smells, and often we might play a family game. I remember after we had our special meal and we helped clean up the kitchen we would go our separate ways for the rest of the day. I most likely hid in my room snuggled up with a book.
As I got older and things got rougher at home, Thanksgiving went from a meal with my family, to often not coming home from school, or having a strange meal with my sister and grandma. I remember one holiday (I cannot remember if it was Christmas or Thanksgiving) we had purchased ingredients to make a meal and my sister and I realized we were short a key ingredient, which meant it was not possible to make the dish. We went out to see if we can find a substitute only to find that the only store that was open was Village Pantry (a midwest version of 7 Eleven). The only thing they had that could make a meal was some older dusty cans of spaghetti sauce. So we had spaghetti that holiday.
Not having normal holidays has made me cynical about them. I have tried from year to year to create my own traditions, and some years it has worked and other years it just has felt exhausting. So this Thanksgiving rather than try to carve out a tradition or holiday expectation, or to force any excitement at all, I am going to ponder these words from Tony Robbins:
“Trade your expectation for appreciation and the world changes instantly.”
With no expectations (gosh that is so hard for me!) I am going to just think of what I truly am appreciative of and grateful for. During this week of Thanksgiving, I will honor all that has happened in 2012 and see all the change, triumph, and joy that has been brought into my life.
With gratitude to everyone that reads this post and random olio. May you have a yummy meal (sans spaghetti sauce) and a warm and love filled day on Thursday. Happy day of gratitude!