Eat Nice Life Reminders Pip-Life

Sometimes It’s Good To Feed Your Feelings With A Little Rhubarb Hug

Happy Days

When I was a kid, there were quite a few things we used to have for breakfast. They’re not really the kinds of things I eat anymore because my tastes are waaaaay sophisticated now that I’m very grown up. Also I don’t eat a lot of processed food. That said, these childhood faves are the things I think of when I need a little foodie hug, if you know what I mean. They are the things I want to have a bite of because they ground me when I’m feeling a bit floaty or untoward.

And yes look, I know you are not meant to feed your feelings, but sometimes feelings truly do need a bit of cheese on toast so they can sort themselves out.

Denying them their comfort seems a very cruel approach to me. I mean, how would YOU like that? If someone knew what YOU most needed to feel a titch better and they just said NOPE and thrust some kale or some other non comforting thing in your face?

You’d be mortified, hungry and possibly angry. Yup.

People, your feelings deserve better than that. People, your feelings might NEED cheese on toast sometimes.

So as part of the homage to the intermittent feeling-feeding that my life invariably is, my latest non-compulsive but pro-compassionate feeding of feelings involved nostalgia.

Today it was a breakfast-y kind of nostalgia and a sort of hankering for some grounding and connection to the breakfast foods of my childhood … and here we are.

So today, the feeling/s were surprisingly not about cheese on toast. Instead, they were very into Weeties. Do you ever have Weeties? They’re not as popular as Weetbix, Rice Bubbles or Cornflakes, to be clear, but I think they’re very delicious – even though I punishingly only have them about once every 3 years.

This year, it would seem, is a Weeties year which is perhaps a bit like a leap year only with gluten and a tendency to be soggy and crunchy at the same time. The way I have to have the Weeties is with very cold milk and stewed rhubarb (also cold) and a sprinkling of sugar (cold) to make the rhubarb less tart. In a bowl. Of course. Don’t forget the bowl.

This afternoon, after work, I whizzed down to the shops and bought a packet of Weeties and bunch of rhubarb and a carton of milk with which to hatch this comforting plan. I bought some corned beef too, so I don’t know what that says about me, but let’s ignore that for now.

In ye olden days, I probably sat in front of Happy Days (Happy Days is still okay right?) eating my rhubarb and Weeties, trying to tip the bowl and scrape the spoon just so, so I could finish every last bit of now-pink milk without actually drinking out of the bowl. I was always this classy, right?

I don’t know if I will still struggle to finish it all without drinking out of the bowl, but I will find out tomorrow because my rhubarb is stewing and I have my fresh box of Weeties and my carton of milk and I’m going to crack the whole delicious catastrophe out in the morning before I go to a video shoot and pretend to be a proper professional human being.

I like to keep it simple with the stewed rhubarb thing:

Bunch of rhubarb, washed and chopped into one inch pieces. Do not include very poisonous leaves unless you have a death wish.
Throw into a pot with a tablespoon or two of water, a good slug of sugar and a splash of vanilla.
Put lid on. Simmer for 5 or 7 or 8 minutes until soft but still shapely, if possible.
Turn off. Allow to cool (or not, if you like it hot).
Eat.

I know that sometimes people (Stephanie Alexander, I think) add some rose geranium leaves to make it extra fragrant. Some people (Jamie Oliver, I think. Happy days!) use orange juice and not water. But I like to hark back to my non-fancy Tasmanian roots and not get tickets on myself. I just use water, sugar and vanilla. Even the vanilla is a bit suspect in the Tassie pretention stakes, truth be told, but I am doing it anyway.

I will let you know how it all goes in the morning, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited.

Love to you,

Pip

PS: What is your nostalgic breakfast fave? My other ones are cheese on toast, cheese spread on toast [it’s in my book Craft For The Soul], a pile of many slices of Vegemite on toasted white bread and JAFFLES of course!!

PPS: I accidentally overcooked my rhubarb a bit while I was typing this up and now it’s a delicious kind of mushy pink shame and I’m okay with it. TAKE THAT RHUBARB RULES.

12 Comments

  • Reply
    Donna Bridges
    December 7, 2017 at 11:41 PM

    Oooh Pip corned beef . Cooking it with an orange into which you’ve pushed 12 cloves , a pinch of nutmeg a tblspn of brown sugar and the same of vinegar and instantly you’ll be smelling my grandmas kitchen on Thursday nights . I think we should reconnect to comfort and childhood through food . It’s good for our mental wellbeing.

  • Reply
    KWadsworth
    December 7, 2017 at 3:49 AM

    Don’t have a breakfast comfort-food. However – the lunch/dinner comfort-food has always been a pan-grilled cheese sandwich and tinned tomato soup. It was something Mom would make for dinner when she was too exhausted to make anything more complicated (and sometimes Dad would even make it instead if she was really wiped out), and also when the rest of us had not much of an appetite.

    It’s become so much of a staple that once when I had been out grocery shopping, my roommate walked into the kitchen when I was unpacking everything; and when he saw the three tins of tomato soup I’d gotten to stock up, he took one look at it, walked over and hugged me and asked “what’s wrong?”

  • Reply
    Bernadette
    December 6, 2017 at 7:26 PM

    I love soft fried eggs on very buttery toast with lots of salt and pepper and chilli and a glass of french Rose for tea alone with Netflix:)

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    December 6, 2017 at 7:20 PM

    Oh yes, Weeties are excellent. Not as common as Weet Bix, I always thought. They had a touch of sophistication! remember my grandma used to have Purina Muesli Flakes which were quite delish. And I think rhubarb should be over cooked. I love it when it is all mushy! And now that I’m grown up and have a highly developed palette(!) it is lovely swirled through vanilla yoghurt. But the classic nostalgic breakfast is a warm Milo with vegemite on butter-slathered white bread toast!

  • Reply
    Kerrie
    December 6, 2017 at 4:49 PM

    Cold Melbourne winter mornings in the 70’s before I made the long walk to school were made easier with porridge with a dash of extra warm milk, butter and a spoonful of sugar – the butter would melt into lovely sugary ripples!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    December 6, 2017 at 2:09 PM

    I think we are twins! My nostalgic breakkie is also Weeties, and vegemite & cheese on toast. At Christmas time its ham on toast.

  • Reply
    Kate
    December 6, 2017 at 8:08 AM

    So how was it Pip? Did it satisfy?

    • Reply
      Meet Me At Mikes
      December 6, 2017 at 5:03 PM

      Oh my gosh it was bloody delicious. I had it for lunch too. Yep. x

      • Reply
        Kate
        December 6, 2017 at 6:06 PM

        Yay that’s great.

  • Reply
    Cindy
    December 6, 2017 at 5:44 AM

    OK so when I was a kid we did eat a lot of cereal or toast for breakfast. Both parents worked and we had school, so breakfast was a quick meal. Except for Christmas morning. On Christmas morning Mom would get the waffle maker out and she would make waffles with bacon in them! YUM! As I got older and was in my 20’s I would eat ice cream for breakfast! I know! I loved it though. Vanilla, with magic shell chocolate on it, with cookies and peanuts thrown in. Oh my. No longer do I eat that way. Sadly…

  • Reply
    Reannon
    December 5, 2017 at 11:05 PM

    I nearly bought weeties last week! But didn’t because I really only wanted a bowl & I didn’t think the rest would get eaten 🙁
    Nostalgia breakfasts are-
    Spaghetti on toast. My kids eat this at all times of the day & even the smell of it makes me happy. Occasionally on a Sunday I will indulge myself.
    Coco Pops with icy cold milk. My nana Blake used to buy these for me as a kid. So wrong but oh so good! They are my eldest boys favourite so each school holidays I buy 1 box for him ( my other big boy chooses froot loops or pop tarts ). They are usually gone in a few days but I’ve been known to pour some into a mug & eat them after dinner. Clearly my tatstes have not become more sophisticated as an adult because trash food still makes me happy!

  • Reply
    Kate
    December 5, 2017 at 10:25 PM

    I love happy days. As for the breakfast I really can’t remember anything apart from white bread toast cut into squares with lots of butter, eaten in the dairy with my dad on a cold but sunny winter morning. We moved from that farm when I was 5 so this would be one of my earliest memories.

  • Leave a Reply

    previous post
    previous post
    I met Charlotte Ree at the Perth International Writers' Festival…