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).
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,
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.