Monday, July 21, 2008

Comfort Food & Movies


When my dad left my mom (back in the days before divorce was common - it was just something that happened to married couples on TV or in movies), we used to have pizza and movie nights. We'd get Appian Way pizza mix, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese and canned mushrooms. It was always a challenge to spread the pizza dough over our one round pizza sheet (I'm not sure why we never just used two pizza mixes), but we always managed. Lisa and I would take turns chopping up the pepperoni and cheese and spreading everything out just so on the dough. She was the mushroom advocate; I didn't hold with the little slimy fungi (my taste buds have since developed more sophistication), so I watched carefully to make sure at least a third of the pizza was left fungus free.

We'd have ice cold Coca Cola with our pizza, preferably in the little glass bottles it used to be sold in. Sometimes we'd put the bottles in the freezer, taking them out before we had little Coke bombs go off inside. I rarely drink sodas now, but when I do it's a Coke. Classic Coke, none of that diet crap. If you're gonna be decadent, have the real thing, says I!

While waiting for the pizza to bake, we'd make our dessert: old-fashioned homemade fudge. The kind made with corn syrup, cocoa powder and sugar, stirred in a saucepan over a burner until a dollop dropped in cold water forms a little ball. Then it was time to pour it into the pre-buttered glass pan and put in the fridge until it set. Sometimes no matter how long we stirred it, the fudge refused to cooperate. This became spoon fudge. It tasted the same, but I always felt it was cheating to eat it that way, but it never stopped me.

Pizza, Coke and fudge. The triumvirate of comfort food. And it always went with a movie, usually a musical with Gene Kelly. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, THE PIRATE, SINGING IN THE RAIN, SUMMER STOCK... these were the movies that eased the transition between being part of a 'normal' family with a stay at home mom to having Mom suddenly go to work full time and seeing Dad once a month. It was not an easy time, but the memories of the construction of the pizza, dropping drips of hot fudge into the water and watching anxiously to see if THIS time it would set, and the taste of ice-cold Coke while watching Gene Kelly (oh, those glorious thighs...not that I noticed them at that age) dance...well, those indulgent movie nights are among some of the best memories of my life.

7 comments:

David Fitzgerald said...

Mmm...Spoon fudge...
xo
-D

zhadi said...

Heh. I'll make it for you one of these days...

Gayle said...

I remember watching Gone With the Wind on Thanksgiving with my mom after everyone else was off doing something else. We'd eat leftovers (the dressing was my favorite) while we watched Scarlett and Rhett. Good times.

Btw, I can never get my fudge to set either. But you're right, spoon fudge is just as good! :-)

Chris V. said...

Childhood foods... you gave me a good topic idea. Thanks! Nothing beats watching those great old movies!

zhadi said...

Spoon fudge...haven't had that in SO long. I haven't made fudge in ages, though! On Thanksgiving we always had the Twilight ZOne marathons on... I'm not sure why, but we did.

Chris, I look forward to reading your post! And nothing does beat watching Gene Kelly dance...oh, those thighs...No wonder I"ve never gone for men with skinny rock star legs!

Lisa Hall said...

I hope I can give my kids good food memories. Some of my most comforting childhood memories are of being in the kitchen with my mom.

©Hotbutton Press said...

It's been my observation that we develop a taste for fungi about the same time we learn to appreciate fun guys. Don't you think?

Queen Tweet