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originalpinkmountain

Boomer comfort food . . .

l pinkmountain
8 months ago

OK, I admit it, I had Campbell's cream of mushroom soup for dinner with Townhouse crackers, and I loved every minute of it!

I know for some it is yuck, but I don't see it as all that terrible. I got the low salt kind . . . bought it to make a quick gravy sauce for the pork chops I made for Dad at Sunday dinner. Added some red wine, fancy! For all his palate cared, the convenience was worth the culinary corner cutting. Had the rest of the can for supper tonight. And the can is recyclable.

I always liked the mushroom, I know I'm an outlier on that, but the tomato is my favorite. I make my own cream of tomato soup with home grown tomatoes, saute the veggies, etc. but even though it is easy, it's not feeling blue on a Tuesday night open a can an in five minutes you're slurping down the comfort easy.

As for the Townhouse crackers, that was forbidden fruit to be sure . . .

But now, as a shy person, I have the strength to get up and do what needs to be done.


What kind of person drives two hours from home, dresses in full combat gear and guns down a 77 year old granny who stopped at the store to buy strawberries for shortcake. We gotta stare down the cold hearted evil growing in this land and melt it away with love, because that's the only way to drive out hate. I wish there were an easier way. We sure need some powerful love.

Comments (117)

  • CA Kate z9
    8 months ago

    Way back when as a kid in Nebraska, ”punk” meant that you weren’t quite up to par… not sick…. just not at full-speed.

  • blfenton
    8 months ago

    Zalco - me, too. Someday. sigghh.

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  • cooper8828
    8 months ago

    I grew up in the south and feeling puny was a common saying. I live out west now and it's not common out here.

  • nekotish
    8 months ago

    My Mom who grew up on the Canadian prairies also said "feeling punk." She also used the word woozy when you were feeling light-headed or nauseaus.


  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    8 months ago

    I live out west and here puny means small or undersized. Peaked is a term my British mum used for feeling under the weather. And it was pronounced with 2 distinct syllables.......peak--ed. She also used 'peckish' for being in need of a snack or a bite to eat. I never hear either of those used here.

  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    The word we are discussing is PUNK, with a "k." I think in its non-slang context it means mushy wood with rotted areas, as in "That wood is all punky, don't use it."

    A little googling tells me that "punk" is generally "sub par" which is why it was also slang for a minor hoodlum. Apparently it also has sexual connotations but I don't want to go there. I hang around with woodworkers, punk means soft parts of wood that crumble easily into bits. So I can also see why someone might use that term for not feeling up to par as well.

    Peak-ed I have also heard in the context of looking like you are not feeling well, as in your color isn't good. I am sort of naturally peak-ed so that's maybe why I am familiar with the term. And peckish was another term my friend used. She liked "p" words apparently . . . although again, I'll bet as a nurse in the psych ward she had occasion to use peckish quite often . . . My friend was also a fan of somewhat anachronous terms/ways of speaking.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!
    8 months ago

    Here you go chickadee, 25 minutes in the oven at 400F.


    Having mine with jarred La Madeleine tomato soup and Caesar salad.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    As for the puny/punk issue, a lot of language gets lost crossing the Atlantic. Immigrant culture in the US and Canada did not prioritize authenticity wrt old world languages and customs. The focus was on assimilation without much of a backwards glance. For recent European immigrants/expats times have changed. I can't speak for other groups. The line between immigration and expatdom can be quite fluid, at least in the Bay Area.

    PS I grew up with peaked, as pronounced by Gardengal, for unwell and peckish for slightly hungry too. My mother went to British schools and I had a steady diet of Enid Blyton in both French and English ;-)

  • martinca_gw sunset zone 24
    8 months ago

    rubyclaire: Yes!

    “My love for tomato soup runs deep. A number of years ago, I traded the Campbell's for Pacific Foods Organic Red Pepper & Tomato Soup. Yum.(me: The tomato and Basil, too) . And a grilled cheese - heaven.”

    And p.nut butter saltine crackers also work in place of the sandwich. Oh, I did spoil myself during covid.


    I learned a new ”sick” version for the grilled cheese sandwich. . Cheese only ( sharpish or gouda) on the bread, no butter. Grill ( fry😉 ) with outside slices spread with mayo .. Hellmans/ Best , of course.

    Dying for fudge? One square unsweetened chocolate in a cup, splash of milk, sugar or sugar substitute , dollop of butter, mic quickly stir and grab your spoon. . Can add nuts, or a dollop of peant butter at the end . Mm mm .

    O.T. I often use my mothers medium small casserole dish and am continued to be amazed that it served the side dishes for our family of four. A bag of ( Wise) potato chips lasted a week! Ditto a six pack … small bottles… of “Co-colas”. 😀

  • Bookwoman
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    I sometimes say 'I'm feeling a bit peckish' when I want a snack. It was my mother's expression, and while she wasn't English, before she married my father she was married to an Englishman and lived in London for a few years after the war. She also used to get woozy. :-)

  • pricklypearcactus
    8 months ago

    I'm not a boomer and I don't know if I exactly have comfort foods, but these come to mind.

    • cornbread with maple syrup (from childhood)
    • cinnamon sugar toast (childhood)
    • boxed macaroni and cheese (husband introduced me during college days)
    • whiskey
  • plllog
    8 months ago

    Floral, the main meaning of "puny" is small here too, but if it means "weak" there, that would explain how it came to also mean ailing. It's not a word I use, but I've heard it plenty.

  • CA Kate z9
    8 months ago

    When I’m feeling peckish I like to make myself a bowl of Cream of Wheat.


  • lisaam
    8 months ago

    This past Thanksgiving one of my nieces brought corn pudding. i loved it and she sheepishly shared the recipe: Jiffy + canned creamed corn + canned corn + butter, eggs eggs, sour cream. I preferred it to any of the Thansksg. pies and would happily eat it any day. to make it myself I might sub frozen shoepeg corn for an incremental increase in purity.

  • JustDoIt
    8 months ago

    Southerner: Fried chicken, creamed potatoes (that's mashed for you Northerners), gravy, green beans, Jiffy cornbread.


    If there was any cornbread leftover we would have cornbread, milk, a little sugar and a cap of vanilla flavoring. Mumm good.

  • Jilly
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    Also Southerners: real banana pudding. Swoon.

    JustDoIt, Kentucky Wonder green beans simmered in bacon and minced onion is what I grew up on. Oh my. 😍

  • JustDoIt
    8 months ago

    Jinx, Lordy yes. I can't find fresh Kentucky Wonder green beans in the stores anymore. Mom would put new potatoes in hers. But yes that was good eating.

  • Tina Marie
    8 months ago

    We always grew White Half Runners; although i have had KY Wonder and I also like peanut beans. To this day I will not eat a canned green bean!!

  • Lars
    8 months ago

    The only canned soups I have bought fairly recently are New England Clam Chowder (I forget the brand - it's been so long) and Pozole, which I bought last Christmas at Cárdenas. I like to make my own pozole, but it is fairly labor intensive, and the canned version is not bad. I also do not make New England Clam Chowder, and so it is a convenience to buy it. I normally buy it at the Santa Monica Seafood Market, and it is in a carton instead of a can and must be consumed within a day of buying it.

    I do remember destitute days in San Francisco in the 1970s when I would make a tuna casserole with canned mushroom soup, Dutch egg noodles, and tuna, which I topped with crushed potato chips. These days, that would be way, way too salty for me. In fact, I have not bought any Campbell soup since 1978.

    Today I made lentil soup, and I really prefer bean based soups, such as minestrone, Cuban black bean, etc. The only tomato soup I like is gazpacho.

  • bragu_DSM 5
    8 months ago

    chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes

  • stacey_mb
    8 months ago

    Rice pudding (with raisins, please) is the ultimate comfort food to me, as well as plain boiled potatoes with butter and salt. Today as I was grocery shopping I realized that I haven't eaten canned peas in a very long time. This was almost an "exotic treat" when I was a child, since we always had fresh produce from our large garden. That's what I ate for dinner tonight and was surprised how salty they were.

  • colleenoz
    8 months ago

    From Merriam-Webster:

    noun (2)punk

    Definition of punk (Entry 3 of 3)

    1: wood so decayed as to be dry, crumbly, and useful for tinder


    adjective (1)punky

    \ ˈpəŋ-kē \

    punkier; punkiest

    Definition of punky

    (Entry 1 of 2)

    : resembling punk in being soft or rotted”

    I was pretty sure that was where this came from but thought I’d confirm it 🙂

  • colleenoz
    8 months ago

    I can’t abide canned peas. Canning makes them weird and mooshy IMO. I don’t mind frozen peas though.

  • Lars
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    I cannot abide canned peas either, but my father for some reason preferred them. I'm fine with frozen peas, and that's what I buy.

    Marcia Adams used to have a cooking TV show from the Amish Country (I think she was in Iowa or Indiana), and I used to watch her just to see how bad her recipes could be. She made one salad that had canned peas - and she said that they had to be from a can - fresh or frozen would not have the same flavor - and she made a salad dressing using Miracle Whip, which I detest. I think she is the only cook on TV that ever used MW. At the end of her show, she would put on white gloves and hold up Amish quilts. When she was making her recipes, she was more concerned with keeping her counters and everything else clean than with making a recipe that actually tasted good. It was a very strange show to me.

  • plllog
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    ooooh! Petit pois! If there is such a thing as a veggie comfort food, frozen blanched petit pois, straight from the freezer, or warmed up, or room temp, or chilled. That's it for me. If I were sick or just in a mood, my mother would tempt me with petits pois. Okay, they're sweet, but they're also not scratchy, and have that bursting little ball thing, and they're delicious! We sometimes get a short run of fresh English peas, but never fresh petit pois. Which is okay, because the freeze so nicely. :)

  • lindac92
    8 months ago

    Not a boomer here....more of a depression baby...or the child of the greatest generation.

    As a child when feeling punk, pastina with butter, or cooked wide noodles, with hot milk and butter and nutmeg.

    I remember liking tomato soup made with milk, but for some reason didn't make it for my family. One time after my family was grown and my husband died and my mother in law was in a nursing home and I was doing chemo treatments for breast cancer, I would go to the nursing home to feed her every evening. Because oif the chemo, food was sort of odd tasting. But one evening they were serving tomato sooup with grilled cheese. Smelled soooo good, I nearly mugged her for her dinner. Stopped at the grocery on the way home ( dinner at the home was 5:15) and bought the ingredients and made me some tomato soup and grilled cheese.......and couldn't eat the soup. Just gagged. I ams ure it was the chemo talking but i haven't tried it since.


    Guilty pleasures? Creamed chipped beef on toast....creamed chicken with canned mushrooms and pimento on toast. A cold potroast sandwich with cold gravy smeared on the bread instead of mayo. Cream cheese and jelly sandwich, and canned baked beans, cold out of the can. Brand doesn't matter!


  • bbstx
    8 months ago

    @Jilly, I’m with you on the banana pudding. My late DH loved banana pudding of any stripe. I won’t eat any but the REAL thing made from the recipe on the Nilla Vanilla Wafers box. It must have a cooked custard and real meringue. I love sweets but I can easily resist banana pudding made with pudding mixes and/ or Cool Whip 😝. http://www.backofthebox.com/recipes/desserts/original-nilla-banana-pudding.html

  • Jilly
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    bb, we have a restaurant nearby, Babe’s Chicken Dinner House, and it’s the only one I’ve found (banana pudding) that tastes similar to my Mema’s. So does their cream gravy, omg, I could eat it like soup. They also have Kentucky Wonders cooked in bacon.

    We indulge once or twice a year. :)

    Ultimate comfort food.



  • Tina Marie
    8 months ago

    @bbstx that is how my grandmother made banana pudding, and my mom too. it was the best!! i loved it still slightly warm.

  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    It was soup again for me last night, but this time home-made minestrone thawed out of the freezer. A few saltines on the side. Same reason basically. Not only do we have relentless violent bullying on the national scale, my aging father is also relentlessly negative and bullying. It totally drains me of all energy by the end of the day/dinnertime even though I have limited contact with him. Yesterday his caregiver called to say she was leaving, she couldn't take the mental stress. I've already instituted as many mental boundaries, etc. as possible so don't need to discuss that. Boundary pushers never give up though . . . and at 90 my Dad is a hot mess of mental illness, cognitive decline and anger about everything which leads to controlling obsessions. Does not help that half the country is suffering similar. I try to focus on the serenity prayer stuff . . . the weather is nice enough now that most of my energy I need to focus on yard maintenance. Luckily I have some things in the freezer from a winter food focus . . .

  • JustDoIt
    8 months ago

    Jinz - That's Sunday dinner right there!

  • Jilly
    8 months ago

    It is! My Mema made it every Sunday … meat with those sides was either fried chicken or her amazing chicken-fried steak (better than any I’ve ever had). :)

    I drool remembering. Today is her birthday, she is so missed.

    Pink, hugs to you. I know it’s a terribly stressful situation.

  • Oakley
    8 months ago

    We have green beans from the garden every summer, and when we run out I use a can of them with a tiny bit of ketchup and heat. Everybody likes it!


    But I'll never apologize for the occasional footlong. :)

  • orchidrain
    8 months ago

    Pink, I feel so bad for you having to deal with all that negativity. Can you limit your time with your dad? Also, try and counteract with meditation, nature, song, prayer....whatever works to put you into a state of relaxation, and will help you to revitalize after such a draining situation. The world is full of energy vampires and we have to protect ourselves. I'm glad the soup is helping you cope.

  • Jilly
    8 months ago

    Oakley, Sonic, right? Mmm. Frito Pie and tots for me, please. :D

  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Hugs to you Jinx. My grandmothers are similarly missed. Neither was a great cook, but they did have their specialties. My Baubie (grandmother in Yiddish) made the classic roast chicken, chicken soup, mashed potatoes, dressing, green beans and applesauce Sunday dinner, which I pretty easily channel quite often. I just don't make the noodles or matzoh balls home made for the soup and usually stick to one starch, dressing or potatoes, not both. My green beans are usually frozen not canned, unless I can get garden fresh . . . my grandmother wasn't much of a baker, she would do a frozen pound cake or sometimes or banana bread, a few chocolates from a candy box or those fruit gummies. She did make a mean oatmeal cookie which I also can replicate pretty well, after much experimentation. My other grandmother lived 3 hours away although we visited super-often. She lived in a small duplex so wasn't big on family dinners due to space and also she was a Seventh Day Adventist so marginally vegetarian. She was a huge gardener though, so when I want some of her Grandma comfort it is home grown or at least garden fresh produce. One of my best memories of her is having fresh black raspberries from her patch with cream. I have started my own patch recently in her honor . . .

  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Yeah, that's the irony of my post Orchid, I do limit my time with him, and having a caregiver come 3-4 times a week to cook, light clean and assist him in the mornings meant that I didn't have to have any in-person contact during the week, he was checked on. His caregiver is a saint, but her own mother died and she inherited and sold her family farm so now can retire and she's keen to do it while she still has some spunk left to do some traveling. This is INFURIATING my father, that she is now able to be her own person and look after her own needs. She was hanging on mostly out of pity so he really blew it this week by throwing an angry fit at her and throwing her out of the house (for no reason). Kind of like Putin, shot himself in the foot, now she is gone and he'll have a heck of a time finding someone patient enough to replace her. This means more trouble for me. He will try to find a replacement but few types of people will long put up with his abusive behavior. I have a couple of friends who do caregiving for elders (not nursing, just help around the house) and they both said they wouldn't touch him with a ten foot pole. So that probably leaves him with someone unscrupulous in one way or the other. I see constant strife on the horizon. So yes, limited exposure and time with him, and now I see my current coping strategy evaporating. There are agencies, but he will fight with anyone and everyone, so he can't get along with their structures. He tried meal delivery services, for example, one that a friend uses quite happily. It was a great service, all meals, delivered already to heat up. He ranted and ranted about how he didn't have the storage for it (he does) and it wasn't any good. This is the result of an untreated anxiety disorder. I've tried every strategy to get treatment, he is non compliant. Just talked last night to an old family friend who knows my dad well, her father was one of his classmates. She started out in geriatric psychology, she used to work with elderly hospital patients, getting them set up to leave to whatever situation was best for them. She agreed that he isn't a candidate for me to get conservatorship and also that wouldn't solve the problem with his combativeness. He'll replay the same dysfunctional behavior compulsions wherever he goes, even to an assisted living facility. She said that he may end up all alone and eating cold beans out of a can and there may be nothing I can do about it so have to find ways of coping with that. No way it is going to be easy.

  • runninginplace
    8 months ago

    Stouffer's tuna noodle casserole. Starting in jr high, that was my go to meal when I needed something soothing and I only quit buying them when I got married and began making my own tuna casseroles.


    However during my first pregnancy the smell of cooking tuna absolutely made me gag. So I dropped all of it for decades...until COVID when one day in the grocery store I happened to wander by that frozen food case. Bought one, kept it for an evening when I was exhausted, dejected and in need of something super easy, super fast and super comforting.


    And voila! It was an instant nostalgia rush. Plus a pretty tasty dinner LOL.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    She said that he may end up all alone and eating cold beans out of a can and there may be nothing I can do about it so have to find ways of coping with that.

    If he is in charge of himself, then he eats what he eats. Your job is to ensure his safety. That may not be what you like, but it is what he demands. Your thinking you know better will only frustrate you. I was once told all conflict stems from one person wanting the other person to do something. Remove yourself from being in that position.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!
    8 months ago

    Jinx, Happy Mema's birthday to you! I have loved getting to know her through you.

  • Jilly
    8 months ago

    Thank you pink and Zalco! ❤️

  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Yes, that's what my friend said. She said if he ends up in the emergency room due to a safety issue, then the state will take over. That's what happened to a neighbor. Her daughter tried and tried to help but it was all for naught, she was a Christian Scientist so no medical interventions. She had a lot of cognitive issues, ended up having a kitchen fire and in the hospital, so after that it was off to a nursing home (they told her the house burned down) and she died a short time later. Some neighbor folks called social services a couple of times and her daughter called us (thinking it was us, it wasn't) because she was doing all she could do, her mother would not allow her to do any more. It was a very sad situation, all three kids tried to intervene, she would have none of it. I've already had some of those calls, "Something's up with your dad." He reaches out to others for sympathy when he burns out me or another attention giver. Plays the "I'm just a poor lonely old man, don't understand why no one cares" card. Doesn't go any better for these well-meaning friends and neighbors either, in the end . . . they finally get frustrated and avoid him as well, I've seen it happen over and over . . .

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!
    8 months ago

    Pink, it's super hard, I know. Wishing you strength.

  • bbstx
    8 months ago

    @Jilly, I’ve been to Babe’s. We went to Roanoke, the original one. The Star Cafe near the Stockyards has good banana pudding one day a week, maybe Wednesday.


    Trader Joe’s vanilla wafers are delicious. Very vanilla-y. I tried using them instead of Nilla vanilla wafers once. Nope. Didn’t translate well at all.


    @Tina Marie, I want my banana pudding slightly warm too, initially. Then it goes in the fridge and I’m happy eating the chilled leftovers.

  • nekotish
    8 months ago

    LPink, I can empathize with what you're going through with your Dad. My Dad was very stubborn and although not mean, his last ten years of life, he vastly overestimated his own abilities and anyone who tried to help him (other than my sisters or me) was not received well. At one point, a year or so ago, he decided he didn't want to stay in the long term care home he was in, he wanted to come and live with my husband and I. At this point, he was immobile, incontinent and required a two person assist with a lift to get in or out of bed. When I reminded him that I would not be able to get him in and out of a vehicle myself or in and out of bed, and that our home has stairs, he said he was fine with stairs, as long as there was a railing! Dad! You can't walk... It was tough on everyone, including him. He passed away peacefully last month at 94 and as .much as I miss my Dad from years gone by, I don't miss the person he had become. Just wishing you strength and peace on your journey with your dad.


  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    Yes Nekotish, my Dad does that too, always claims he can do "amazing feats of strength and endurance." Things that no sane person would even feel the need to do, convoluted extra work things are his specialty. Then he gets exhausted and cranky. All this for no logical reason. He cannot enjoy life, he has to find something to rail against. He's always saying he can find someone better to do something, someone else will help him, he can do it himself, he doesn't like this helpful aide, he knows a better one, etc. Whenever anyone is trying to help him, he's always claiming he doesn't need help and can do it better himself. Then cries that no one wants to help him. He's a hot mess for sure . . . I get his anger and frustration, but much of it is due to him focusing always on what he doesn't have, what he's dissatisfied with. He still has friends around, can still walk, see, think and although he has some elimination and hearing challenges, he can manage those if he puts his mind to it. My husband and I would help him in any way he wants but he never asks, I ask him what he needs, make suggestions for what we could do to help, but he rejects it all. He tells people they need to do this or that, but then is always dissatisfied with what they do, and tells them, at which point they say, "Hey I tried, you rejected it so I have to move on." Case in point, he stands over my carpenter husband when he is working on a project for him and tells him he is doing it wrong. Gets mad when hubs ignores him or says he knows what he is doing, then Dad gets pushy and nasty. Now claims husband is a hack and ruins all his projects (nothing could be farther from the truth) and wants nothing to do with him. Then he claims we are too lazy and self absorbed to help him. Instead of realizing how lucky he is compared to most his age, he wants to go back to being superman so is always depressed. No amount of resources is ever enough for him.

    Yes, emotional vampire is the right description. I try to just do easy stuff that I can do without extra effort, but even then, I have to endure the constant barrage of negativity.

  • Lars
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    ^Add some clam juice, and it's the national Canadian drink - Bloody Caesar.

  • bbstx
    8 months ago

    I love a Bloody Caesar…and I’m not Canadian! I also love a Bloody Bull (Bloody Mary made with tomato juice and beef bullion… or Mott’s Beefamato) or a Bullshot.

  • CA Kate z9
    8 months ago