Comfort food: Hudnall style

Even as a kid, mornings and I were not on good terms. My mom always left for work early and, on the occasion that she was the one to wake me up, would just flip on the light and order me out of bed. There was no question that she did not have time to waste in the morning; being late was not an option.

It was a brutal start to the day for a kid who slept heavily and generally didn’t want to go to school for the usual teasing that came with most days.

Thankfully, my dad retired early due to some health-related vision problems. I know that sounds awful, but believe me, he was the one person who could start my day out well. I’m thankful he was around to make the mornings decent.

Typically, mornings went something like this:

My dad would come quietly into my room, sit on the edge of the bed, and rub my back.

To this day, I love having my back rubbed first thing in the morning. Alarm clocks, I’m convinced, are instruments of the devil.

“Time to get up, twerp,” my dad would say. I’d usually mumble something about how I didn’t want to go to school. But then would come the best part: “You’d better get up or else your french toast will get cold.”

Yes, every morning I had french toast for breakfast. Or bacon and eggs. Or homemade biscuits and gravy. Or, my favorite, fried bread.

If you don’t know what fried bread is, then you’re missing out. If you google it, you’ll find lots of information about Navajo fry bread or miscellaneous European versions of a basic fried bread. Although they’re all similar, none of them seem to be the same thing my dad made – which is essentially like a fried biscuit.

Basically, you mix some self-rising flour and water to a certain consistency and fry it in some fat. Being the country folks that my parents are, there was almost always bacon or sausage grease to fry it in, which infused it with a subtle flavor beyond the butter I’d always add. Sounds healthy, right?
Healthy or not, it was a favorite for breakfast. Now that I cook for myself (and occasionally others), I sometimes make it when I feel it fits the tone of the meal (sans bacon grease, and in a non-stick skillet so I don’t have to use excess amounts of oil). I also make it when I’m in need of comfort food.

Oh, and fried potatoes. Don’t get me started on my love for super-thinly sliced potatoes fried in Crisco. No lie, it’s enough to make health nuts everywhere cringe – and I’m perfectly okay with that.

Any favorite comfort foods out there I should try? Feel free to share!


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