by Dana Lewis from Going Organic Can Kill You, the first in the Blossom Valley Mystery series by Staci McLaughlin
“Is that a chocolate pudding pie?” I asked Zennia as I ogled the creamy brown concoction resting on the kitchen counter and tried not to openly drool. Would she notice if I dipped one itty bitty finger in it?
Zennia rolled up the sleeves of her tie-dyed blouse as she prepared to wash the lunch dishes. “Yes, I found a wonderful silken-tofu pie recipe. Guests will love it.”
Oh, no! Not more tofu! When I’d taken this marketing position at the O’Connell Organic Farm and Spa, I hadn’t realized that part of the job would include avoiding Zennia’s wacky creations. Between taste testing the tofu fish sticks, black pepper cookies, and fermented soy beans, sometimes I was afraid to even step foot in the kitchen. I knew this was supposed to be a healthy place, but couldn’t she make macaroni and cheese just once? I’d even let her use organic cheese, pasta, and butter. Guests would gobble it up.
“Dana, did you want to try a bite?”
“What?” I glanced up to find Zennia watching me. While I’d been musing about how scary I found her food, she’d been offering me a nibble. “I’ll pass for now. I’m still full from lunch.” Full from my delicious cheeseburger, the kind where the cheese melts down the sides of the piping hot meat, fresh from the grill. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to wholesome eating. Just not all the time. Between Zennia’s meals and the dinners my mom prepared, I was surrounded by healthy food. Now, if I wanted something fatty and scrumptious, I had to drive to the nearest fast food restaurant on my lunch hour.
It wasn’t always like this. Back when my dad was still alive, we spent plenty of Sunday dinners digging into fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy or beef chili with piles of shredded cheddar on top and buttery cornbread on the side. But after Dad died of a heart attack, Mom insisted we start eating better. Now we have broiled chicken and brown rice at least three times a week. Sometimes it’s all I can do not to start clucking. I think what I need is a big bowl of ice cream…with whipped cream and hot fudge. Yes, that should fix everything, just as soon as I can get away from this tofu pie.
What’s your favorite comfort food?