Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

A Hug You Can Eat


Moira of Who Wants Seconds? is having a contest; the mission? Write about your favorite comfort food.

I love Moira's blog (I recently made bagels using her recipe...yum), and knew I wanted in on this.

I've spent the past few weeks thinking: what do I consider 'comfort food'?

Sure, I live for mashed potatoes. But are they 'comfort'?

My Grammy's Irish stew gives me warm, fuzzy feelings, but again; does that really count?

I couldn't sleep, what with the constant, nagging question...

Then just today, I realized what my favorite comfort food was: Sludge.

"Sludge?", you ask. "What on earth is that?"

Sludge, while neither glamorous in name or appearance, is a lovely mixture of peanut butter, chocolate syrup, powdered sugar and milk; think a smooth peanut butter meltaway filling.

Sludge is a concoction I created way back in grade school. While I've yet to meet anyone who's had a Norman Rockwell childhood, mine was particularly rough. I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say I'm still working on my relationships with my parents.

There was constant tension, fighting, and hurt. I was miserable. And when you're a kid, there's really no place you can go to get away, is there?

Fortunately, my parents would often leave the house in the evenings, just to go for a ride in the car. I'd beg to be left behind (about the only thing worse then the stress of being home with them was being stuck in a car with them for an hour or two...), and they often gave in.

I simply wanted some alone time, some...peace. It really didn't matter what I did while they were gone; it was just nice to be by myself.

And because my Mom has been on a diet (of some kind) since I was three, we never had anything 'good' to eat!
Sure, she's since found her calling as a baker, and opened her own business and is attending culinary school...but that doesn't help me now.

So, when the craving for something yummy would hit, I'd search the cupboards for anything I could work with.

And then I hit it: Sludge.

I don't know what exactly it was about Sludge that made me feel better, but it did. I'd whip up a batch, thinking I'd eat the Whole Thing, but would fill up so quickly that I'd end up with 3/4 of the stuff left. Despite the warning not to feed chocolate to dogs, my childhood pup, Buster, usually cleaned up the bowl.

And yes, I'm well aware that even as early as ten, I was using food as a substitute for comfort. I know, I know...

I don't make Slugde too often these days. I'm pretty happy with my life; I have a husband who adores me, a son who makes my world a sunnier place, a beautiful home, and snuggly dogs. But those rare moments when I want a hug on a spoon, Sludge is the answer.

Sludge doesn't have a recipe, per se; more of a set batch of ingredients:

All you do is mix them together until you get the flavor and consistency you want.


6 Thoughts for food:

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Dawn Falcone said...

Sludge sounds yummy! You were quite a creative kid to mix all those ingredients together & have it taste good,too.

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie,

You certainly were a clever little kid to come up with this! I would have eaten Hershey's syrup by the spoonful if I had the chance, but it never would have occurred to me to make Sludge- though I know I would have loved it.

Thank you so much for entering the contest; make sure to check back in the next day or so for the round-up and next week for the results!


At 6:50 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks Dawn...I was going for something like the filling of a Gardner's Candies Peanut Butter Meltaway (they're based in my home state of PA). There was some trial and error involved...too much milk? Sweet, peanut butter soup! Not so tasty.

Moira; it's never too late! Perfect answer to that Time-o-the-Month craving!

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Cate said...

Hey there - love your blog and have been following it religiously (and added a link for you on my own blog). Sludge sounds like it would be an appropriate name for a similar concoction I made while growing up ... a mixture of confectioner's sugar and water until it reached just the right consistency. Yum!

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Gee, Sweetnicks; I'm blushing! Thanks for the compliments...always good to hear; especially when there are so many people out there who's only reason for existing is (apparently) to go 'round and put others down. I've since added your blog to my links...and actually, this blog's name is Dispensing Happiness, but I can understand the confusion.

At 2:05 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

Sounds kind of ghetto :-) but good enough that I'd want to try it.


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