As we transition from hot summer days and weekends full of cookouts and street festivals, morning show cooking segments begin to evolve as well. The grills are put away and television countertops are filled with crock pots and casserole dishes. Gone are the hot new recipes for grilled caesar salad (yeah) and in its stead are recipes for comfort foods.
While I love the occasional chocolate bar plank during that time of the month, I’m not big on finding comfort in food. I do find comfort in drinks. Wait. This is not a confessional. I like the sporadic glass of wine or watermelon martini but those moments are few and far between and usually end with one…usually. I actually find comfort in tea. That is not a typo. I like tea. I collect teas. Blueberry pomegranate white tea, ginger infused green tea, and chamomile and honey tea-you get the point. I get so wrapped in the names and aromas that I purchase them all and there they sit, in my kitchen cupboards waiting to be steeped in hot water.
The truth is, they will never meet the mug.
I only actually drink four types of tea.
1-Old-fashioned sweet tea (on a Sunday afternoon as compliment to some fried chicken, collard greens and macaroni and cheese)
2-Hot tea and Halls (when I have a cold I like to place a honey lemon cough drop and tea bag in a cup of water and microwave for 3 minutes-it works wonders)
3-Hot tea latte (made at home with milk and sugar)
4-Chai tea (my favorite coffee shop treat)
These are my comfort drinks.
It was while enjoying one of these that I realized I lost myself. Actually, I lost my phone. This isn’t an ode to the blackberry, I lost myself in my phone. Okay, I’ve confused myself and you’re ready to stop reading. About a year ago, I decided to find me, to understand me, to rediscover me, to clear the disillusions based on experience and oppression and find my true, authentic and genuine essence (you have to say the last one with escalating excitement and raise your arm into an Angela Davis position). I started making notations under the notepad on my phone every time I had a new epiphany.
I have an overactive limbic system.
I hold my breath during swimming scenes on television.
I like orange roses.
This list had grown to about fifty entries when I realized that upon getting a new phone, the notations had not transferred over. I am lost. I have no idea who I am. I try writing down as many as I can remember, after all I read the list almost daily, but my efforts are unsuccessful. I can only remember fourteen. I call the store where I turned in the phone whose Q, N,R, H and 4 keys stopped functioning. The sarcasm in the woman’s voice told me I would be lost forever.
That night I craved a cup of tea. I craved comfort. When I got to the bottom of that cup I still needed comforting, I had an epiphany. It’s not the tea that comforts me but the company that accompanies the tea: my family sharing a laugh over Sunday dinner, my father and his herbal supplements, my mother and her perfect combination of cream and sweetener, sharing a moment with a friend in a quaint little café. I’m starting a new list. I’m using pen and paper.
I like tea.
I waste money.