Without going into too much detail that isn’t mine to share, let me just say that it’s been a rough week in our family. No worries, Craig, Baby J and myself (plus Puppyface and Kittyface) are all fine, but we have some loved ones who are going through some really rough times, and it’s just been a difficult week all around. In fact, Craig just got back yesterday from an emergency trip up to Canada. I’m so glad he was able to step away from home and get up there when his family needed him, but, selfishly, I am so glad he is back. Being nine months pregnant and having your husband in another country is not the most pleasant thing, but he was needed much more up north than I needed him at home.
We’re all doing a lot of healing over the events of this past week, and, as much as the diet books and talk show hosts will try to tell you otherwise, I actually think finding comfort in food isn’t a bad thing. The fact of the matter is, food is inherently comforting. Just physiologically, the senses that go along with eating something pleasant (taste, smell, even feel) can help bring up your serotonin levels and help you feel happier. Food can literally make you feel better. And I’m not above exploiting that fact when some comforting needs to be done.
Quite honestly, I don’t want to live in a world where my food isn’t tied up with my emotions—the emotions are what make food so incredible to me.
These simple peanut butter cookies are pretty much the epitome of sweet comfort food for me (see my Shrimp and Grits for One for my savory comfort food pick). There isn’t any one particular moment that made them into a comfort food, but a collection of happy memories. When Mama and I would get the hankering to bake something, we’d whip up these peanut butter cookies.
Why these cookies? Well, we always had the ingredients to make them on hand, and when you live far out in the middle of nowhere, you aren’t going to run to the store just to grab some specialty ingredients because you’re in the mood to bake. So peanut butter cookies became our go-to cookie recipe. The peanut butter cookie page in Mama’s Better Homes & Gardens cookbook became so worn out and stained that it eventually just fell out of the cookbook—which was okay, because we had the recipe pretty much memorized anyway.
I’m not much of a baker, but I would say there is something incredibly therapeutic about firing up the oven, mixing together some good ole butter and sugar with a wooden spoon, and popping a sheet of cookies in to bake. A lot of life’s problems can be solved with a batch of homemade cookies. And the ones that can’t, well, at least the ritual of baking can take your mind to another place for a while, which is sometimes all you can do.