Monday, November 29, 2010


What does the word comfort mean to you? It means something different to everyone. For some it is their favorite book. For some it may mean food. Yet for others it may be a hug from a loved one.

Dad, me, my sister and brother-they have ice cream

For me, it is several things.

It is pulling into my driveway after a long day and knowing Tofu will be waiting on the steps for me.

It is pulling on a pair of fleece pants and a sweatshirt and pouring a glass of wine.

It is remembering the good parts of my childhood.

My Mom and my brother

My family isn't conventional by any definition put forth by Webster. My family may seem to go against any family you saw on TV growing up. My family is what makes me, me.

My Dad and my brother
I have two sisters and one brother. None of us share the same father, but all share the same mother. My siblings all favor their fathers, and I favor my mother. At least the parts that everyone sees.

Me and my Dad circa 1977
From my Dad I have long, thin fingers, long legs and slightly bulged eyes. I do not have his voice, his wavy hair or his ability to answer Jeopardy questions.
My parents divorced when I was 14. It was all for the better. But there were times when it was all good. While it may be strange to you, for me all of those good times revolved around our annual summer vacation to Cross Lake Minnesota. We went every summer to the Corp of Engineers campground. We would leave at 4 AM and arrive around 8 AM to wait in line for a spot. Back in those days these types of campgrounds would not take reservations. We would park the camper and boat in line and wait until a spot opened up. And Dad was picky. There were only a handful of sites he wanted. Sites 19 through 22. These sites were right by the beach and the boat launch. We could watch the sunsets and the people parade by our site.
We lived like kings for that week we were there. We cooked huge breakfasts in a skillet that is about 24 inches across. I still have the skillet. We would eat pizza one night at the local joint. We would fish all day and they would eat crappies and sunnies and walleyes. I would eat peanut butter and jelly or Spaghettios. We would make Pouchie Pies and S'mores and sing old country songs by the campfire. We would play game after game of cribbage.

Beer Bread
1/4 cup sugar
2-2/3 cup self rising flour
1 12 ounce can room temperature beer (I used Guinness)
Stir sugar and flour together. Stir in beer. It will be foamy. Stir to incorporate dry ingredients into beer, but do not over beat. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 375 degrees F for 50 to 55 minutes.
Enjoy the comfort of some wonderful bread.

I will show you what I did with the rest of the large bottle of Guinness later this week!


Debbie said...

Thanks for sharing your memories. I think all of our families are "unique." The beer bread looks delicious. Sounds so easy and yet I have never made it!!

Robin Sue said...

Great stories! But what on earth is a pouchie pie? This bread recipe looks easy, will have to try and yes we need to know what you did with the rest of that beer!

Pam said...

Great post and fun family photos. Some of my favorite childhood memories are from our camping adventures too. My husband would dig the beer bread.

Hungry Dog said...

Love this post--and the pictures are wonderful! SOunds like you had a fabulous childhood, conventional or not. :)

Alea said...

I didn't have a conventional childhood either. Just yesterday I was a little groggy from cold medicne and asked my husband and kids, "what is Greg's last name?" My dh asked which Greg and I said, my brother which made my kids laugh.

I never knew beer bread was so easy!

grace said...

what a sweet post! i find comfort in both food and family, so a combination of the two is unbeatable. :)

Monica H said...

I just love your family stories and photos. They are comforting, aren't they? Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving tami!

Shelby said...

You brought back my camping memories parents would take us almost every weekend and it was something I loved to do. Still love it, but nobody else cares to go :(

Oh, and what brings you mentioning tofu? Same here for my Rotten Rudy. He is so affectionate to me that it is really calming!

The Honey Nut said...

Ohh this is such a simple recipe but the bread looks so tasty!!