Just Like Evil Large Corporation Used To Make

While in the course of every adult’s life, whether male or female, there inevitably comes a time when you simply think to yourself, “I want my mommy.”

As we’ve become a mobile society, moving around to where opportunity is best, we often find ourselves in a geographical location far removed from mommy. Or for some unfortunate few, mommy has passed along and so there is no mommy to be had.

So in the absence of mommy, we must turn to the food that mommy used to make to help us feel comfort. By eating something familiar, there is a molecular “there, there” and a pet on the fevered head to make it all seem not so bad.

For many of us raised through the seventies, “food like mom used to make” may not have been the fabulous made from scratch homemade stuff of the Pleasantville moms of the fifties.

No, our moms had jobs and so they put on a blouse with the floppy bow at the neck and went to work to earn not only a paycheck but self respect.

And so our moms served us food no less comforting but bit more pre-processed.

As adults we find ourselves craving “mom’s” food that comes from a conglomeration like, say, KRAFT.

Which is not to say that KRAFT equals mom, but sometimes something that KRAFT makes does equal comfort.

I fell into such a KRAFT hole recently when I found myself lost and confused. I became overworked and overtired, low on a variety of essential nutrients and, most concerning, rather dehydrated. I found, in that moment, that all I wanted, needed, craved like the dickens was cheese slices. Good old-fashioned KRAFT cheese food that is neither cheese nor food, and wrapped in thin pieces of plastic.

This is frankenfood, to be sure. But damn it…KRAFT cheese slices make a darn nice grilled cheese sammich. Those fake orange plastic slices melt so nice under the heat of my toaster oven. Pair this with tomato soup and I feel, for a moment, mom’s hug and everything is just simply going to be all right.

Like Pavlov’s dog, I salivate at the sound of the crinkling wrapper, ready to take the first one out of the covering and shove the perfect square whole and intact into my waiting maw. While the toaster oven warms up, another slice goes down the hatch and my comfort-o-meter begins to register that something good is happening.

I feel a moment’s regret. A slight remorse. What IS this crap I’m eating? Then the plastic wrapper rustles again and I’m loading slices up on bread in gleeful anticipation.

My dearest mom would likely shake her head to think that I could possibly equate this crap food with her comfort. It’s a complicated association, and one I’m not proud of. But there is no denying the simple addictive magic of the sugar/fat/salt combination of ingredients that KRAFT loves to peddle to us unsuspecting rubes.

Look, the only KRAFT item I love more than American cheese slices is a nice big brick of Velveeta. Oh yes. Oh so very yes.

There’s a sucker born every minute and I’m standing in that line.

Even Gourmet Magazine understands.

Photo from user name Lazarus-long, used under a Creative Commons license, and found on Wikipedia.

Today’s Theme Thursday is: brick. See how I slipped that one in there? I’m a sly dog.

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  • Reflections

    Gotta love that comfort food. And yes… cheese definitely falls into that category for me too. Just pass the brick, I brought my own cheese knife, hope you don’t mind. smiles.

    • Karen Fayeth

      Reflections – Would you like a cracker with that? Or do you take yours plain? Cheers! Happy to share my cheese brick with you. :)

  • annell livingston

    I loved your write! And now I live in New Mexico. Beautiful pic!

  • Ephraim F. Moya


    Here’s another recipe from Minnesota (Where Kraft is king — why are you dissing them?)

    Pea and cheese salad:

    16 oz bag frozen peas, 1/2 lb Velveeta, 1/2 cup Miracle Whip, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon milk. Thaw the peas, cut the Velveeta in 3/8 to 1/2 inch cubes, put them both in a bowl. Make the dressing by mixing the Miracle Whip, sugar and milk till smooth. Mix the whole thing together. Let stand in the fridge at least two hours.

    Funny you’re writing about American cheese. Just last week Mary bought some cheese slices and Velveeta and we’ve been OD’ing on Minnesota recipes since.

    El Joyero

    • Karen Fayeth

      Viejo – I know, I know…for as much as I adore KRAFT products, you think I’d be nicer!

      That cheesy pea recipe sounds gooooooood. Nice and cold on a hot day. And cheesy!

  • becca givens

    I must confess — nothing makes a better grilled cheese sammich or omelet than Velveeta … the only time I would use it!

  • Andy Lang

    Oh geez Karen. I love your blog. You’re hilarious!

    • Karen Fayeth

      Andy – You are clearly a discerning man with a high sense of class. And you like cheese. All of that recommends you well!

      Thanks!! :)

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