It’s no secret that I enjoy a good meal. Some days when I’m really sick, a good meal is all I have to look forward to. I’ve always maintained that since eating is the one area of my life that’s not painful, I should be able to enjoy it.
That said, hospital cafeterias aren’t known for their quality cuisine. The hospital cafeteria at UAB Main is definitely not “Your Way, Right Away,” as the slogan goes.
When you’re really ill, you’re a bit pickier about what you feel like eating. I sure didn’t want a mystery meat patty with gravy and unsalted rice (even if the menu said it was supposed to be Salisbury steak). I didn’t even want the red Jello. I only liked the lime Jello, which they served only once in awhile.
I was underweight as a result of my condition when I was young (funny to think about now, let me tell you) and so my doctors told my mother that it was okay for me to have whatever I would eat. So when I told her I what I wanted, I didn’t really have any idea of how much trouble it was for mom to get it for me.
I remember my mother going to Burger King and McDonald’s on a daily basis. In the morning she walked to McDonald’s for a bacon biscuit for breakfast. It was my favorite. It sure beat the cereal breakfast that they served at the hospital. For lunch or dinner, she walked to Burger King. I wanted a hamburger with no ketchup, small fries, and a Dr. Pepper. I liked Burger King’s hamburgers lots better than the ones from McDonald’s but nobody could beat the McDonald at breakfast.
To give you something of an idea about how far it was, Husband looked on Google maps. It’s about four blocks from the hospital to the Burger King, which is a quarter of a mile one way. So a round trip there and back again would be a half a mile.
My mother loved me so much she would walk half a mile on a daily basis just to get me my favorite foods. It should come as no surprise then, that these foods are still my favorite.
They have a lot of love behind them in my memories and that is the definition of comfort food.