I love fried eggs and rice. Two eggs over hard with a bit of accessory crunch, white rice and on occasion, depending on how the rice was made (moist or dry) a small sliver of butter melting on top.
It is my most favorite comfort food passed down to me by my father, who would make it for me when my mom was out for the day working or with friends.
I honestly don’t know if this dish would be something I loved so much if it hadn’t been for the fact that it was something that my father and I shared . But food can be that way, no? – A link to memories and meaning that stay with us forever.
I go through periods when I eat this a lot and then don’t for months on end. Here in Bali, it’s a nice go-to dish when I’m eating at a Balinese/Indonesian restaurant whose dishes predominantly have soy sauce as an ingredient. ( I can’t eat regular soy sauce because of my high gluten intolerance)
Trust me… I don’t feel as if I’m missing out. In fact, having fried eggs and rice for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, depending on the day, has been a treat.
The other thing I’ve noticed is that I feel good and in my body when I eat this dish. Always perfectly satisfied when I’m done, never over stuffed, never sluggish in digestion and always content with the pleasure I received in every bite.
I like this. It feels like affirmation that this is a dish that nourishes me physically as well as spiritually. These sensations also lend a sense of relief that I can always find something to eat here, when at times it can be challenging to find food that serves my body’s needs.
My Father Is With Me
What is odd and sweet and surprising about these last few weeks of eating my beloved fried eggs and rice is that it has woven memories and sensations associated with my father with my time here in Bali.
My father died over 20 years ago. And for any of you who have lost someone close and dear, which… no doubt most if not all of you have, you know that sense I speak of. That impossible to name familiarity with a moment or a scent or an activity that seems to be laced with the presence of your loved one, as if you had either done all of this with them before, or they are sitting on your shoulder experiencing it with you.
I’m having that here in Bali with my father. All because of this dish.
The comfort and warmth and secret of this dish between us is here with me in Indonesia, a country he certainly never visited or has anything to do with him or the life he lead. But he’s here. With me. Our heads together, eating fried eggs and rice alone, and sharing the joy of something so simple and nourishing.
Comfort Through Food
I have always considered comfort food to be heavy, weighing us down a bit like a thick soft blanket. It helps us feel fed, full, contained in a manner that is safe, especially during cold weather. I wonder now if it’s also comforting in the way it can link us to the past, or to memories that anchor deeper into those things that in our life have nourished our souls; bridges to the lovely pasts of our makings.
In this way, comfort food isn’t synonymous with unhealthy or fattening or whatever else the media is trending or blathering on about. Perhaps it’s comforting because it feeds us through the connections we have in our life, linking us back to them in a palpable sensorial way.
I like that. It deepens the dish for me. And beautifully, it deepens this time spent in Bali in an utterly unexpected and unique to me manner.
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