An Addiction Admitted

Everyone keeps their own guilty pleasure comfort food in their kitchen for times of need. My mom keeps licorice, just in reach, just in case. One friend never leaves the grocery without restocking her supply of roasted nuts. Another always has at least five kinds of cookies in her cupboard for emergency situations. A guy I knew in University had two packages of processed cheese in the fridge and white bread in the cupboard for grilled cheese, day or night. Everyone has needs.

My guilty pleasures range far and wide from gumdrops and Swedish berries to, fresh rye bread with salty peanut butter on top. I love good chocolates and warm-from-the-oven brownies, but don’t eat them often (probably a good thing); they’re reserved for extreme turmoil only, a few times a year.

The biggest guilty pleasure I have however is something many people turn their noses up at when I mention it. Even Leith hasn’t learned to like it and can’t quite comprehend why I would eat such I thing – surreptitiously or not.

Canned Creamed Corn.

Yes, you read correctly – I am a creamed corn addict. My name is Jennifer and it’s been probably about 30 years now that I have loved the sweet, golden, glutinous mess that comes out of a can with a tall, handsome, green man on the front. I only eat it maybe twice a year and it has to be when no one is home.

I open the can, smelling the sweet corn scent waft up. Plop it into a small pan on the stove, heat it through and slop it into a bowl for one, adding some chopped chives and freshly ground pepper – maybe a splash of hot sauce. It’s usually on a night when all I want to do is prop my feet up on the ottoman and watch some crappy television, drowning my sorrows in creamed corn.

Finally the other day I thought of a way to use my guilty pleasure as an ingredient rather than the main dish. Folding a can of it into some really delicious chick pea chili made me feel much less guilty about eating it. It lent a slightly sweet, delicate flavour that went really well with the chunks of sweet potato and sweet red pepper. It was a different tasting chili but one I would definitely make again, it was delicious, and warmed me all the way down to my toes.