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I can find comfort in chocolate cake

Those in the know about such things say that most Americans gainanywhere from five to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’sDay. I’ll be lucky if I squeeze in under 10 this year.

But, I can’t blame it all on the holidays.

Not long after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, one of the cablechannels carried a series of shows on what they called “comfortfoods.” You know, stuff that always makes us feel good: pot roast,hamburgers, apple pie, chicken and dumplings, macaroni and cheese,and spaghetti and meatballs.

They didn’t come right out and say it, but the message I got was”if this were your last day on earth, would you want to spend iteating tofu, iceberg lettuce and rice cakes?”

Heck no.

So, I’ve been finding comfort at two of my favorite downtowneating places. Unfortunately for my waistline, rear end andcholesterol, my comfort foods have something in common: deepfrying.

Need some comfort? I recommend the fried chicken livers at theInez Restaurant. Add some carrots, mashed potatoes with gravy, andturnip greens. Chocolate cake is very comforting.

Of course, visiting with Don and Ricky and the staff, along withthe Inez regulars, is a good pick-me-up, too. I just wish I couldsee “Miss Sissy” more often, but she’s taking a well-deservedbreak.

I can also find comfort a little farther east down MonticelloStreet at Ms. Bea’s. Their fried chicken is almost (I saidalmost, Mama) as good as my mother’s. Add some cornbreaddressing, one of anything else they have, and some cobbler. Justwriting about it makes me feel better.

When I was in there last week, Miss Ann showed me a postcardthey received from another satisfied customer. This is how it wasaddressed:

“Bea’s Hommade Food Restaurant

(Right Behind Parking Lot of 1st Baptist Church in downtownBrookhaven)

Brookhaven, MS 39601 USA”

It was sent by Dr. John C. Guess and came all the way fromZurich, Switzerland, with an address that probably didn’t pleasethe post office. Dr. Guess says he’s “spreading the legend of yourgreat hommade cooking in Europe.”

I’m just spreading.

Since I still have the annual Laster family Christmas dinner –which is a literal smorgasbord of temptation — to contend with, Iknow I’ve got to cut back on some of my favorites.

So, I probably won’t be seeing my friends at the Inez or Ms.Bea’s quite as often. But, I will be seeing more of my friends atexercise.

My focus is switching from comfort food to comfort clothes.

Write to Nanette Laster at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS39602, or send email to news@dailyleader.com.