Comfort Eating Through a Period of Melancholy

Comfort eating and melancholy


Comfort eating is both good and bad. It’s good because it brings momentary happiness and joy, but it is short lived. Comfort eating is often associated with foods that are not generally regarded as healthful either.

Why am I melancholy?

I’m currently feeling a little melancholy. You see, my favourite football team was defeated last night by a team I love to hate. The opposition ended up to be a far superior side in every respect and my team was soundly defeated. Last night was the first game in a series of three, unfortunately, the statistics do not favour us winning the series with the game 1 winner winning the series seventy per cent of the time.

For the last thirty-seven years, this time of year has been a roller coaster. While my team has had its periods of dominance, there have been some very lean years too. I fear we are beginning a period of solemn reflection which might extend for a few years based on the opposition team’s dominance and their players who are at their peak. For my team, there are some older players who are legends, but it may be time to regroup and think of the future. I’d hate to see these stars end their representative days on a low, better to go now and let younger players build their reputations and return our side to the dominance it often enjoys.

State of Origin on Yummy Lummy

Regular readers, especially readers who also follow me on Yummy Lummy, know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re new and especially if you’re not from Queensland, the Northern Territory of Australia, or New South Wales you may still be struggling to have any idea of what I’m on about. QLD, NT and NSW are the dominant jurisdictions across the globe in the sport of kings, the greatest game of all, that is, Rugby League. Not to be confused with Rugby Union (aka Rugby), Rugby League grew out of Rugby in the North of England and it’s found a solid home in the best parts of Australia, viz., Queensland, the Northern Territory of Australia, and New South Wales.

An older post from the old Yummy Lummy blog which provides some valuable context especially on the origin of the affectionate names Cane Toad and Cockroach. Go to the bottom of the post and read about Barry Muir.

State of Origin posts from Yummy Lummy

If you read a few related posts in Yummy Lummy you’ll come across terms like cane toad, cockroach, XXXX and VB. I’ve added a glossary to this post to help readers who are naïve to things the State of Origin.

A quiet start

So last night was unusual. The lead up to the game had been quiet compared with previous years. Over the last decade or so, the NSW team, especially its captain have had a habit of talking big about defeating Queensland. This year, with a change in captain, it has been quiet, I expect deliberately so. There was no extra motivation, no geeing up, no trash talking. New South Wales, also fielded a superior side consisting of some bright new talent along with some older wiser heads. This year, Queensland went in as underdogs, a status, Queenslanders oddly enjoy, especially when they are quietly confident, however, last night, underdog status was very genuine. Even FOGs (Former Origin Greats) from Queensland weren’t speaking with confidence.

An entertainment rant

I need to get something off my chest. Bloody channel nine needs to stop thinking about money and thinking about the ethical, moral and general well being of children. The game starts too late at 2015 AEST. It may be prime time for middle aged men with gambling habits but it’s too late for children who have school the next day. We don’t need a musical interlude with musicians who screech and whose music is too loud, that’s just a waste of time. We also don’t need people singing the national anthem so you can make money advertising the musical they’re currently appearing in. More often than not those clowns butcher the anthem with their wailing anyway. Get a bunch of school kids who love rugby league and a school band and let them sing the national anthem. For good measure, make sure they get to watch the game for free in good seats too. I don’t give a flying fig about some singer in a show that’s playing in some theatre. Can you imagine the joy you could bring to people by having enthusiastic kids playing music and singing the anthem? No, you can only imagine $$$.

Next year can you replace Ray Warren and Phil Gould. I’m sick of the both of them. save some money and get Ben Ikin to do it. He’s better than both of them combined.

Finally channel nine for the sanity of all, get rid of the gambling advertising. It’s pure evil. If people want to bet they will. Your advertising encourages problem gambling.

The game

In the end, it was one of the most exciting games of rugby league ever. The first half was frenetic. The completion rates were the best ever. There was no let up in play. You could see just how tired these superbly fit athletes were getting as they sucked in air. The second half was a nightmare. The usually wall-like defence of Queensland became porous. The men from NSW were clearly better prepared, fitter and hungrier for victory.

While I feel melancholy, I hope the players and coaching staff and administrators in the XXXX Queensland Maroons don’t enter a mental slump. I hope they regroup and use the defeat as motivation to square up the series.

Dear reader, I hope you can appreciate now why I’m comfort eating. Comfort eating feels good now, but I know my trousers will feel tighter tomorrow.

Comfort food

In the lead up to last night’s game, I enjoyed a substantial lunch at a Turkish Pide Restaurant close to where I work. It was a workplace function to farewell a retiring colleague. I have worked with her for about twenty-one years so I am glad I went.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Turkish restaurants, the servings are always very generous. I was the only bloke in a group of eight and I think I had the biggest appetite and the largest capacity. We ordered the “special banquet” which included breads, dips, zucchini puffs, lamb kebabs, grilled chicken breasts, salad and two Turkish pizzas. One of our party has Coeliac disease so there was extra food. I don’t like seeing food go to waste, especially in a restaurant, so I ate what I could. I would definitely call Turkish pide comfort food.

Game food [Recipe]

As I waddled back to work, I was thinking about dinner. Being a game night, I had already thought through what I would eat. The question in my mind which was now being influenced by negative feedback signals from my endocrine system was, should I? The immediate response was, “of course I should!”

I had already bought the cheerios, puff pastry, Coon cheese and potato gems.

Footy food to me means comfort food that is quick and convenient and which can be eaten with your hands without the need for sophisticated equipment like a knife or fork or spoon. Because the oven in the apartment I rent is broken I had to rely on a small benchtop oven/toaster. Not ideal, but it worked. On the baking tray, I had some baking paper. I cooked the Cheerios in water and then allowed them to cool. I wrapped them in a slice of Coon and then wrapped that in some puff pastry. I brushed the rolls over with egg wash. Next to the puff pastry Cheerio rolls, I spread some potato gems on the baking paper and sprinkled over some grated Coon cheese. I then put all that into the oven at 200 ˚C for 30 minutes. I shot a photograph and then stood up at the kitchen counter and ate it all with my hands. You can find the details here.

State of Origin Footy food cheerios wrapped in puff pastry with potato gems ready for the oven Queenslander Gary Lum
State of Origin Footy food cheerios wrapped in puff pastry with potato gems ready for the oven
State of Origin Footy food cheerios wrapped in puff pastry with potato gems Queenslander Gary Lum
State of Origin Footy food cheerios wrapped in puff pastry with potato gems

Post game food

Today for lunch I had leftover curried bacon and Strasburg sausage with rice. I made this last Saturday and had enough for one leftover meal.

Leftover bacon and Strasburg sausage curry rice Gary Lum
Leftover bacon and Strasburg sausage curry rice

Tonight, the comfort eating has extended to roasted chicken wings and cubes of roasted Strasburg sausage with some guacamole which isn’t really guacamole but just some smashed avocado and sour cream mixed with lemon juice and olive oil with some lemon zest. I stupidly ran out of limes which I love.

Chicken wings with Strasburg and cheese Gary Lum
Chicken wings with Strasburg and cheese
Chicken wings with Strasburg and cheese served with lemon avocado and sour cream Gary Lum
Chicken wings with Strasburg and cheese served with lemon avocado and sour cream

Shaking off the feels

So that’s enough for now. I need to shake off this melancholy and get back with it. There will be regular NRL fixtures this weekend to watch and game 2 in the State of Origin series is in three weeks time. Before then I have to pay a debt on a bet I made with friends at work. We now have a ‘tradition’ of betting on games with the winner getting a free chicken schnitzel lunch from a local club. It’s a bit of a win win really, because even though I pay for my friend’s lunch I also get to eat a schnitty and we chat about footy and other stuff.

Star Trek Tuesday

So not to be confused with my Sunday ritual of doing my ironing on a Sunday and watching an episode from a series of Star Trek, to help get me out of this melancholy, I’m going to think about this Tuesday. In the morning, one of my good friends swung by work and gave me a present. It’s a T-shirt with a Star Trek meme. Most people would not realise how often I actually do think about being at the helm, or being Captain, or being the First Officer, or being CMO of any of the starships named Enterprise in the Star Trek franchise. I often dream of being Archer, or Kirk, or Picard.

Star Trek T-Shirt from Rob Cameron Gary Lum
Star Trek T-Shirt from Rob Cameron

Later on Tuesday Jeri Ryan who played Seven of Nine in Star Trek Voyager, replied to a tweet from Sunday. Jeri was my favourite actor on Voyager.

What no one knows, is on that Tuesday I was wearing gold TOS command socks too (no photograph).


Cane toad

Queensland players and supporters


New South Wales players and supporters


The brand name for the iconic beer brewed in Queensland. When I was a young boy, I lived near the brewery and have fond memories of seeing the lights of the brewery at night light up the four Xs and the image of Mr XXXX. Unkind souls, claim we call it XXXX because Queenslanders cannot spell beer.


The brand name for the beer company that sponsors the NSW team. VB is Victoria Bitter. NSW can’t event be sponsored by a NSW brewery.


These are small Frankfurter sausages. A shorter version of a hot dog sausage. In south east Queensland, they are called cheerios. Everyone knows them as that. You’d be in the delicatessen and ask for a “kilo of cheerios” and you wouldn’t even have to point. The sales person would just know. There is never confusion with a breakfast cereal of the same name. In the unenlightened parts of Australia, they are known as cocktail franks or little boys. Why on earth would you want to attribute a boy’s penis to something you eat and enjoy with tomato (dead horse) or barbeque sauce? I think there is something a little unresolved going on in the minds of people who want to call them “little boys”. When I buy cheerios in Canberra, I have to go through the laborious task of pointing at what I want and explaining that in the enlightened parts of Australia (viz., Queensland) they are called Cheerios.


Now just to be very clear, Coon is a brand of cheese, it’s a tasty cheddar. It’s been called Coon for as long as I can remember and I’m an old curmudgeon. Check out the website

Potato gems

Lately, a lot of friends in the USA have kindly explained why the words “tater tot” are a perfect description for what we call potato gems. I’m not going to argue with my American friends. Their appreciation of comfort food in many ways is superior to our own. I mean, have you looked at how they do sandwiches and tacos!

Final words

How do you feel after your team has been defeated? How long do you feel melancholy? Do you care?

The mighty Queensland Maroons (pronounced marones) have been dominant over the last decade, this could be a watershed for them but in a bad way. It may take me a while to get over this.

13 Replies to “Comfort Eating Through a Period of Melancholy”

  1. Now I get what ‘Footy Food’ is. I was trying to see how one would eat your cheerios with their toes. I always end up drooling on the keyboard when I read your blogs. I also think of you EVERY time I mix up something in mum’s kitchen. Last night, baked salmon and tonight home made chicken noodle. With these fairly small Kris-palm sized cheesy garlic knot things I found to try. Which I am going to get more of! As for your question about teams. It really doesn’t matter. Now, books that end up a series after you read the first two…and the rest are not written yet…THIS annoys the heck out of me.

    1. Thanks Kris, maybe I should try to make something I can eat with my feet!
      You’re very kind, I just put stuff together and try to take nice photographs 😂
      I’ve just finished eating another comfort food meal 😃👍

    1. Thanks JM, it’s only a football game, but….
      No I haven’t seen “Hounds of Love”, I’ll have to look it up and see if it’s on our version of Netflix.

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