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Comfort Food

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There are days when everything just seems to suck. Days when Heidegger can't seem to stay off the phone, days when the paperwork appears to be rising up to swallow everything. Days when, even though everyone is still alive, and ends the day with the same number of limbs they started it with, everything else which could go wrong has gone wrong.

On days like that, Nesa issues dinner invitations. Usually to her place, although she has invaded various SOLDIER's apartments in the barracks on occasion. The menu is simple - comfort food of various types, and once she knows what works for you, it's usually what she'll serve. The various preferences say a lot about the various SOLDIERs, in her opinion.

General Sephiroth is fondest of custard, although he'll never actually admit it to anyone. Nesa's pretty sure this is to do with loving the milky, warm sweetness of it, the dim memories of being held and fed, a substitute for the nurturing he didn't really receive as a child. Zack tends to prefer the spicy Gongagan curries - the hotter, the better - he loves the adrenalin rush, the memories of home it brings back, and the endorphin shock it carries with it. Angeal had a preference for moussaka, particularly the version with eggplant slices; although Nesa never quite managed to make it the way his mother used to, she did the next best thing. Genesis' favourite was surprising, until one realised the context for it: he preferred the very simple meat and potato stew which was common around Kalm. It wasn't something he got at home - but it was something he frequently got from Angeal's mother. Both Genesis and Angeal would eat any dessert with apples in it, and ask for seconds and even thirds.

If she wound up cooking for the generals, dessert was always more important than dinner - apple crumble with custard, in large quantities.

Lazard loved the rich and hearty fish and seafood dishes from Junon, as well as the peasant cooking of those areas. Kunsel, who turned out to be from around the area now known as Rocket Town, was a fan of barbecued meats and gravy. The boys from the Midgar region were generally easy enough to serve - stew or soup with barley and lots of vegetables. Del Sol types were equally easy - spaghetti with meat sauce, and lots of it (or the meat sauce and pasta bake which was the equivalent of the Banoran moussaka). Nesa had even had Tseng teach her a couple of regular favourite comfort dishes from the Wutaian cultures (mostly dumplings, served with or without a thin soup base) for the few Wutaian recruits who made it into the corps (and she'd serve them to the head of the Turks on the few occasions she'd invited him over for a meal). Her second-cousin Rudolphus (known to everyone else as Rude) she served their mutual great-grandmother's prized fruit cake, rich, moist and full of spirits, along with slices of sharp, matured cheese. Cissnei was another who loved custard, although she preferred hers over apricot crumble - one of her few happy memories of the orphanage where she was raised was of the large apricot tree next door. Reno would eat anything, but loved pasta with creamy sauces most of all - his overly-hyped metabolism craved the carbohydrates.

For herself, Nesa makes macaroni cheese, with all the trimmings - bacon, two types of onion (a green onion mixed in with the pasta, and a brown onion cooked up with the sauce), two types of cheese (standard Kalm tasty cheese, and a good solid helping of the hard, aromatic sheep's milk cheese from the Del Sol region), and seeded mustard, all baked up with a topping of breadcrumbs and more cheese. It reminded her of home, of feeding her father and brothers while Mama had been off doing that ethnographic survey of Wutai. It has to be eaten in company, though, which is why she'll inevitably invite along anyone else in range to dinner on the days she's cooking it up.