Sunday, February 24, 2008

Comfort Food

A few days ago we had a discussion about comfort foods in the lunch room at work. For most people, it seems, comfort foods are reminiscent of childhood. It might be something their mother or grandmother cooked, or something they remember eating in a special place, or on special occasions.

So, that got me to thinking about my comfort foods, the foods I turn to when I'm a little down, or tired, or it is mid-February and gray, or when I just want to feel warm and cozy.

I think my ultimate comfort food is macaroni and cheese. Not the gross orange kind that comes in a box. But homemade, multiple pots and lots of dishes, mommy-style mac and cheese with a butter crumb crust. There is something about the texture, the flavour, the smell, everything that just makes you feel safe, and warm, and comfortable.

For some reason I like my macaroni and cheese with salad that has French dressing on it. I can't stand French dressing on ordinary occasions, the bright orangeness, and the overly strong flavour that masks the taste of the veggies is not for me. But with homemade macaroni and cheese it is the complementary and completing taste sensation that makes the meal complete.

Other much-loved comfort foods include meatloaf with baked potatoes, homemade chicken soup with indeterminate vegetables and rice or barley, the yellow chicken noodle soup from a packet by Lipton's, and herb floured chicken in the frying pan.

Another of my absolute favourite safety meals is roast chicken, with bread dressing, roasted with potatoes, carrots, and onions in the pan so that they pick up some of the juices and the flavours.

Recipe for the dressing:
  • Tear up enough slightly stale bread to fill the inside of the bird
  • In a frying pan or shallow sauce pan, melt some butter and put in at least two full onions chopped small, and some chopped celery if you have it.
  • When the onions are yellow and soft pour them over the bread in a mixing bowl.
  • Add poultry seasoning or sage until you think you've added too much, and some pepper and salt.
  • mix it all up with your hands, and stuff the bird.
  • If you made too much, wrap the extra in tin foil with a little more butter and put in the over about half and hour to 45 minutes before the roast will come out.
So good. So easy.

I'm making myself feel hungry just typing all of this, which is odd as what brought it on was eating today's lunch. Funny how the mind works.

Which brings me to the impetus for the post. Which was today's lunch. I don't often have soup from a can, as it is full of sodium. But I have a very soft spot for Campbell's Cream of Mushroom. I had a can on hand, and today, being a Sunday, and the perfect day for soup and saltines for lunch, I went for it. Luckily they have a lower sodium option now, which tastes just as good. So today I enjoyed that lovely, rich, creamy, oddly gray yumminess which is Campbell's Cream of Mushroom. Now I have the warm fuzzies, and am oh so comfortable, and ready to get back to the business of tidying, repotting some plants, laundry, dishes, and a little bit of my lovely, lovely homework.


Canadian Economist said...

Most people don't consider daily consumption goods as their comfort foods, but I think (above everything else) coffee is it for me. It is warm, strong, and adds a kick. I use it to relax and to focus. I love it. Free Trade Ethiopian or something with Baileys.

MadJenny said...

Coffee is most definitely a good comfort food. I also find a nice cup of Twinnings Earl Grey really soothing. Good point with the beverageable comfort CE!