Friday, April 15, 2016

Comfort Food

Already I am hungry simply thinking about comfort food.  I wonder exactly what comfort food is.  For me that is redundant.  Food = Comfort.  Sweet, salty, greasy, broiled, boiled, fried, raw. But, technically, I guess, there is a category of food labeled as "comfort food."  

Comfort Food:  food which provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling to the consumer: food associated with the security of childhood.  That opens up a vast territory for me.  Simply smelling some things bring me fond memories from both sides of the family.

Frying bacon and sausage along with brewing coffee takes me to early mornings in Linville, Virginia at my great grandmother's house my father's grandmother.  I can close my eyes an be right there.
Summer mornings a traditional vacation.

Hot Lipton Tea with cream and sugar and a meal of Swiss steak, mashed potatoes, and stewed tomatoes takes me to the kitchen of my grandparents on my mother's side.  Mimmy's spice cake with lemon frosting is still my favorite.

I am not a very good cook but my specialties are the things from my past - my comfort food.

  • vegetable soup
  • chicken with rice soup
  • pot roast with carrots and potatoes (my mother's side)
  • pot roast with egg noodles (my dad's)
  • meat loaf with tomato sauce
  • ham and cabbage
  • turkey and dressing
This is my repertoire of recipes.  If you want dinner at my house these will be the "go to" choices.  To say I have a recipe is misleading.  I just know what to do and move on from there.  Bread and real butter goes with everything.  It will be white bread or brown and serve rolls.  A "treat" would be Italian bread or bakery rolls.

Comfort lunches are usually sandwiches on white bread.  My favorite school box lunch was a tuna salad sandwich no lettuce or tomato just the tuna and plenty of mayonnaise.  Egg salad is another good choice for school, but a snow day lunch would be grilled cheese with tomato soup.  That soup was a Campbell's special and to spruce it up, sometimes my mom would add cubes of cheddar cheese.  It was soooo gooey good.

What is comfort without some sweets?  My favorite cake is the spice cake with lemon frosting but yellow cake with dark chocolate frosting and a large glass of milk is a very close second.  My mother's fudge recipe is committed to memory.  Family members treasure gifts of that fudge.  Truly a family secret.  My aunt made the best chocolate chip cookies that I can not duplicate but mine are ok.  They will do in a pinch.

Finally, the one food everyone in my family wants and looks forward to is deviled eggs.  My father made the best.  Mine are hit or miss.  I can't always get the right vinegary zip.  My brother's come closest to my dad's.  The problem with making deviled eggs is that there is a lot of work for the finished product to be gone so soon.  They never last.  We fight over those eggs almost as hard as we fight over the crisp turkey skin but that Thanksgiving story is for another day.  Now I am uncomfortably hungry thinking about comfort food.

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