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Old 09-25-2006, 11:34 PM   #31
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Comfort food is something that satisfies both the hunger in your tummy and the hunger in your soul. It fills your empty belly and recharges your psyche. It takes you back to those good days when you first learned to love it, regardless of whether they are from a carefree childhood or good times with friends and family at any time in your life.

The older you get, the longer and more varied your comfort menu can become. I have new items added just this past summer from our (my DW an I) 3 week trip to Italy (Caffe Bigalo in Florence has a potato gnocchi with a green pesto and gorgonzola cheese sauce that I will learn to make if it takes me the next 20 years).

We were quite poor of cash when I was growing up in the 50's, but we had in the family a lake property in Wisconsin where most of my childhood summers were spent. The weeny roasts we had there with hotdogs cooked over an open fire and fire roasted marshmallow s'mores for dessert are maybe my earliest comfort food.

In between there are others, but those sort of serve as my comfort bookends...
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:21 PM   #32
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I agree there are different comfort foods for different needs.

From childhood I remember Campbells chicken noodle soup made with milk instead of water - with buttered saltines lightly toasted. On really bad days this last winter I ate a lot of that. Cream of wheat with sugar and lots of milk (loved that when I'd get home from school on really cold winter days. (For some reason that sounds really good right now!)

Macaroni and cheese with pot roast and green beans with onions, bacon, & mushrooms. Polenta, soft and creamy with or without anything on it. Cheese enchiladas, chiles rellenos, and refried beans. Steak with a glob of blue cheese on it or a bit of truffle butter.

I now it's not food, but a glass full of ice cubes with a double shot of Makers Mark is, some days, absolute comfort or a very dry Saphire martini, on the rocks. But that's a different kind of comfort.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:30 PM   #33
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Great topic. I always wondered what the heck it meant. I had plenty of comfort food last night which included two types of pizza and some brownies.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:52 PM   #34
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Harborwitch, you are the first one I have come across that also had a Mom that would add milk instead of water to Campbell's chicken noodle soup when we were sick!! When I was very young, my Mom used the Lipton's dry packets to make the soup and she would use half milk in that too. Soft boiled eggs with lots of butter and toast was another thing she would make when we were sick. Lots of hot tea too; with cinnamon toast. I remember these the most from my first and second grade years as I got hit with chicken pox (very bad!), measles, rubella and the mumps in less than a year. There are so many foods that I equate comfort with now, made chimi-changas yesterday as my youngest daughter just had to mention them in a phone conversation, lol.
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:09 PM   #35
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Everyone who sees me do that, including DH, thinks I'm out of my mind. It's nice to know that there's someone else out there that does the same thing.

It was funny, I'd forgotten about the toasted saltines until we had a box that had gone stale and without even thinking about it I buttered them lightly and popped them in the oven. At that moment it came back to me! Of course we were having them with chili but it was kind of a culinary "head rush".

Now I do crave spicy foods also when I'm feeling punky - I want something to zap my tastebuds. Hot and sour soup when I've got a bad bad cold is really great. Chinese penicillin!
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:47 PM   #36
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For me comfort food is something like ice cream, ice cream pies, or just something that I have gone without for a long time. It usually is sweet and has a lot of calories.
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:28 PM   #37
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Old 09-26-2006, 11:30 PM   #38
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My mom always made us macaroni and tomatoes for dinner and milk
toast for brkfst. Still do the mac and tomato, haven't had milk toast for
awhile...
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Old 09-27-2006, 07:52 AM   #39
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lulu, good word, soporific. karma comin' for a good word du jour.

ayrton, what you call bored, we call the munchies.

for me, comfort food comes in 2 types.

the first and most important one is the kind that mom made, that i'd look forward to on the way home from a cold, rainy camping trip. or all banged up after a game.
one that i remember the most fondly was mom's pot roast braised with onions, carrots, and celery; and of course the ubiquitous mashed spuds. another was her chicken parm. i loved it so much that even after having my wisdom teeth pulled, i was not going to be denied it even once. so i popped a breast, some water and some spaghetti with sauce into a blender and had a chicken parm shake for dinner that night.
the last one, of which i'm sure no one else here has even heard of it, is lobscaus (sp?). it's a special dish of north sea countries, like norway and northern germany. essentially, my mom's version was a lot like corned beef hash blended with leftover meats/fishes and veggies and mashed potates, served with a fried egg on top.

the other type of comfort food to me, a more loose definition of the term, is when i get to re-visit a special restaurant that i once frequented (or continue to but have been absent from). the thing that makes it comforting is that usually the place makes a favourite dish that is unique, or that they make far better than anyone else. or that the place brings back fond memories, sorta like your hometown "cheers" pub.
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Old 10-01-2006, 04:33 AM   #40
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What an interesting question. For me the ultimate would have to be a roast chicken with all of the roast vegetables - parsnips, carrots, potatos, sweet potatos or yams, something green and gravy. Interesting that I still manage to eat it regularly! For my partner it would have to be a rhubarb crumble with ice cream or whipped cream. Needless to say we have issues with being chubby!
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