What is your favorite food?  Does it change from time to time?  How do you feel when you eat it?  Do you now like something that you previously would never have eaten?

I do not like New England Baked Beans.  I know it is weird being from Maine.  We had them every Sat. night for as long as I can remember.  I even make them for my own family.  I do eat most other kinds of beans though chili was not ever a favorite.  Not sure when it became a go to meal.  Meaning that it is easy and I usually have all the ingredients in the cupboard and freezer.  I just know I like chili red and white.

When I have company I like to have them not do too much work.  When last Friday started with pouring rain I did not want to go to the store for the planned chicken for dinner.  I decided to see what was in the freezer and sure enough there was hamburger.  My husband’s sister makes the BEST chili and here was a chance to watch and observe how it is done.  The clear thing I found watching the ‘chef’ at work was that she did not drain the beans of the juice in the can and she cooks it a lot longer than I do.  Lesson learned and plan on my chili being as good next time I make it alone.

Funny when you think of a rainy day it is soupy food.  The term comfort food came to mind.  We all have foods that just fit the bill of the day or the mood.  In the winter I want a hot long cooked beef stew with home made biscuits slathered with butter.  In the summer a juicy hamburger straight from the grill soothes the soul and keeps the house cool as it is cooked out of doors.  My aunt always had sliced cucumbers and I love cucumber sandwiches in summer!  What is your comfort food?  What soothes your soul?

I was thinking about this post as we headed for church this morning and that communion certainly is comfort food for our souls.  The fact is that for Christians the Last Supper had the words we all know – take and eat it all of you.  Christ was feeding us he wants us to have comfort in him.

The homily this morning could not have fit in more perfectly with my thoughts.  Monsignor was speaking about John 6:41-51 when Christ said ‘I am the bread of life come down from heaven’.  I am not a great theologian and yet I can draw a conclusion from the words that Monsignor shared with us from St. Augustine are ‘you become what you receive’.  The conclusion I draw from all of this and my own thoughts are that we need to be nourished by our comfort foods or our faith to become the best people we can be. 

Thinking there is some chili left for tonight’s meal.  The question I will now think on is: “Is it the food or the situation or the company that causes comfort?”  When we are at peace at our table with family and friends or the Lord’s table with our parish community do we not enjoy life just a little more?  Much to ponder….  



3 comments on “COMFORT FOOD

  1. For me, any soup or chowder but mostly pea soup nice and thick with saltines AND any kind of macaroni and cheese. Although, it could be just plain macaroni with butter and salt and pepper. Looking forward to lunch tomorrow!!!
    Aunt Becky

  2. I constantly amaze myself with my ability to create meals out of thin air. By that I mean with no particular thought in mind, I will look in the fridge and cupboard, see the many choices of ingredients before me and make something we have never had before. It happened last night. I knew I had some dried navy beans that had sat in the cupboard for the better part of a year. So late last week, I soaked ’em and cooked ’em. Then I put them into the fridge to see what would happen.

    On Friday, I saw the beans and suddenly whipped up a fresh vegetable pasta fagioli. I dove into the vegetable drawer and came up with yellow squash, mushrooms and a few grape tomatoes. I crushed, chopped and sauteed some fresh garlic and suddenly the thinly sliced yellow squash was sizzling away in some beautiful extra-virgin olive oil with a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper. Next the mushrooms were in the mix, quickly followed by the grape tomatoes which I always cut in half and another dash of salt ala Lidia Bastianich (salt several times during a saute). Penne pasta was boiling right alongside of the saute, as I threw in some oregano and a few dashes of a spice mix that I bought in the central market in Florence, Italy a while back. Finally about a half-cup of the patiently-waiting navy beans were stirred into the saute and a 1/4-cup of white zinfandel. As the steam rose and the wine bubbled for 30 seconds I stood ready to pour in a half-cup of pasta water (starchy). This thickened a bit and the drained (not rinsed) pasta soon followed. The entire pan was turned over and over to distribute all of the goodness and then topped off with a 1/4-cup of parmigiano cheese and a few drops more of good olive oil. One more toss and Diane and I were amazed by something we had never eaten before. I always reach for a restaurant quality taste and mouth-feel with my pasta dishes. Some of you might try to use lighter oils or diet cheese, etc, but trust me, go all out and you will swoon over this one.

    Oh yeah, I forgot. I will have to tell you sometime about last night where the waiting navy beans found their way into a cold romaine salad with freshly poached salmon (from my freezer), crumbled gorgonzola cheese and a simple, lemon-oreganata dressing. I am feeling comforted right now. Tonight we are off to The Best of South Jersey. $5/head and you get free samples of food from 100 vendors and restauranteurs.

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