1.31.2011

"Comfort" Food

It's that time of year--cold, snowy, chilly, icy.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE every single bit of it.  I would do well in Seattle.  I could go to church here, and I would love all the rain and "grayness".  But that's not the point.....

I've noticed that, this time of year, many magazines, websites, etc. talk about "comfort foods".  And, I've been mulling over the term (because obviously I have nothing better to mull...ahem).  To me, "comfort" is a very subjective thing.  I mean, obviously, I am comfortable in snow, cold, and rain.  But most people are not. (wimps!)  I am also comfortable in my house by myself for days on end.  Many people are not.  I am certainly not comfortable in a bathing suit of any kind.  Many people are way too comfortable in something that can only be very loosely described as a "bathing suit".

And it kinda bugs me that all those fancy-schmancy magazines and websites tell me what my "comfort food" should be.  For some reason, almost every one of those places naturally assumes that "comfort food" means chili, chicken pot pie, beef stew, and, heaven forbid, shepherd's pie!

Interestingly enough, good ol' Webster's Dictionary defines "comfort food" as 

...foods consumed to achieve some level of improved emotional status, 
whether to relieve negative psychological affect or to increase positive.

Now, I don't know about you, but chili, beef stew, and, heaven forbid, shepherd's pie most definitely DO NOT make me comfortable, much less improve my emotional status or relieve anything negative.  In fact, I would asssert that all of those dishes do quite the opposite to me. 

Photo
(My apologies to the "Kitchen Goddess" who made the above Shepherd's Pie, but nothing in that picture looks appetizing!)
A quick google search revealed the following Top 25 Comfort Foods (my thoughts are in parentheses)

Apple Pie (of course!)
Baked Beans (seriously?)
Banana Pudding (gross, just gross)
Beef Stew (also gross)
Brisket Pot Roast (maybe)
Chicken and Dumplings (maybe)
Chicken Pot Pie (maybe)
Chicken Soup (of course!)
Chili (only the Cincinnati kind!)
Chocolate Chip Cookies (with the right recipe!)
Fried Chicken (KFC?  of course!)
Gelatin (gross)
Green Bean Casserole (worse than gross)
Hot Dogs (only at the ball park)
Ice Cream (Breyer's or Baskin Robbins!)
Macaroni and Cheese (maybe)
Mashed Potatoes (homemade, of course!)
Potato Salad (only my mom's recipe!)
Pumpkin Pie (gaaagg!)
Shepherd's Pie (a blight on society. ick!)
Spaghetti (maybe)
Tomato Soup (maybe)
Tuna Casserole (a worse blight than shepherd's pie)

Hello................has anyone heard of Hershey's chocolate, brownies, Pepperidge Farm oatmeal raisin cookies, and my mom's chicken salad??  Now, THOSE are true comfort foods!

So I thought it would be fun to share MY idea of "comfort food".  After all, this is MY blog!  Over the next few days, I will share some of my comfort foods and maybe even the "recipes"--or at the very least where to buy them!  :-)

In the meantime, what are your thoughts?  What are YOUR comfort foods?  If you have a blog, put a link in the comments or share a link to your favorite "comfort foods" recipe.  Maybe it's time for some of us (ahem) to broaden our "comfort food" horizons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't believe meatloaf wasn't on there. To me it is a good comfort food, although I've never made a good one.
Love, Mom