Iím sure that many families everywhere have their own versions of comfort food; the kind of familiar dishes that are passed on for generations. And in that regard, we are no different, for many of these dishes still are a part of our lives today.
Recipes that make us calm, recipes we know so well that have been with of us forever, in years of preparing them by and for our loved ones and for ourselves. The myriad of tastes and smells seem to never have left us, and we return to these dishes often.
Comfort food helps to keep us centered with the unsaid virtues of those deep roots that no matter where we are, or whatever weíve been through, are and will always be there for us to go back to. Something we can count on, something we know.
For instance, Frank still cooks Canned Salmon with onions, celery and garlic just the way Dad had done for years and years. Itís a very simple dish, with not much preparation and doesnít take long, using ingredients readily at hand.
One of our old reliables is Momís version of Vegetable Beef Soup, which has now also become one of Remyís favorites too. George remembers the Friday rituals of Lent and the foods that went with it; Tuna Casserole with chips or Grilled Cheese sandwiches.
In a recent email he reminded of Marrow Bone Soup, which so very easily had to be Mom and Dadís first choice. Occasionally they would dress it up with various types of additions, but mostly it contained very few ingredients.
Bones, Broth and Bok Choy were the main parts of the soup, about as simple as it could ever get. But for them and like so many other folks, it was only just plain uncomplicated fare, nothing fancy but it hit the spot for them in more ways than one.
Of course dishes from home and many other places readily come to mind when thinking of our particular comfort foods, Steamed Barbequed Pork Buns from Chinatown and also the Rotisserie Chicken Dad used to get at Alec come to mind.
As for myself number one is Momís Chicken Curry, of which in my opinion was one of her very best. I still make it nowadays just as she did, and to me she is very much alive in the fragrance of the spices and the taste of the gravy.
While our own comfort foods may not be gastronomic masterpieces to others, they will always occupy a special place in our own hearts and minds. And likewise so for many others; their own particular dishes are and will always remain special to them.
Food is like music or movies; there are so many tastes and palates and opinions about what is to be granted to be satisfying and its like looking at the world itself. Thereís no way for us to quantify all the diverse aspects of tastes on the planet.
Joe came up with a plethora of our own comfort foods that he still makes, as Iím sure we all do; Ground Beef with String Beans, Corned Beef with Scrambled Egg and Onions, Meatloaf with Creamed Corn and Hawaiian Sweet Ní Sour to name a few.
Comfort food is the same in any culture for all of humanity; it is intimate, familiar and full of the nurturing that the soul needs to live. And so as I humbly pay grateful homage to our favorites like Meatloaf with Creamed Corn, I can see it on the plate with the gravy
& rice mingled all together in a savory affirmation. Mmm, goodÖ