Saturday, October 07, 2006

comfort food

today, Les Horton (GDN), wrote about comfort food in his article. it got me to thinking about this, especially w/ it being Ramadan and so much energy and focus being on food right now, so i started running down the list in my mind of my comfort foods. here goes....

1) mashed potatoes (i have to say that i make really good mashed potatoes... i've had some ppl try to copy them here, but can't! ;) ... tip for good ones - use russet potatoes and don't overcook the potatoes and whip 'em until they're nice and fluffy - add lots of butter, salt & don't forget the milk - whole milk is the best and you can add just a tad of cream, if you'd like)

2) macaroni & cheese casserole (this is a dish that my mom fixes for thanksgiving or christmas. it's not the usual "outta the box" kind, but homemade and i love it!!! i was actually sorta craving this today... might make it tomorrow)

3) potatoe and asparagus casserole (this is another fav of mine. i could prob sit and eat several helpings of this, but since it's topped w/ cheddar cheese, it is rather fattening, but gosh, it's oh so yummy!!)

4) i love bread pudding. my mom makes the absolute best... you serve it w/ pudding after it's made and been in the oven and nice and toasty... oh gosh, this is so good. but i can't remember the pudding name and now it's bugging me ... now, i remember - butterscotch pudding... and they don't sell it here!! :( this isn't the english version of bread pudding, just so you know.

5) i love french fries dipped in gravy or chili cheese fries. they make the best in texas.

6) i love sonic burgers.... gosh, i haven't had one of these in sooooooooo long. too bad.

7) fried green tomatoes. this is something my mom has fixed since i was a young girl. i love to make them but only get green tomatoes sometimes here in bahrain, so it's not often that i get to fix them. but luckily, the hubby loves 'em as much as me. sometimes when i make these, i eat so much that it makes me sick. but... they're so good i can't resist.

8) i also love sweets and some of my favorite comfort deserts are brownies, pineapple upside down cake, german choc. cake, choc. chip cookies, no bake cookies (these are an absolute fav of mine), and pudding. i love choc. pudding.

9) my husband also reminded me that i love to sit around munching on chocolate. i'm sorta particular about choc. though and don't like just every variety of it. i love butterfingers (can't get here), hershey bars w/ nuts, choc. kisses, M&Ms w/ nuts, twix, and a few others that i can only get in the States. needless to say, i love candy. :)

anyway... i love food, if you can't tell... there are so many things that i get cravings for and just have to fix. i love good 'ole fashioned american food. the other day these two young guys came into my office at work and were talking to me about food. they first thought i was british, like a lot of ppl think, altho i don't have a british accent but many don't know the accents here... anyway... when they found out that i was american, they then asked me if my favorite food was hamburgers, when i said "no", they then asked if it was steak. again, i said "no". most of the foods i told them about, they didn't know and since their vocabulary is limited and my arabic is limited, it was hard for me to tell them about all the good down home food that my mom makes and i make too, things that i so dearly love.

my mom is such a great cook. i miss that. my younger sis is so lucky in that my mom lives w/ her and she gets to have whatever she wants, whenever she wants. i'm severely jealous over this! ;)

anyway... what are some of your favorite comfort foods? i'd love to hear yours. :)

have a good saturday everyone and for all of you starting your weekend, have a good one!


One Wink at a Time said...

Tooners, I swear we are soul sisters! You list reads almost identical to mine. The bread pudding- now that is about the ultimate comfort food. Mashed potatoes, ditto. (Have you ever added a bit of Ranch dressing to them for zip???) French fries and gravy are awesome. We have what we call "sloppy fries" which are smothered in gravy and cheese, I prefer mozzarella on mine. Have you ever had Sweet Potato Fries? One of my all time favorites. Alot of people eat them with maple syrup, I dip them in mayonnaise with a bit of garlic powder mixed in. Chocolate, omg yes! One of my favorite snacks is potatoe chips and chocolate. When I'm not feeling well, Egg Drop soup is what makes me feel better instantly. You must try mac & cheese with some diced tomatoes thrown in. It completely changes the whole flavor and for the good. Make sure to add a bit of the juice from the tomoatoes. You can use fresh but I cheat and used canned. I also love tapoica pudding and butterscotch and chocolate or vanilla with Vanilla Wafers dipped in it. Pineapple Up-side down cake- I love the edges where all the brown sugar collects and I save the cherries for last...One of my favorite candy bars (or two) are Reese's Fastbreak & Hershey's S'mores Bars.
My goodness, this is the longest comment I ever wrote, sorry for taking up so much space. You got me hungry now! Have a good weekend!

Ha Ana Za said...

Cornflakes!!! I love cornflakes and could eat them anytime and anywhere. I also love marmalade, and mashed banana on toast!
Hoummous with a spoon :) yummmmm

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

It would take a whole page so I'll post stuff on babasiga and geelong-visual-diary. But 'comfort' foods are usually those that remind us of our happy childhood days -icecream with flavours such as rum, plum pudding, coconut only bought when on holiday by the sea or Mum's Lemon Meringue Pie or roast dinners.

jahooni said...

well... just to let ya know, Mom doesn't and won't cook all of our fav's. she says that its my job as a mother and wife to do this and by gon it', it really sucks for me because Mom does it best. I do have to say that I will always cherish my memories that I am making with mom, Kate and myself in our kitchen.
ps, I need your mash potato recipe and your fried green ones because dearsest Mom has forgotten!

tooners said...

one wink, ummmmm, you list some wonderful ideas here!! the smothered fries sound just delish! i've never tried sweet potato fries, i'd love to get a recipe, or is just as simple as regular fries? i love fries w/ mayo... got it from my husband. i love soups too and egg drop is a fav of mine, but haven't had it in too long. i love the edges of the pineapple upside down cake too... and i save the cherries for the very last as well! ;) yum!! i love your long comment... keep 'em coming! :)

ha ana za, hi! corn flakes isn't a fav or mine, but i do love all kinds of cereal and could and do eat cereal for dinner sometimes even! ;) the mashed bananas on toast sounds really good.. i'll def have to try this, but when thinking about it, my mind immediately went to honey, so i think i'd have to drizzel a little bit of honey on the top of it just to give a little extra zing!

W, can't wait to see your list on your blog! :) i agree, these comfort foods bring back good memories from childhood and from living at home.. i think that's why i so enjoy eating the down home stuff. my mother makes an especially good choc. meringue pie... oh gosh, it's so good!

jahooni, mashed potatoes are super easy, but can also be messed up just as easily. the fried green tomatoes.. i'll give to you later. you should get the recipe for dog bread from mom. that is the best w/ home made beans!! yum!!!!

MSB said...

definitely NOT what i needed to read first thing sunday morning. now i'm hungry!! casserole! i miss that.. most casseroles are good. put a bunch of everything together and bake. how can u go wrong w/that?? ;) u just reminded me of tatter tots! mmmmmm

Olivia said...

Oh great, I had my answer planned, but now after reading the comments it must get longer.

But YAY! A foodie discussion!

Comfort foods I miss from Texas are:

1) chicken fried steak with mashed potato and white gravy. Not the gourmet one from Saltgrass Steakhouse, but the processed ones from the university cafeteria!

2) I had - and immensely enjoyed - green fried tomatoes once at the Potatoe Patch, a down home establishment north of Houston. They carry round baskets of hot rolls and throw one at you to catch if you hold your hands up. They were good rolls too.

3) Beef flautas and cheese tostada puffs, also the tortilla chips and red and tomatillo salsas from Los Cucos.

4) Nacho cheese fries, either with chili or a few dashes of tobasco sauce on top, depending on my mood.

Here in England, they're called stodgy foods that "stick to your ribs", for those long, dark, cold winters!

1) Toad in the Hole - which is basically a few sausages baked in a dish of pancake batter. Goes a treat with gravy. The sausages peep out, like a toad in...a hole...!

2) Roast lamb, roast potato, Yorkshire pudding. Yorkie puds is the same pancake batter, only baked in muffin pans, nice and fluffy, specially with a bit of dripping. Also requiring gravy.

Told you, this stuff is stodgy.

And that's about it really for the British stodge that I like. THere are other dishes, but they are not my faves; however, I can tell you about them if you like.


THen there is the food my mother makes:
Crab curry, duck curry, duck a l'orange, fried chicken giblets (just for me, no one else liked it), hoisin crab, oh and all the things she invents and does once and never again! I used to have to write the recipes down before we forgot what we did, if we were ever to enjoy them again.


Now for dessert.

Rum babas - probably a 70s thing, so extremely hard to find, except a few places in France.
It is a small one-serving "cake" with a rather loose consistency like the pineapple upside down that you and Wink are talking about. But it is soaked in a sugared rum syrup, has a glob of whipped cream on top, and a maraschino cherry.


Black Forest gateau - another 70s fave, how backwards-looking am I?
It's rich choc cake sandwiched with cherry jam and cream, iced with whipped cream, choc flakes and decorated with black kirsch cherries. The exciting thing about it is the sponge base is drizzled as much as you like with a cherry kirsch liqueur!


One wink at a time - at home we used to decorate our mashed potato - after mashing with salt, butter, black pepper, and cream. Added finely chopped spring onions and a bit of homemade pepper sauce which lent it a nice kick. *drool* Sometimes added grated white cheddar which disappears and goes all nice and melty inside the mash!

If we did Kraft style mac and cheese, we would add some of that fresh diced salsa, what is it called again? I really can't remember, but to me it always sounded like the name of a wine. (Really been forgetting words lately more than ever.)


Tooners - I wonder if your mom's homemade macaroni casserole is like my mum's. It is sliceable. With the milk and eggs and cheeses it becomes a sort of white custard setting, right?

Oh I do love talking about food, and I do miss making it. Sharing a kitchen with 4 other people has really killed my creativity.

Olivia said...

Pico de Gallo! That's it!

One Wink at a Time said...

Olivia, glad you remembered the name of that, I'd never heard of it so I'd have been NO help at all.
Tooners, I was just talking about "comfort" foods, my other favorite foods would have taken pages and pages! This was a fun post! I want to hang out with Olivia and just pig out ;-)

One Wink at a Time said...

Oops forgot to answer you- yes, sweet potato fries are made exactly like regular fries. But I cheat and buy them at a favorite restaurant because I don't fry at home and it's very hard to find them (frozen like reg. fries) in grocery stores here. Some places call them "Sun Stix"

Munther said...

Oh tooners don't get me started ! Here goes:

1- Chips & Cheese(w. lots of salt a vinegar): Got addicted to this while I was studying at Scotland ! The closest thing you can get here is the ones at Maggie's Cafe.

2- Brownies and Choco chip cookies!

3- Haggis and Chips (w. lots of salt a vinegar): God how I miss this, was introduced to this by my ex. she was a proper Scot and I came to love everything Scottish thanks to her ! :)

4- Grilled cheese sandwiches :) I make awesome sandwiches and scooby snacks !

5- Pepperoni Pizza, I have to admit that I used to eat them in Scotland as well (Naughty :o)

6- Chili Hotdogs ! ok that's me off to DQ !
THANK YOU tooners I can feel the pounds piling already ! :P

Blayde said...

You hooked me on the first two, and i kept reading cos of the chocolate, but for the others, im not so sure.

*Also warning, dont read form Olivia's comment when fasting, drooling possible, stuff too good :P *

tooners said...

msb, you know, i LOVE tater tots! you can get them here. i love them w/ homemade burgers at home... so so good. i like to put salt & pepper on them and then dunk them in ketsup! tasty!!

olivia, i LOVE your food descriptions.. i was counting on you for some good ones.. and got it from you and One Wink... so i'm quite pleased!! yes, the macaroni casserole is exactly that... our moms make it the same.. isn't it good??!! you have given me insights to a lot of british food i wondered about... didn't know what some of it was, but it does sound yummy - i love english sausage w/ gravy and mashed potatoes. i always eat that when i go there. you know, i LOVE food from the cafeteria, especially school. i always loved the school mashed potatoes and pizza. i love chicken fried steak. we have Chili's here, and i really enjoy eating it there! you mention some great foods!! yum... now i wanna go home and cook today. :) and girl, you wanna talk about forgetting words... i have been doing this like crazy for the last few months! i'm hoping it'll end soon.

One Wink, i don't fry a lot either, but i will have to try the sweet potato fries.. i've never made homemade fries before, so this will be a first! :) i love food too and could probably fill 6 pages w/ all the foods i enjoy.

munther, ummmm, some of these foods sound marvelous!!! what is haggis & chips w/ lots of salt & vinegar??? that makes my mouth water just thinking about it and i don't even know what it is! ;) what is scottish food like? anything like british food or totally different? i love grilled cheese sandwiches!!! blayde mentioned that on his blog and made my tummy so hungry for that. i went home that night and made them w/ tomato soup. it was sooooo good! but like he says, the good part of these sandwiches is the burnt cheese on the sides on the toast. do you agree? i love pepperoni pizza... it's so different here. you know, cafe italia at seef makes a good one, try it. and... they're opening a new cafe italia in adliya but you prob already know that. great list you have here... but i'm looking forward to hearing what some of these things are that you listed.

blayde, i'm telling ya, olivia gives the best descriptions of foods.. you should read her blog!! she is always going to places and describing the food and your mouth waters every time!

Munther said...

Hello tooners..

I will have a post about stuff I miss from scotland on my blog ! :D

Scottish food is similar to english food but a bit nicer :P wait for the post & judge ;)

Olivia said...

Hehe, well it seems I talk more about food now than make it!

And look out, tomorrow is my last dinner at the Arts Club so I will be sure to describe it for you ;)

The Moody Minstrel said...

Comfort food? Oh, boy...


I always get one when I'm feeling really stressed out.