Monday, April 5, 2010

MY COMFORT FOOD

By Kate


Yesterday I spent a happy day with my extended family, where everyone brought a dish and ham was the main attraction. We ate early, enjoyed a long afternoon together, then had a long drive home. By seven o’clock in the evening, I was hungry again. The first thing I thought of was not the leftover pasta or the turkey burger in the fridge. It was my comfort food -- grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup.

That has been my standard comfort food since I was a child. My dad was a cop and worked shifts, so whenever he was on the afternoon shift, Mom made us a whole week’s worth of her comfort foods – pancakes and sausage; bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches; egg salad sandwiches, and good ol’ grilled cheese.

As I got older, my grilled cheese got fancier, first with the addition of fresh tomato slices under the cheese, then using whole wheat bread, later using cheddar cheese. Now, since I’ve given up gluten, I use a brown rice bran bread that gets wonderfully crunchy when grilled, and I use goat cheese because – well, read my latest book, SLEEPING WITH ANEMONE, and you’ll see why. As for the soup, I try to buy low sodium organic and add basil.

But I will never be able to give up completely on the ORIGINAL grilled cheese sandwich, made with processed American cheese, whole butter, wheat bread, and Campbell’s Tomato Soup.

What is your comfort food and why is it special?

31 comments:

jbstanley said...

I love a grilled cheese sandwich. other than that, I'd have to pick mac 'n cheese. That's the food I want when I don't feel well.

Katie said...

hmm...I'd say either pizza or cheesesteaks. they just remind me of happy times and when I want comfort food usually I'm not so happy.

Sheila Connolly said...

My go-to meal is bacon and eggs. Definitely a guilty pleasure.

Dru said...

baked macaroni and cheese because as soon as I recovered from an illness, that was the meal prepared for me.

Knit Twit said...

I'm with you on the grilled cheese and tomato soup. The last time I was really sick that was all I wanted. too bad the tomato soup killed my sore throat :(

Mac and cheese with hot dogs is another comfort food for me.

Lover of Books said...

I am definitely a mac and cheese girl. I could eat them forever! :) I am hoping my youngest will take to it. :)
Krista

Jeanne C. said...

Homemade macaroni & cheese - not the kind from the box. :)

Whalehugger said...

My comfort food would have to include fried chicken. Hot or cold, doesn't matter, and I mean a good fried chicken with a crispy breading and cooked all the way through, not KFC. The other would be my mom-in-law's potato salad. One year I had a very bad run of the flu that knocked me out of work for almost a week. When I started to come out of it, the first thing I wanted was for my MIL to fix me a batch of her potato salad. In fact, i'm getting hungry just thinking about it LOL

CindyD said...

Tuna and noodle casserole. My first job was a two hour drive from my parent's home, and whenever I went home for the weekend, that's what my mother would fix for Friday dinner.

Leann Sweeney said...

pizza, mac 'n cheese, french fries, ice cream ... oh I could go on and on. PIE! I forgot pie ... and cannoli and spaghetti ... somebody stop me!

Kate Collins said...

ACK! You're all making me hungry! It was very difficult narrowing down my fave comfort food, because there are quite a few choices and it really depends on why I need it. Sometimes I just need a dark chocolate bar and a cup of black tea with honey.

Avery Aames said...

Hi, Kate. I didn't know you were gluten-free like me, did I? Anyway, I had a grilled cheese yesterday, too. Made sharp cheddar with spicy bacon on gluten-free raisin bread. Sharing the recipe on our next blog, but it was yummy! Comfort to the max!

BTW, I'm really enjoying Sleeping with Anemone. Can't wait to see you at Malice.
~Avery

AveryAames.com
Mystery Lovers' Kitchen

lexitaylr said...

a tube of Liver Sausage, my family say's it's gross and when I would come home from the grocery store with it they knew something was upsetting me,ate straight from the tube, no silly sandwich for me BUT, I try to refrain since fat gr. have come to my life, I still eye ball it when I see it, so next in line I would say PIZZA and that is no better

Linda said...

It's funny how comfort foods have cheese.....grilled cheese and macaroni and cheese. And I guess my favorite comfort food is a Cheese Quesadilla. Not sure why that it, but it is definitely works for me for comfort.

signlady217 said...

Elbow mac with tomato sauce (not cheese). Or chips and salsa. And, yes, all this talk about food is making me hungry too!

Gayle Carline said...

Grilled cheese & Campbell's Tomato soup, mmm... Only I'm from Decatur, Illinois, where we call them "cheese toasties". My other comfort food is also only available in the Midwest, Krekel's Burgers. There's something about the crunchiness of it all, with the mustard and onions. Yum.

Gayle Carline (author of FREEZER BURN)

Kate Collins said...

Avery, life has become so much better without gluten. Never realized how hard it is to digest until I switched.
Truly amazing how often the cheese theme comes up. Wonder why that is. Second most mentioned is pasta, and third is tomatoes.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned chocolate or ice cream!

Andrea C. said...

Sadly, I have many depending on the type of comfort needed! LOL
I would say my main comfort meals would probably be either pot roast or spagetti. Both are items my mother made when I was a kid and they are yummy and easy.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

You're all killing me!

I started to say pizza. Then oh, no, a BLT! With mayo, and on white toast. But then, tuna salad on white toast. Or a roast beef sandwich with thousand island dressing on pumpernickle. But how about an omelette, with cheese and broccoli?

Fried chicken. Fried onion rings! With ketchup. Tempura cauliflower.
Tempura anything.

Ahh...who started this?

Wendy Lyn Watson said...

I confess. For me, food = comfort.

But if I had to pick one food that is more comforting than the rest it would be cinnamon toast. (What? You were expecting ice cream?)

My mama always made me cinnamon toast when I was sick (and sometimes when I wasn't). I've followed in her footsteps and keep a shaker of cinnamon sugar in my cupboard. When I'm feeling blue, I toast up some bread, spread on a thin layer of butter, and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar.

That with a cup of simple, sweet black tea ... it's almost as good as a hug from my mama.

Sarah said...

One of my comfort foods is a peanut butter and banana sandwich - I know, the combo sounds kind of gross but it's really good!

Sarah

Kate Collins said...

Wendy! Cinnamon toast!! I totally forgot. My grandma used to make that for me when I'd stay overnight. And my mom would make mini-pie crust shells in empty pot pie tins for my siblings and me whenever she baked pies. She'd sprinkle the crust with cinnamon sugar -- yumm.
Sarah, in my books, Abby Knight's favorite breakfast is peanut butter and bananas on toast. Hmm. Wonder where she got the idea?
Hank -- how do you decide which food to eat when you need comfort, girl?

Vicki said...

Although there could be lots of things on my list, I will say a pumpkin muffin with a cup of tea...especially on a rainy, fall afternoon with a good book.

Maggie Sefton said...

Grilled cheese is definitely among my top five. Topped I guess by my all time favorite breakfast, scrambled eggs/cheese, bacon, & toast (or English muffin or----gasp! two small pancakes). Not low calorie, but oh so good.

Anonymous said...

Grilled cheese is my comfort food. I only eat it once in a while. If I fix it myself, I want plain white bread and Velveeta cheese. I like the cheese to be really melted and the bread grilled really dark (almost burnt). No one could fix a grilled cheese sandwich like my Mother.

If not grilled cheese, then it would be popcorn, real popcorn popped on top of the stove (not microwaved!!!). When I was growing up, we had our big Sunday meal right after church (around noon). For dinner, my dad made popcorn for us, using this pan that had a turning thing on top. It was the best popcorn. We grew it ourselves on the farm. Nowadays, since I live in Baltimore, whenever I visit the Midwest, I stock up on locally grown popcorn.

See you all in Malice. Sheila, I just started reading your series, finished the first one yesterday, and really enjoyed it!!!

Shirley in Baltimore

Nancy said...

Kate, you forgot one that Mom made so often when Dad was working...Creamed Beef on Toast! Not a shred of nutrition in it, probably, but to this day it is a comfort food for me. My family likes it, too....occasionally.

signlady217 said...

IMO, chocolate and ice cream are not comfort foods, they're staples (like eggs, bread and milk!) :)

Meljprincess said...

A Schlotskys sandwich! Combine it with chips and a soda and you have pure pleasure...yum!

Meljprincess@aol.com

Heather Webber said...

My comfort food is definitely mashed potatoes and gravy. Also chips and dip. Mmmm. Now I'm hungry too.

ChristyJan said...

Tomato soup and albacore tuna sandwich ~ yummy

When I don't feel good: tea and toast

Do you love to read? said...

I love...Macaroni and Cheese, Mashed potatoes, and Apple Pie. They dont all have to be in the same meal..lol