Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Comfort Food

We're all familiar with the term "comfort food."  Some people don't think food should be associated with comfort because soon enough it will be associated with love and the whole eating disorder thing gets rolling.  I think people who think like that are a little extreme and don't give those indulging in comfort foods enough credit.  It isn't about overeating or substituting food for emotions.  It's about getting a cozy feeling from a particular food or dish.

One of my favorite comfort foods is Grandma's Hotdish.  I'm pretty sure I've written about it before, or at least referred to it.  It's weird that I like this dish so much because it is associated with the grandma who wasn't exactly known to be cuddly, lovey, or doting like grandmas usually are.  In fact, she was kind of mean.  But she had some pretty good food and this dish, originally named Plantation Supper, was my favorite.  As a kid I didn't know it was called Plantation Supper, so I just called it Grandma's Hotdish.  I found out later my grandma referred to it as "Sara's Hotdish" because I loved it so much.

It's very simple to make: a pound of hamburger browned with an onion with a little salt and pepper added.  Throw in a can of cream of mushroom soup (of course!), a brick of cream cheese, about 3/4 cup milk and a can of corn, drained.  Then stir in your half bag of cooked egg noodles (or eight ounces of any kind of noodle/macaroni) and you've got yourself what I consider the most wonderful bit of heaven on earth that was ever born in a fry pan. 

To make it the meal really legit you have to serve it with Grandma's buns and red jello.  I do have the recipe for the buns, but am not a very accomplished bread baker yet, so I just use the canned crescent rolls.  I am very adept at making red jello though, and it is a must with this meal.  Just jello.  No fruit in it, just the jello.  And it must be red.  It can be cherry, strawberry, raspberry, even pomegranate, but it must be red.  And of course pickles.  Every hotdish must be served with pickles.  With this dish they can be dill pickles or bread and butter pickles, but not sweet pickles.

It's not exactly a well-rounded, healthy meal, but comfort food isn't about being responsible.  In fact, it's an escape from responsibility.  It's an id-satisfying solution to the demands of your superego, which you're pretty tired of by now.  If you're not familiar with Freudian lingo, I'll just say this meal pretty much says "take that, world ~ I'm feeling good now," at least for me.

How about you?  What's your comfort food? 

1 comment:

MaryAnn said...

Whaddya mean not well-rounded? You've got your veggies (corn, pickles and onions), some protein, grains (bread and pasta), and even fruit (jello)! Sounds scrumptious! I'm definitely going to make this.

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