What is Comfort Food?

Amigo likes the term “Comfort Food.” If I announce what’s for supper and he chimes in “Comfort Food!” I take it as a compliment. From him, it means something he likes, something easy to eat, something not fancy, a simple dish with simple tastes.

Chuck, on the other hand, watches cooking shows – way too many cooking shows. He claims that the top chefs highly dislike the term Comfort Food because – because, well, what does that make the other foods? Discomfort foods? Something not comfortable?

Sometimes the best way to define a term is to show examples. Comfort food includes:

  • baked mac & cheese
  • meatloaf
  • leftovers – including, but not limited to, turkey soup made from Thanksgiving leftovers
  • something that’s simmered long enough to make the house smell good (crock pots included)
  • brunch dishes such as skillets and omelets
  • soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
  • variations on BLT sandwiches

Another trait: Comfort Food requires some effort. Microwave meals do not qualify. A frozen pizza doesn’t count as true Comfort Food, but a homemade pizza more than counts. Here are a few suggestions that take a little effort and time:

  • homemade seafood chowder made from scratch on stove top
  • mashed potatoes – real mashed potatoes, not dried potato flakes
  • lettuce salad with grated carrots, cheeses, and a Tablespoon of bacon dressing
  • winter squash – one butternut squash from the pantry, the last stored there from September – baked and mashed with a little butter and brown sugar
  • chili – stovetop or in the crock pot
  • spaghetti and meat sauce with grated Parmesan on top

Locally grown, locally purchased, or the local variation of a classic comfort food dish

  • chili with macaroni or spaghetti (It’s a Green Bay tradition; don’t judge me)
  • Chicken Booyah (ya, I spelled dat rite, too)
  • eggnog ice cream (I made this a few weeks ago with the last of the eggnog)
  • sourdough bread – in the bread machine, but made from homegrown starter
  • nachos, homemade with home grown jalapeno peppers

So, readers, what do you think? Offer up a menu or a requirement, a necessity that makes a food fit the Comfort Category.

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