Friday, March 2, 2012

I Don't Do Comfort Foods - I Do Comfort Meals

Yesterday on Design Mom, Gabrielle asked about comfort food. As in, what are your comfort foods. I thought it was an intriguing question - and one that took me a surprising amount of time and thought to answer.

So much of comfort food comes from history. Personal history. Family history. Cultural history. Memories of a grandparent's pastry shop or a mother's cooking or a taste of home.

Taste of home? When I think of meals growing up, my brain keeps bringing up Hamburger Helper prepared on a hotplate. Not the best time of my young life. Mom wasn't much of a cook - at least not that I remember. The kitchen wasn't where we gathered. Food wasn't central to my experiences. 

Except long weekend breakfasts at my omi and opa's house. 

Proper breakfast, at the dining table, with a pot of steaming loose tea as the centerpiece and plates piled with meats and cheeses that I never ate and still don't. Five or six different pots of jam and a honey pot, too, with a wooden honey wand. A boiled egg for everyone, served in an egg cup. Dark brown bread and grain bread and maybe bagels, too, all warm under a cloth napkin in a basket. Some mornings, blood sausage. Which I didn't eat. Some mornings, leftover cake, which I did.

comfort food

We enjoyed a little bit of that in Germany this past summer and even sometimes when we visit my grandparents. But it's made somewhat less relaxing by the P., who might eat half a slice of bread with jam or a bit of croissant before demanding to be released from the purgatory that is a seated meal.

I wonder what P. will consider comfort foods when she's a grownup. Hopefully, by the time she grows out of the cold waffle stage, I will have figured out this cooking business. And maybe we'll have some long weekend breakfasts of our own that she will remember fondly through the decades.

european breakfast

What are your comfort foods?


  1. Due to differing schedules growing up, and varying dietary needs, we rarely ate sit-down meals together. Thus, most of my "comfort foods" are things I learned to prepare as a kid, that also fit my range of food allergies. The main one is Swanson's Chicken a La King (you know, the kind in the can).

    All I need is a can of that, and a couple pieces of toast, and dinner is ready. It was also handy to take along to sleepovers in case I wasn't able to eat whatever was offered.

    I still eat it frequently as an adult. My husband's comfort food is enchiladas.

    1. Sounds like your youth mealtime experience was a lot like mine! I remember making myself dinner a lot in high school - and even before that while my mom was completing her degree.

  2. For me, cooking is the comforting part. I love the process- kneading dough, chopping veggies, mixing ingredients, sprinkling in spices. The smells that fill the house while the food is cooking are most comforting.

    1. Feel free to come over my house and time and comfort yourself ;) I don't find cooking particularly relaxing, but then, I'm always doing it in a rush or while little hands are trying to help (which you understand)...

  3. First, love the blog makeover! It looks like a writer's blog!
    This post put me in a reflective mood. Family time at the dinner table was mandatory when I was a kid and it was mandatory that you eat everything on your plate. It was pure torture for a picky eater like me. Maybe that's why I'm so lenient with Marlie. She gets home-cooked meals and we eat together, but sometimes we eat on the floor by the window and I don't force her to finish anything.


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