Thursday, 13 May 2010


Comfort food

A couple of days back, LabRat put up a post about comfort food which mentioned knothole eggs (a well-remembered specialty of the lamented Blackwood’s Monon Café) and included an intriguing chili recipe (pork-n-beans and cocoa?).  So far her commenters have added family favorites such as fried rice, chicken and flakes, arroz caldo with chicken, fried mush with eggs, and Grandma Sophie’s canned chicken.  Criteria seem to be simple, tasty, and filling, with a helping of childhood memories.

When I was growing up, I was one of those skinny little snots who wouldn’t eat anything, so I don’t have a many childhood “favorite food memories.”  But there are a few. One (recipe is lost in the mists of time) is my mother’s alphabet noodle soup, which began with the leftovers from a bone-in pot roast.  (I’ve come close to duplicating it, but am not quite there yet!)  The other item is not home-made: old-fashioned-full-MSG (i.e., mid-century) mushroom chop suey.  Specifically the midwestern version: Beware of regional variations.  (Think Chicago style, not New York or San Francisco.)  My father used to get it from the Mandarin Inn, and later from Jong Mea (both long gone).  There remain a couple of places in town that come close, although nowadays both use sliced mushrooms... the “tiny” buttons being hard to get.

Nowadays, most of my comfort food “cookery” consists of opening cans, but I have been experimenting with an “everything in the pantry” vegetable beef soup similar to LabRat’s.  (I use pasta in place of rice, and add shredded cheese and fresh mushrooms.)  Simmer all day, serve with fresh-baked bread.  Come grill season I do killer hamburgers (big patty with Parmesan cheese and minced onions folded in; topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and a spoon of thousand island dressing; all on a buttered-and-grilled onion roll.  Oh, with scratch-made french fries and grill-roasted corn.

The only problem today is keeping the weight off.  How times change.

Posted by: Old Grouch in Geezering at 17:04:03 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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