Monday, March 07, 2011

It tastes better than it sounds

You know that thing where you look up one thing (usually for me on wikipedia) and then click a related link to read something else, then click a related link, and on and on, until you end up on an unrelated or minimally related topic? Everyone does that, right? It's not just me. Anyway, I looked up the word hotdish (Minnesotan for a type of casserole), then had to compare hotdish to casserole (all hotdishes are casseroles but not all casseroles are hotdishes), then ended up looking up comfort food, and I realized that there is no specific list of comfort foods. It's very subjective.

I guess comfort food, as a general term, refers to things like meatloaf and pot roast and mac & cheese. But it also varies by region, by family, and by person. In my family, believe it or not, a biggie is macaroni milk & butter. That's what comes out of the depression when you have a chicken for eggs (to make noodles) and a cow (for milk and butter) and it literally is just cooked macaroni, a stick of butter melted on it, and then milk. Like a soup, but not. Odd, I know.

I like comfort food. I've never really been one to eat for comfort, but there's something about sitting down to a big plate of parsley noodles (it's what you eat for dinner when you can't stand Mom's stroganoff) or some Rice A Roni (fine, my mom sucked at cooking). I make more classic comfort food now, like baked mac and cheese where the top gets all brown and bubbly, and red wine pot roast, and every morning I sit down with a hot bowl of cinnamon oatmeal. But on nights when Tom's out on the road, I still fall back on the food from my family, the things I remember from when I was a kid. I still pour milk on my macaroni.

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