Wow – its been a while since I was on this blog. I ALMOST forgot all about this project I started months ago on a dull Sunday afternoon. Since leaving my second and third jobs I’ve had more time for myself, and therefore more time for my cooking. I still have managed to pull out the camera from time to time before devouring my creations, but not usually.
Here is an example of a week-night throw together meal that is oh so comfy. I won’t patronize you with a recipe – I mostly want to post this because the photo turned out quite nice. It is also worthy noting that the sausage is actually a Mexican smokie from Spenst Meats – a local butcher who is always front and centre at the St. Norbert Farmers Market. I always keep a few packs of these in my freezer. Last time I was there I was told the sausage mix includes ground black beans, among several other lovely spices – this always wins.
For the untalentedly eager: Fry unfrozen or leftover perogies in part butter/part olive oil with smokie/kubasa on medium-high. Half way through the cooking process add diced onions (if you add at the start, they’ll burn). I usually ad seasoning salt at this point (this recipe is the soul reason I have seasoning salt – seriously) Once everything is golden and crackling, shovel onto a plate, top with sour cream, salsa and green onions. My mouth is actually watering as I type this.
I tagged this post with ‘culture’ because this dish, for me, falls into the comfort food category. Comfort food is one of the most fascinating culinary concepts that absolutely every person can weigh-in on. These dishes are usually tied to a family favorite that has been consumed every week of a persons life since birth. It can also be a dish eaten once on a very special occasion, perhaps in a very special place with very special people.
My comfort foods have changed over the years, but those that haven’t changed are clearly the best. Here is a run-down of my mainstays:
Mushroom Meatballs on Rice: Nicely flavoured meatball baked off then added to a deep casserole dish with a creamy sauce derived from sauteed mushrooms, milk and Campbells mushroom soup.
Elsie’s Potatoes: Mashed potatoes with sauteed diced onions, butter and cream cheese. Then whipped to silky perfection and baked off to a crispy golden crust… Gimme a break.
Banana Bread: I used half white/half brown flour, real sugar, real butter and ad vanilla, walnuts and chocolate chunks. This is based of of Jean Pere recipe from Company’s Coming – which I feel I can reference because we come from the same hometown. Her license plate is ‘CookBks’.
What I find interesting about these recipes is that they each contain, or are associated with things that absolutely stay away from with my own cooking: ready-made soups, frozen perogy’s, cream-cheese. Now I have several of these ingredients on hand at all times in case I want to get comfy! I guess I am willing to compromise my food-snobbery for that fuzzy-warm feeling inside, and if it takes canned processed soup to get it, then so be it.
I’ll leave you with this: what is your favorite comfort food and why is it better than mine?