Special memories and the foods we associate with those times and events are the embodiment of comfort foods. As the weather drops it's time for hearty food that satisfies our palates and warms our bodies. Enjoy a cozy evening at home, with people you love, eating food that’s familiar and comforting.
Cooking is not just about nutrition. We nourish our bodies and feed our souls. Comfort food brings back the memories of childhood, that feeling we had when we were taken care of and felt safe. At the family dinner table, dishes were predictable and soothing. Nothing fancy, just simple satisfying fare that parents chose because it was easy to prepare and sure to be finished by even the pickiest eater in the family.
When the weather is cold, or when you feel out of sorts, it’s time for stews, baked casseroles and heart-warming soups. After coming in from the rain, finding a hot dinner on the table is such a relief. All-in-one dishes where flavors fuse together in a rich sauce, or baked pasta covered in a delicious crunchy-gooey layer of cheese: that’s what’s needed to lift spirits.
And don’t forget desserts. Rice pudding, cakes, pies or fruit cobbler, just like grandma used to make, are a satisfying end to a comforting meal.
To find those dishes you grew up with, search using key words such as stew, casserole or pudding. You can narrow your search by limiting active or total time. After all, the cook should also enjoy the comfort of not having to labor long in the kitchen. And if the recipe is a little different from your mother’s, simply adapt the recipe to your preference, adding Mom’s secret ingredient.
When you are feeling a little bit more adventurous, why not try foods that are considered comforting in other cultures? After serving them a few times, your family will learn to associate these flavors with home. In no time they will develop nostalgia for your homemade version of Chinese Dumplings, Mushroom Risotto or Beef Stew.