The Suitcase Lady


April 17, 2007, 10:56 pm

Never undervalue the salutary effects of comfort food is my motto. There’s nothing wrong with heading for cozy foods when the world is being hard and cold.

My list of A#1 comfort foods would be:

  • Homemade macaroni & cheese
  • Big baked potatoes
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Lasagna
  • Anything on the menu of La Creperie on Clark Street in Chicago
  • Mashed potatoes, butter, no gravy
  • Good soup
  • Lavishly buttered toast

A pattern emerges from my list of comfort foods. Most are hot, starchy and buttery. Anyone who eliminates carbs and butter from their diet will probably feel extremely unloved. They probably won’t be much fun to be around, either.

Another characteristic of my comfort foods is simplicity. In gourmet cooking, complex seasonings, tastes and textures are artfully combined. The diner must bring full attention and concentration to this food; it deserves appreciation. A grilled cheese sandwich, on the other hand, requires no mental effort. It is not a food of subtleties. When I need comfort, I am definitely not in a mood to put out.

Compiling a list of consoling foods is, naturally, a personal thing. Your cold pizza might be my grilled cheese. Roasted turkey smothered with gravy may give you hope for the future. My mother-in-law understood the power of homemade potato salad to overcome sorrow. The important point is knowing what to have for dinner when life gets trying.

3 Comments for this entry

  • Anonymous

    Everything on your list is comforting. However, I can’t comment on La Creperie – never had the pleasure. On my own list I combine 2 things from yours. Good tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. May not make a bad day good, but it helps ease the pain.

  • Jane

    peanut butter and jelly

  • Noreen

    I have to agree on the grilled cheese but like anonymous said, pair it with tomato soup. I went out of my way recently to a restaurant that had such a pairing advertised specifically as “comfort food.” It must be pretty universal even in the desert.