Friday, January 09, 2015

Cold Days = Comfort Food: Whats your go to dish that warms your soul?

Comfort food comes in many forms, for some its as simple as a cheeseburger with fries and for others its a warm plate of scrambled eggs and buttered toast or a big bowl of steaming pasta so to try to say that one dish is more comforting than another is like trying to get everyone to have the same favorite color (mine is purple - just in case).
Memories play a big role in how we experience comfort. Sure a warm blanket and a hot cup of cocoa is comforting to many and certainly it stirs up fond memories but I am talking about a deeper connection. 
I grew up in rural New Mexico staying with my grandparents often on a small farm with a couple of goats, a milk cow a few sheep and some chickens as well as a very large sprawling garden and some acres of alfalfa and I had chores to do. Every day started at 4:30 or 5:00 with a cup of warm, chocolate flavored blue corn porridge called ATOLE  - it was thicker than cocoa but thinner than oatmeal and I would have this with a cup of milky and sweet coffee before going out to do the morning chores before school.
Comfort for me its a dish my grandmother made almost every single day for lunch. For many in New Mexico with my similar heritage this is a common dish that almost everyone made in some form or another. Caldo or broth, or soup or whatever the definition of caldo is, was and still is a popular and quick meal. 
Lunch would roll around pretty much exactly at noon and I would come in from whatever I was doing whether it was tending to the sheep as they grazed along the ditch bank or watering the alfalfa fields and my grandmother would have a skillet full of this for her and my grandfather and I to have with some fresh made and warm tortillas. This is Papas con Caldo - or Potato Soup and its simple and fast to make. Its a little onion and garlic, some browned meat and diced potatoes a little water and salt and pepper and it all simmers together to make a pot of heaven. Whats your favorite comfort food?


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