Saturday, January 29, 2011

reinventing comfort

When I was a little girl my mother used to make something called rice cereal.  My brother and I loved it.  Leftover white rice in a bowl of hot milk with a huge dollop of butter and a spoonful of sugar on top.  It brings back memories of the small kitchen we had when we were young.  Sitting at the table with my brother, legs swinging, enjoying this dish which we viewed as a treat.

When my children were growing up I would make the same dish for them.  And they loved it just as much.  Even now my 16 year old will assemble a bowl if we have the ingredients at hand (which we often do).  It was a great way to use up extra rice -- filling, tasty, and warming to the tummy.  I even served it on occasion to overnight guests.   One such guest, a dear friend from my high-school days, exclaimed about this wonderful breakfast, wanting to know where the recipe came from.  My answer?  My mom.  And probably from her mom.  I think it was simply a frugal way to use leftovers.  But it sure was, and still is, tasty.

Sometimes you have a day where you want comfort food.  This morning was one of those days.  As I was assembling, and then happily eating, my bowl of comfort I realized that I have changed the recipe.  Modified it to be more in line with my healthier eating habits.  But it was still just as comforting, warming and satisfying as it ever was.  Reflecting on this I realized that the concept of comfort food is a state of mind.  Yes it's a comfort to the tummy and makes us feel good; but part of what makes us feel good is the memories associated with that food.  Changing the food doesn't change the comfort level as long as the basic concepts are the same.

So I'm making an offer, what are your comfort foods?  What do you eat when you feel the need for that emotional lift?  Share the recipe and the concept below.  If you'd like (and please ask below) I'm happy to make suggestions to help boost the nutrition or health factor while still helping you get that bowl or plate of comfort you are after.  Eating well to be well doesn't mean we can't still have comfort.

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