Every now and then I get to the point where I just want to eat something which makes me feel slightly warm and fuzzy and reminds me of being ‘home’. By which I mean my mum’s house when I was a child. In my mind’s eye, everything is in a sunshine shade of polaroid. It’s an ideology of comfort brought on by selective memory syndrome, which I think you will agree, we all suffer from occasionally.
So, favourite comfort foods? Well, being a child in the seventies anything out of a tin has an association, but Heinz Tomato Soup has to be on the comfort food list. As does tea and toast.
Interestingly, rice pudding aside, I don’t really go for a sweet comfort food, although am happy to be persuaded. And then, of course, there’s always the amount of effort you need to put in to be comforted. More often than not comfort food is needed when you are, sadly, a little under the weather. That weather often being a force ten gale with added storm.
However, I do have one foodstuff that always satisfies and something I am prepared to rustle up, on the way out of the storm, every time. Now I realise that everyones comfort food is very dependant on their influential culinary early years, so consequently, one persons comfort is another’s chore. But I do believe at least a few of you will glow when you find out what it is.
So, are you sitting on the edge of your seat with barely controlled anticipation?
Ok, let me share. Mashed potato. Hmmm. It can be as part of something such as shepherds pie, or indeed fish pie. It can be a feature in a plate of food my grandma used to call ‘sandcastle mince’. Which, for anyone who may be remotely interested, consisted of the mashed potato acting as a sandcastle and the mince, carrots and peas, taking on the role of the sea. It could be ensconced within a jacket, although I would attest that isn’t actually mashed potato. But for me, sometimes, it’s just the best thing in the world on it’s own, with a little grated cheese on top, and if you like to live on the edge of high society (rather like myself), a sprinkling of black pepper and a dollop of Tomato Ketchup.
And I’ll let you into a little secret. Get yourself one of those potato ricer gadgets, add lots of butter, and I promise you, your mashed potato will taste sublime and never have lumps again.
A comfort food cuddle on a plate. Perfect.