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  • Betty Girardeau

Comfort Food


Yesterday didn't feel like fall. It is still a bit too warm. But it it was heavily overcast and there was heavy rain off and on. There is something about days like that that calls for preparing and serving some kind of comfort food. I don't agree with the official description of this term which says "Comfort food is food that provides a nostalgic or sentimental value to someone, and may be characterized by its high caloric nature, high carbohydrate level, or simple preparation." Foods that makes me feel good on rainy days, especially if they are a bit on the chill side, are almost always soups or stews. While they may not always be simple to prepare, especially if there are a lot of ingredients that need to be chopped up, most of these are one dish meals and typically are neither high in calories or carb levels. I discovered a new recipe yesterday that I will be adding to my list of favorites, "Lemony Chicken Soup with Spinach." Years ago in a Greek restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, I ordered a lemon chicken soup for my first course. It was fabulous. I returned to that restaurant last year when I was in Charleston for a photo workshop. Sadly, there was no lemon-chicken soup on the menu. This recipe was one that I recently found on-line and in flavor it is very close to what I remembered the restaurant soup was like, but perhaps even better. Since it contains rice along with several different vegetables and the chicken, it is definitely a one bowl total meal, too. But what really sets it apart from other chicken soups is the lemon flavor paired with just a hint of fresh dill. This soup recipe has now joined the short list of my favorite comfort foods. Counting this one, there are only two others on that list, and only one of those has the sentimental value of coming down from my mother. An important aspect to me for something to rightly have the term comfort food bestowed upon it, is that cooking it makes your house smell wonderful. I did a bit of research to find out what the number one comfort food is, and it turns out to be pizza. I do like it and make mine from scratch, even to making the sauce and dough myself. And baking a pizza does make my house smell good. But for me it doesn't make the cut for my comfort food list because pizza isn't better the second day, which is usually the case for a good homemade soup or stew. Yes, I would definitely have to answer "soup" to anyone who asked me what is my favorite comfort food. What would you answer?

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