Sometime it’s hard to distinguish between the comfort and the food.
Comfort food is, well, comforting. No big surprise there. But, is it really the food itself or the memories that come rushing back when we eat it? And, does it really matter?
I know when I take that first forkful of pot roast or meatloaf it makes me feel different than when I bite into a chicken Caesar wrap. When I’m eating it I can picture my Mom slathering that seven bone chuck roast with cream of mushroom soup. Or, mixing all of the mystery meatloaf ingredients together with her hands. If my sisters or I were in the right place at the right time, we would be able to steal a taste of some fresh raw ground beef before it was mixed and loafed.
It’s those memories that we have when we eat that type of food that enhances everything. Smells, sights and sometimes sounds all come together to form the comfort food experience. At times those things even outweigh the taste of the food itself.
Last week a little cookbook filled with big comfort food hit my desk. Little Old Lady Recipes: Comfort Food and Kitchen Table Wisdom. The book which measures only 5X7 is packed with comfort food recipes that will take you back in time. It’s easy to see after turning the first page that the tagline “Made with love and lots of lard” fits. Especially the love part.
Author Meg Favreau, highlights some easy to make standards. But, the real beauty to this little gem of a book is the accompanying photos. There are enough Grandmas and favorite Aunts in this book for anyone to be reminded of who really made these recipes shine. Dishing out sage kitchen advice with classic recipes is a hard combo to beat.
All this comfort food talk has made me hungry for a little taste. Why don’t we give one a whirl?
Here’s how to do it.
4 to 6 pork chops
Salt and pepper
Heat a large skillet or frying pan over medium high heat. Salt and pepper chops to taste. If chops are lean, add a little oil to the pan. Brown chops about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat and cook until chops are tender.
Serve with applesauce (of course) or mint jelly. My family likes hash browns too!
Serves 4 to 6
Recipe adapted from, Pork Chops; Little Old Lady Recipes, Meg Favreau, Quirk Books 2011. Images: Larry Hoffman, cookbookman ©2011
That’s it! Honestly. That could not be any simpler. I think in all the reviews that I’ve done here on cookbookman.com, a two ingredient recipe takes the prize.
Tips: When I cooked my chops I used a good old fashioned Sunbeam Electric Skillet. It’s circa 1970 and I believe the original color was “Almond”. I figured it’s not doing me any good stuck in the back of the cabinet. It’s a perfect recipe to break it out.
The Bottom Line: Winter is here. That means time to cook more meals indoors. Kids are in school and life is a little more hectic than during the summer. So, we all could use a little uncomplicated comfort food to complete our day. Meg’s new cookbook is a great place to start making new food memories for your family or bring back a few old ones for you.
Author: Meg Favreau
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books (November 1, 2011)