Comfort Foods

While the trend today seems to be, “Infusion Foods,” those foods whose flavor is extracted by steeping an ingredient into a hot or acidic liquid such as water, oil, milk, or vinegar, for a period of time. From tea and French press coffee to flavored vinegars, oils, or soda pops, infusions have always been a part of our daily lives. Now they are becoming more prevalent as many chefs and bartenders are creating custom infusions to satisfy their customers. I still, particularly at winter time , prefer good old comfort foods. These past months I have been cooking up a storm and my hips are starting to show it. Comfort foods can be time consuming to prepare but I think I often cook to put variation in my life. One of the foods pictured below are most likely going to show up on my dinner menu as I seem to be always preparing one or the other.

I sometimes have baked potatoes ready for the girls after school snack.

I have prepared chicken and dumplings several times lately as everyone likes it.

In my opinion, a hot tuna melt sandwich is so satisfying. I often use sourdough bread or my pita.

Shepherds pie, not everyones favorite, but I make it when I have potatoes that need to be cooked up.

We all seem to love biscuits and gravy so sometimes have them for dinner as well as breakfast.

Good old generic grilled cheese, everybody’s standby favorite.

BLT’s, my all time favorite, but I can’t always afford the bacon or tomatoes these days. I find bacon on sale, we have BLT’s.

I have made several batches of lasagna from scratch this winter.

I have made enough pita bread I am getting proficient at it. I stuff them with goodies and put them in the toaster.

I read a lot, especially during late Autumn and Winter. One of my favorite authors for easy, relaxed reading is Tony Hillerman. Hillerman was an American author of detective novels and nonfiction works, best known for his mystery novels featuring Navajo Nation Police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee.

Several of his works have been adapted as theatrical and television movies. I have read that entire series over the years but just randomly as the books became available to me. I love his descriptions of landscapes and atmospheric conditions. He lived from 1925 until 2008, was married for sixty years, and had six children. Around this past Christmas I decided to reread the Leaphorn/Chee series again, this time in order. I just completed the sixth book and enjoyed them all over again. Now I am waiting for the seventh book to arrive as I need to order them from Vancouver Library. When a book arrives I will read it off and on all day, usually completing it within seven to nine hours of reading, depending on what’s going on otherwise during that time.

After his death, Hillerman’s daughter Anne took up her father’s story and is writing another series with Jim Chee’s wife as the main character. I was not aware of that until my sister, Deb, informed me. I have kept up with Anne’s books of which there are eight so far.

Recently someone told me I need to get out of my own little world and get a life. When I see all the books I have been reading, and there are others beside these, perhaps they are correct. Yet I will take a good book over television or the movies every time.