As the weather gets colder, our thoughts turn towards hearty meals.
Comfort food is a force for good in the world and much of it is associated with what we ate in childhood, tied up with memories of love and being taken care of.
It is the cosy food, the bowl food, the only-use-a-spoon food that we ate when we were under the weather or that we associate with parents who cooked for us, or sometimes comfort food is simply a dish you found at your favourite restaurant or stumbled on in a cookbook or online.
No matter where you find your favourite recipes, food is something we can all find joy in.
These are some of our favourite comfort foods that make dealing with the winter, easy.
Picture a freshly baked pizza, bursting with cheese and mouth-watering toppings. Pizza can be quite a mood-changer like nothing else, and I cannot agree more. Top it with some crispy veggies or succulent meat – you can even make mini pizzas at home whenever you feel like it. And once you try a home-made pizza, there is no going back.
They say that chicken soup can heal a cold and mend a broken heart, but I beg to differ. When you need real consolation, there is nothing like digging into a tub of chocolate or vanilla ice cream. I always loved ice cream with chunks of stuff in it – brownies, chocolate chips – the more the better. In high school, my friends and I used to stop at the local ice cream shop and get soft-serve ice cream.
I have always seen pasta as a vehicle for including as many vegetables in a meal as possible. My standard macaroni cheese involves using at least twice as much broccoli or cauliflower as pasta, while still maintaining its comfort food classic status.
Samp and beans
If you ask me what comfort food sparks the greatest joy, it has to be samp and beans, the savoury soul of my childhood. My dad always offered to make this for us on his days off. So simple, but it is how it is prepared and cooked that makes it so delicious. He also taught me how one ingredient can change the flavour of a whole dish. For example, how you can use Holsum when cooking samp and beans, but not tone down the flavour of the dish.
I love a hot potato in any form, but there is something so satisfying about mashed potatoes. Growing up, I used to cook them a lot. I don’t know why, but that’s just what it was. Fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes – I always went back to the kitchen for leftovers.
Have you read the latest IOL Food digital magazine? Read it here