What is comfort food to you?

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Dinner at my grandparents is always the best! My grandma made a special welcome home dinner for my cousin and I.

Comfort food to me is a grilled cheese and tomato soup on a rainy day, a peanut butter and jelly on the beach, fusilli pasta and sauce at my grandmothers the night before Christmas, my mothers baked mac n’ cheese with homemade applesauce in the dead of a New England winter….

My list of comfort foods could go on and on. Especially since I’ve moved away to school, my list of comfort foods is always evolving and growing exponentially. 

Macarons from school for dessert.

Macarons from school for dessert.

Nutmeg feather cake - my grandma made it because it is my cousin and my favorite!

Nutmeg feather cake – my grandma made it because it is my cousin’s and my favorite!

Now when I come home on breaks my family is afraid to disappoint me with a meal.  They think that their food will pale in comparison to the CIA.  However, just the opposite is true.  After eating many foreign meals at school, I begin to crave the familiar flavors of my favorite home cooked foods.

My cousin and I could barely contain our ravenous selves as we drove home last Tuesday for Thanksgiving break.  Our families were texting us pictures of a welcome home dinner our grandmother put together for us.  She made a beautiful spread of some of our favorites: chicken marsala with angel hair pasta, big side salads, chocolate chip cookies and of course – a nutmeg feather cake! I brought some breads and macarons home from Apple Pie to go along with our feast.

The next day I couldn't resist stopping at my favorite frozen yogurt place.

The next day I couldn’t resist stopping at my favorite frozen yogurt place.

Wednesday night I made my parents miso glazed haddock, roasted Brussels sprouts and mashed cauliflower for dinner.

Wednesday night I made my parents miso glazed haddock, roasted Brussels sprouts and mashed cauliflower for dinner.

Thursday, Thanksgiving, was all about comfort food.  Arguably the most important aspect of comfort food, family. To me comfort food is only satisfying if I’m enjoying it in the company of the people I love the most.

My family prepares the same classics every year for Thanksgiving.  My aunt is in charge of the main course, my mom makes all of the hors d’oeurvres and my grandmother makes her infamous pies (apple crumb, pumpkin, blueberry, chocolate pecan and custard) for dessert.

Thanksgiving!! Who needs turkey when there is pie...

Thanksgiving!! Who needs turkey when there is pie! My grandma makes an incredible array of pies every year!!

I felt slightly guilty about my contributions to Thanksgiving this year.  I helped my mom assemble a variety of hors d'oeuvres and made an apple galette but other than that I can't really say I cooked anything.

I felt slightly guilty about my contributions to Thanksgiving this year. I helped my mom assemble a variety of hors d’oeuvres and made an apple galette but other than that I can’t really say I cooked anything!

The filling was a combination of apples; dried cranberries; orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.

The filling was a combination of apples, dried cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.

I love the smell of apples and cinnamon cooking in the morning!

I love the smell of apples and cinnamon cooking in the morning!

Sparkling apple cider

Sparkling apple cider

My mom makes the best artichoke dip - it's my favorite appetizer on Thanksgiving!

My mom makes the best artichoke dip – it’s my favorite appetizer on Thanksgiving!

My aunt cooks the majority of our Thanksgiving dinner every year - we always have a fabulous spread!

My aunt cooks the majority of our Thanksgiving dinner every year – we always have a fabulous spread!

Thanksgiving feast!

Thanksgiving feast!

Blueberry lemon pie...the perfect ending to Thanksgiving dinner!

Blueberry lemon pie…the perfect ending to Thanksgiving dinner!

I hope you all had an incredible Thanksgiving filled with good food and company. 

Students TELL! I decided recently to add a new component to my blog.  Since I no longer have the free time to incorporate lengthy interviews from local chefs, I thought I would start asking my classmates, future chefs, their opinions on food. I plan on starting to frequently add questions and student responses relating to food and cooking at the end of my blog posts.

Q: What does comfort food mean to you? 
A: Anything that reminds me of home.
A: Braises, stews, less tender cuts of meat.
A: Something that makes you feel warm and cozy inside.
A: Something that takes little to no effort to eat and makes me happy.
A: Any kind of food where you can sit back and relax and enjoy what you're eating.  Something fried or thick that coats your ribs and makes you feel good.
A: Comfort food is food that makes you reminisce and makes you feel like home is not so far away.
A: Kraft Mac n' Cheese
A: For me, comfort food, is about the process. Helping my parents make foods i've grown up around or taking the time to make food on my own. It's about a familiar tradition - not making the food to show off skills or learn new things.  For example: always adding too many marshmallows to the candied sweet potatoes or baking cookies in odd shapes.  In a pinch, though, my comfort food is peanut butter.
A: Food that you can enjoy wherever you are, usually home.  It's just as fun to eat as it is to make...pasta, pot pie, ice cream.
A: Burgers, BBQ, pizza...just simple stuff. Or chocolate, chocolates good.
A: Comfort food is something I can enjoy with friends and family, There is nothing better than good BBQ or Italian food with good company.
A: Comfort food is anything that reminds me of my grandparents and parents.
A: Rich food that makes you feel good and lives in your heart.  Comfort food always brings back great memories.
A: Homemade pasta and my mom's sauce.
A: Comfort food is a category that encompasses the nostalgia of our favorite childhood foods.  The alphabet soup my mom used to make when I was sick.  The bagels my dad toasted on the grill when the power was out for a week. These foods carry memories.
A: Comfort food is a food that entices excitement. It raises feelings of nostalgia, happiness and despair. Comfort food provides an escape to anyone who eats it.  It is an unspoken friend, a silent helper. Comfort food is the way we live.
A: The type of food that makes you realize what life is about. What true happiness is.