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Wednesday 21 July 2010

What are our comfort foods?

It's probably no secret now that Siany is sick. So whilst she's getting better (she's been banished to watch reruns of America's Next Top Model and drink lots of fluids), we thought we'd write about our favourite comfort foods. We all have something that makes us feel better when we're under the weather. Here are our feel better foods.

Siany: Homemade chicken soup. A recipe that I've perfected over the last few years (no, I'm not telling you the secret ingredient). It's chunky, full of veg and beans and there's a kick of chilli which is great if I've got a cold. It's all warming and healthy. I've just had a bowl, I feel happy.

Alex E: For me, it's a big bowl of buttery mashed potato. It simply takes no effort to eat, but of course you'll need to get someone else to make it for you if you're feeling under the weather. It might not be very nutritious, but there's nothing like a creamy carb-fest to lift the spirits when you're feeling low.

Alex S: Pretty much anything smothered with hot melted cheese will cheer me up. If I'm feeling lazy then cheese on toast (spread with a bit of tomato puree) will suffice, but if I'm really down then I'll need reinforcement. Enter the lasagne. Just stirring the white sauce, frying the onions and layering the good stuff into a dish is comforting. Serve with a green salad and dressing gown.

Gemma: Firstly, fish finger sandwiches. You have to make them with white bread and ketchup, and you have to smush them down before you eat them. They taste best when you're curled up on the sofa with a blanket. I also love stewed apple, especially if I have a sore throat. Our neighbour had a cooking apple tree so my mum always had a big supply for when I was sick!

Frances: Toad in the hole all the way. It's the joy of a sizzling sausage combined with the reassuring stodge of the batter. If you're feeling a bit rubbishy, I swear the act of scraping the crispy bits off the bottom of the bowl has healing properties.

Sel: In terms of pure comfort, there are few things I yearn for more than a jug of custard. I'm not talking home made from scratch custard. Or that yummy extra vanilla-y one from M&S which I absolutely refuse to share. No, I mean a jug of instant custard made thick enough to stand a spoon in, eaten straight from the jug. Bonus points if I have some of Momma Shoes' rhubarb crumble to go with it though.

Sarah: Egg and soldiers with Marmite on the soldiers. It's what my mum used to make me when I was poorly and it's the most comforting breakfast ever. Not breakfast time? Like Alex E, mash does the trick for me every time.

Jane: Like Sel, there's not much that will cheer me up more than crumble and custard. When I'm down in the dumps, I crave warm and comforting wintery meals. Steak and ale pie with gravy is a sure way to win my heart, and if you follow it with apple crumble and custard, I might just marry you.

Madévi: Rice soup. It's bland and requires only the lightest gumming to ingest. It will stay down when nothing else will. When you start feeling better, you can add some poached chicken, bean sprouts, fried shallots and a dash of soy sauce. Don't forget to make whiny, feeble noises when slurping it. Yum.

Gail: carbs, in some shape or form will always make me feel better when I'm sickly. Really good sourdough bread, toasted with a little bit of butter, or if there's someone willing to cook then a big ol' bowl of mac and cheese, please. Preferably Simon Hopkinson's recipe, with the cut up cherry tomatoes on the top.

Sam: My Mum, who is an unenthusiastic cook at the best of times, used to make eggy pasta for us as kids. Pretty much pasta, hard boiled eggs, peas and diced tomato, mixed in a bowl and completely covered in cheese. Actually, anything cheese covered in general tends to make me feel just dandy!

Michelle: Whenever I'm feeling icky my go-to comfort food is homemade vegetable soup and dumplings, heavy on the dumplings as quite frankly they are my the best bit. If, however, I'm in desperate need of a sweet treat then someone will be most definitely be getting sent to the shop to bring me home a packet of strawberry Angel Delight!

Flickr image from ella novak's photostream.


  1. A nice big bowl of veggie risotto with parmesan on top & a glass of wine.

  2. Spagetti with butter and salt and pepper. Or if I am really struggling to eat, plain wholemeal toasted pittas to nibble on.

  3. Isn't it strange how all comfort food seems to be winter food too?
    I guess we don't really need all that much cheering up when the weather's good and we're sipping on cocktails :)
    My comfort food would have to be a warm, gooey chocolate brownie with ice cream. That's when I need emotional comfort. Physical comfort is best served in the form of my mom's cauliflower soup!

  4. Hot Tortilla (Spanish) with bacon and fried onions in it, eaten with a big chunk of french bread

  5. Rice pudding. Anything with fresh berries, esp blueberries. Pancakes!

  6. Mustard-laced Macaroni cheese with some wilted spinach on the side has cured many a self-inflicted ill (i.e, a hangover). Or, cheap white sliced bread with lots of butter and strawberry jam is pretty darned good too...

  7. Kedgeree. That's all I have to say on the matter x

  8. Oh! I am making kedgeree for dinner tonight =)

    My comfort foods are cheesy pasta and softboiled eggs with soldiers, preferably white bread and lots of butter on top...

  9. Ooooh, my mum's rice pudding with nutmeg on top! Or pasta with canned tuna and cheese on top, zapped in the microwave for 30secs to melt it. Or Hot and Sour Chicken soup at the thai place I've been going to for over 10years - when I was at uni in Birmingham and I had to do the 4hr train journey back to Kent (too poor for the train!) I used to dash to that restaurant and sit there on my own, with my little wheelie suitcase, feeling myself being restored as I ate! That's my soul food!


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