Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's time for comfort

I've beaten it to death how much I love fall, the sights, sounds and smells of this season. But here's another reason:

'tis the season for the return of comfort food.

I was thinking about that last night as I tossed a load of blankets into the washing machine and cleared off a section of basement shelves for the soups and broth I bought a couple weeks ago. (Hmmmm. This can has a best by date of '97. I think I can toss that.) I found a can of Campbells Pork and Beans to which I added sliced smoked sausage, Hillshire Farms brand as it was "Buy 1 Get 1 Free" at Dominicks. They don't carry Campbells brand Pork and Beans any more and I had to get Van de Kamps which I grew up with. I really prefer Campbells as I don't like the chunks of fat I see in Van de Kamps when you remove the top. Plus, Campbells has gone to the "pop top" lids with the ring so no need to fish in the drawer for the can opener.

I add ketchup (or is it catsup), yellow mustard and brown sugar to the beans, slice the sausage and add to the pot and then heat the whole thing together. I had the last of a jar of applesauce which I warmed. Total comfort food.

I bought tomato soup to go with grilled cheese sandwiches. I need to make pancakes in quantity and freeze those. I found the raisins in my cleaning of the cupboards so oatmeal with raisins and walnuts is back on the menu for weekend breakfasts. I haven't had a pot roast in awhile, with potatoes and carrots. I haven't made scalloped ham and potatoes or meatball pasta soup in ages. Perry was eating a meatball and sausage sandwich for lunch yesterday which caused me to want a polish and fries for lunch. Jon and I took care of that craving.

I know in the dim reaches of the past, you had to eat hearty at this time of year because, long about March, you were lean from not having the abundance of food at your finger tips that you had as fall was in full swing. But I think there's more to it than just a remnant of my ancestors. These foods improve my mood and make me feel snug and warm. I have two meals of beans and sausage and then, on Friday, I can cook something else or wait until the weekend and really go to town. The cooking process makes the whole house smell wonderful, too, and if you're going to finally close up the house for the winter, you want it to smell like something other than an antiseptically clean bathroom.

So I need to finish clearing the cupboards and then put everything back so I can begin the process of never having any counter space because I was cooking. Oh look! Here's another bag of semi-sweet morsels. I haven't made dump cookies in ages...

Beverage: Blackberry Sage tea


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