Thursday, 20 January 2011

Comfort Food (since it's a cold and nasty winter weather day)

This is going to be a quickie. Not because I don’t have time, or because I’m not clever enough to come up with more, but because it’s simple; and simple is good.

Dinner last night was one of those dishes I remember from childhood. It was one of my mom’s “go-to” recipes. Those are the meals I define as comfort food. They make you sit back when you’re done, belly full, and sigh contently, they’re meals that make you feel good and they’re meals that bring back memories.

Dinner as a kid was always served at the table. There was no buffet style at the stove or counter. Meals were prepared, placed in serving dishes and served at a table that had been set with appropriate silverware, dishes and napkins. We talked about our day there, the pitcher of tea sat on the corner of the table and we often had a loaf of bread and the tub of margarine to go with.

Starting with what I made last night, these are two of my working mom’s cheap and easy weeknight suppers. Try not to be overly shocked by the simplicity. These were always so good and meals that we looked forward to.

Green Beans with Ham and New Potatoes

You will need:

1 large can of cut green beans undrained
1 small can of sliced new potatoes undrained
2 cups of water
1 lb of deli ham cut in 1” cubes
½ of an onion chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

You ready for this?

Sauté the chopped onion in the bottom of a soup pot until it starts to get tender.
Grab your handy dandy can opener and open your cans
Dump in the green beans and potatoes with the liquid
Add the cut up ham and the water
Salt and pepper it according to your taste
Boil the heck out of it (just til the onions are done)

Really, it’s that easy. It’s so simple and so satisfying. My favorite part was always the liquid in the bottom of my bowl – the peppery goodness was the best end to the meal and I would dip my buttered bread in to soak up what mom refers to as the “Pot Liquor” and what made me into a “Pot Licker”.  *giggle*

Sauerkraut and Polish Sausage

Again – so easy! Mom always served this with real mashed potatoes made with lots of butter.

You will need:

1 lb of polish sausage cut into bite sized pieces
1 large jar of sauerkraut

Dump it all in the pot and boil the heck out of it. That’s it! It’s so good with mashed potatoes.

Mom made other stuff too – things that were equally good. Things like pot roast, chicken noodle soup, potato soup, mini pizzas made with english muffins...oh, nevermind. You get the point.

But those are the two meals that stuck with me and that I carried over to my own family meals.

I tend to spend more time in the kitchen preparing meals but, I’m an admitted foodie and am always trying to find the next best thing.  Never trust a skinny cook and all that jazz.

Give these a try.  Unless you’re a sauerkraut snob, you should like them. If you are a sauerkraut snob….I’m sorry for you. *wink*

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