Friday, November 9, 2012

"I make uncomfortable food."

This morning, in my inbox, there was a request to link up a few recipes for comfort foods. But - even with as many foodie tomes as are on my nightstand and as much as I think, read, and write about food - I couldn't really decide what qualified as a comfort food. I found a definition that made sense, but essentially described it as "a food that comforts." Hmmm. Okay. Well, everyone finds comfort in different ways, right?

So, I did what I always do, I took the question to my friends via social media. "Can someone please succinctly define 'comfort food'?" I posed.

The responses ranged from actual suggestions - mac'n'cheese, lasagna, and mashed potatoes & gravy - to sweet compliments. But the answer that made me laugh aloud and had the boys looking at me quizzically was my friend Kevin's response: "Any food you disapprove of." Now that makes sense to me.

Hold on! Before you, dear reader, get indignant and come to my defense, please know that I actually do have a sense of humor and found his answer - while not entirely helpful at helping me pick a few recipes from my blog - informative. He went on to suggest that I respond to the request with an apology: "Sorry, I only make uncomfortable food."

That is actually a true statement. When people tell me that they don't like some food or don't eat something, I take that as a personal challenge to get them out of their comfort zone. I make them uncomfortable, for a little while, until I win them over to my side!

Case in point: my friend Brian told me that he, unequivocally, did not eat beets...under no circumstances. Well, I created those circumstances for a birthday dinner and he walked away with a full belly and a new declaration - "I only eat beets at Cam's house." I'll take that. Aforementioned pal Kevin once said something about not eating cabbage. So I had my husband deliver a trio of cabbage dishes to try - stuffed cabbage rolls, coleslaw, and kimchi. Kevin ate them, documented his foray into cabbage-eating with a video and gave me a 'not bad' verdict. And just last month, I co-hosted a baby shower for a friend with a pumpkin theme. One of the guests confided in me, "I don't really like pumpkin. If anyone can win me over, it'll be you." I never heard a definitive 'yea' or 'nay' from her that afternoon, but I think her plate was empty at the end of the lunch.

So, here are my comfort foods with an uncomfortable twist...and by 'uncomfortable' I just mean 'Cam-style.'

Meat and Potatoes = Tajine-el-Khoukh (Algerian Stuffed Peaches)

Chocolate = Homemade Snickers

Thanks to all my friends who rang in with answers this morning. 
I couldn't have done this post without your help.

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