Saturday, June 30, 2012

Comfort Foods

Many people find comfort in familiar, filling, yummy foods.  For me, cooking busies my hands and mind and takes me out of my head, which is something that I sometimes desperately need.  And so, cooking and baking is a wonderful comfort.  This week is proof of that.

A sampling: chocolate chip cookies, pasta with white wine sauce, crab cakes with remoulade, sautéed Swiss chard, and of course a vegetarian (don’t tell Dad) pot pie and a mixed berry pie.

Knowing I’d probably be home late, I made the pot pie filled with leeks and potatoes and mushrooms and more on Wednesday morning and left instructions for whoever arrived home first.  

The crust was flaky, the veggies flavorful, and the gravy just-thick-enough – a success.  (Dad wants me to point out that he baked it off to the perfect brownness.)

Thursday I made a mixed berry pie for my brother-in-law.  (Again, I hope he got a slice.)  

I don’t typically do "pretty" food, but I was inspired by the cuteness of this polka dotted pie.  And guess what I discovered in my mom’s cabinets.  Yep, a decorative pie crust cutter – who knew these existed?  My mom in all her domestic goddess-ness did, that’s who.  

I realized that once baked the little hearts would morph into circles, so I documented the unbaked design here.

By the time I trudged through unlikely traffic on the way to my sister’s house, some pie juices had leaked, but my car was filled with dough-y, berry-y fragrance.  I did take a taste of a heart that fell into said juices, and it was buttery tastiness.  Otherwise, I take my sister’s word that it was good.

Ok, I am going to take a moment to brag.  My pie crust is becoming a thing of wonder – so flaky and brown-able:

The trick is to follow the directions without being afraid of messing it up.  And to forgo the food processer.  Use your fingers, folks.  Get to know your food.  I’ve taken Julia Child’s No Fear, No Apologies, Hands-On approach to cookery to heart.  (I’m currently reading “My Life in France” and feel that Julia and I are kindred spirits.)

I’m feeling a little better today.

Yes, next time I’m feeling down, you should ask me to stay with you.  I will cook.  It will be good for the both of us.

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