Comfort Food Works
By Jody Steele
We certainly all need a bit of comfort during these challenging times. In 1966, the Palm Beach Post reported, “adults, when under stress, often turn to comfort food that could be associated with the security of childhood,” definitely a sentimental thought that has worked for many. Evidently, comfort foods do not have a lasting effect, but the brain does process it as an emotional reward. Despite the fact that most comfort foods have high calorie contents, this short-lived result might be worth it in small doses. So let’s go for it.
Where in the world?
Comfort food varies all over the world and even in the United States. We can look back to those simpler times as a child and the memories related to the delicious recipes our mothers and grandmothers made for us. However, these comfort foods are quite different regionally and also can go back to our ancestry. I realized that eggs with soldiers, a favorite breakfast my grandmother made me consisting of a soft-boiled egg and narrowly cut toast, is a comfort food from England. There are many others I savor from my English heritage.
Chef P’s Memories
Talking about comfort food with Philippe Reynaud, Senior Director of Culinary Operations, he shared that his mother who is from Spain prepared many delicious meals that he loved including paella, a classic potato omelet, and a charred pepper salad that was served on toasted olive oil bread. As he got older, he was treated to her special sangria that he says still makes him smile. Now Chef Philippe keeps some recipes in his phone so he can quickly prepare them at home. His comforting choices are a mixture of recipes from his upbringing and other more recent favorites such as shepherd’s pie, shrimp and grits, meatloaf, and buttermilk pancakes.
What is yours?
So what is your comfort food? Due to the fact that Ocean Reef Members hail from a variety of regions, some of the most popular ones are soup and chowders, fried chicken, cornbread, chili, pizza, chocolate anything, and spaghetti with meatballs. Interestingly enough, most of these items and more are offered through our in-home dining at this moment as Ocean Reef’s culinary staff is trying to keep us comfortable.
Now if you are ambitious and enjoy doing some cooking, you can reflect back on your family’s comfort food and prepare your own. I have just had a request from my husband to make his mom’s macaroni and cheese, not part of our diet plan at all, but it is probably time to give in to his comfort. Although we have been making low carb ice cream for days, another favorite of ours and on a national list of comfort foods.
As breakfast is a perfect time for comfort food, you might want to take time to make this “from scratch” recipe for buttermilk pancakes from Chef Philippe. Most ingredients will probably be in your pantry except for the buttermilk, but that can easily be made with milk and a bit of white vinegar or lemon juice.
Chef Philippe’s Buttermilk Pancakes
In a mixing bowl combine:
– 2 C. all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– ½ teaspoon baking soda
– 2 teaspoons sugar
– 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
In a separate bowl combine:
– 4 tablespoons of melted butter
– 2 whole eggs
Then add 2 cups of buttermilk and mix
Combine the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture all at once and gently whip counting 15 seconds. Do NOT over mix. It is okay, if a little lumpy. Let batter rest 10 minutes.
Heat griddle and when hot, scoop 1/3 cup of batter onto the griddle and flip when done to brown a bit.