About a month ago, when we were in the trough of the coldest February on record for the Chicago area, we were trying to come up with a theme for the ad this week...and all of us were suffering from a case of "cabin fever". We had just finished shoveling out from that huge snow storm on Super Bowl weekend, and the temperatures were doing their very best to jump up into double digits, but no one was feeling all that festive. As a group, however, we came up with a bit of Winter Wizardry and decided to run a sale on all the belly-filling, heart-warming foods we could think of, and we called it our Comfort Foods Event.
We realize, of course, that the idea of comfort food runs contrary to what all of us should be striving for: A healthy, well balanced diet low in starch, sugar and fats, and moderately sprinkled with red meats. However, every once in a while we all deserve a break, and we can afford to be a wee bit naughty on occasion -- thus allowing us to eat what we want, rather than what we are supposed to.
As we sat around the room sharing what each of us thought of when asked to describe their idea of comfort foods, you could hear the yumms and sighs of delight throughout the room. After the meeting, in quest of what we Americans consider our best comfort foods, I found no shortage of ideas on the internet.
To be clear, let me share what most people would agree is the definition of a comfort food: It is usually a warm dish that is rather simple to make using only a few ingredients, and very little, if anything, in it is considered healthy, so they should only be enjoyed occasionally and in moderation. For example, one of the members on our staff has a family favorite comfort food made to celebrate birthdays. It is nothing more than flour, salt milk and water dumplings cooked in rich melted butter (don’t even think of using low fat margarine), and these are served with a bowl of heavily sugared red, tart cherries. Try not to think about the carbs and calories -- they are off the chart!
My internet search also opened my eyes to something else... Although our country suffers from a very serious problem with obesity, we are not alone when it comes to loving our comfort food. Here are a few examples of International Comfort Foods I discovered:
Australia & New Zealand
Bread & butter pudding
Steak & kidney pie
Vegemite on toast
Well, I do hope that I’ve whet your appetite for some delicious, belly-filling comfort, and I look forward to having you sample many of our staff choices over the next two weeks as we celebrate Comfort Food Days at Prisco's.