At times like this I find myself turning to comfort foods. And these are usually foods from my childhood. When I was pregnant I craved my mother's lamb stew with dumplings only in those days most supermarkets in America didn't carry lamb. When I go back to England I feast on all my old favorites: fish and chips, bangers and mash, definitely Cornish pasties and cream teas, but also smoked haddock or kippers for breakfast, as well as the full English with bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, sausage etc etc. The good thing about that is that one doesn't need to eat lunch. The bad thing is that it's about a billion calories!
The comfort food I've been indulging in for lunch recently is my trusty grilled cheese and tomato soup. I make the tomato soup with milk, not water, to give added protein. Sometimes I sprinkle grated cheese over the top. And the grilled cheese is really grilled under the broiler, not fried grilled cheese the way it is served here. When I was a college student doing finals my roommate and I lived on grilled cheese, cooked over the gas fire in our room. We became quite good at not dripping cheese over the hearth.
It's ironic that when I'm sent on a book tour I stay at luxury hotels and can order anything I want. This is fun for a couple of days but then my thoughts revert to comfort food. "Could you just poach me one egg with toast?" I ask the breakfast waiter. In Atlanta once the girl looked horrified when I asked for that. "Don't you even want no grits with it?" she asked.
My other big comfort food is soup. Good hearty chicken soup made with the whole chicken and lots of veggies and beans, or my favorite curried parsnip or carrot and ginger in the winter. And I have to confess to another favorite food that will make most of you shudder. MARMITE ON TOAST. I'm afraid you have to be born with British genes to like Marmite. When I've served it to Americans they always look as if I'm trying to poison them. But spread thinly on hot buttered toast it is the best! I think I'll go and have some now......
What are your comfort foods?