Comfort Food


“Hi, my name is Sherry and I’m the food literacy specialist at the Ottawa Public Library. As part of the à la carte food literacy project, we wanted to begin the year with an introductory piece about comfort food. Our thoughts turn naturally to comfort in January as we seek warmth and reassurance from our food and homes. Recently I talked to some of my colleagues at the library to find out what their favourite comfort foods are.”
Sherry: “So, what is your favourite comfort food and why?”
Christine: “Fried chicken, there’s something about the crunchiness. It’s finger-food basically.”
Tony: “When the weather turns cold outside I like to cook food that schmecks. And by that it’s like a hearty lasagna or a hearty soup.”
Mira: “I love cabbage, ya and broccoli. The whole, this cruciferous family I really love it. Um, either steamed, something stewed, let’s say cabbage with carrots. It’s very good and spices and onions and garlic or just in salad.”
Dorothy: “So my favourite comfort food is actually oatmeal, and I’ve always liked oatmeal as a kid but we used to get the Quaker Oats oatmeal that you, in a package. Little sachets that were super sweet and so as I kid I did like them but things changed when I went to Scotland a couple of years ago. It was a rainy day, it was miserable at the Bed & Breakfast the lady made us this delicious oatmeal and I’ve never tasted anything like it. It was so creamy and good and apparently the trick was to cook it really over low heat and stir it the whole time and it just developed this really yummy flavour.”
Angela: “Growing up, on my dad’s side of the family, he’s from Barbados and his family of course as well. He moved to Edmonton and when we had get togethers sometimes my aunt would cook this macaroni, I think it’s called macaroni pie in the West Indies. It’s a macaroni and cheese casserole but it’s a little different in that it uses a bit less cheese and you put in a bit of mustard as well as ketchup, maybe an egg as well, over the top with crumbs and I find that’s really, really comforting, filling and it makes me think of the good times I had when we got together with my aunts and uncles and cousins.”