When you feel a little blue, a little run down or nostalgic about the past, what foods come to mind? The term comfort food has been traced back at least to 1966, when the Palm Beach Post used it in a story: “Adults, when under severe emotional stress, turn to what could be called ‘comfort food’—food associated with the security of childhood, like mother’s poached egg or famous chicken soup.” Research shows that people who have positive family relationships are more likely to reach for reminders of those relationships in times of sadness—and often, those reminders come in the form of something edible. A grilled cheese sandwich can be a greasy, gooey, satisfying endeavor in its own right, but even more so if it features in my happy childhood memory.
Today, I made RM’s favorite comfort food for a hot, sunny day. The tall glass of cold milk with ice and an egg and olive sandwich went down quickly after several hours of yard work and busting up concrete porch steps. He introduced me to adding green olives to egg salad early in our marriage, I have to say the combo is delish. The olives give a salty tang that is missing without it. What are some of our other favorites on Ashland?
- Grilled cheese sandwich with basil tomato soup
- Poached eggs on buttered toast (first meal after illness or surgery). My grandmother made this for me and it still provides comfort.
- Tuna and cheese sandwich and baked beans – every Sunday night growing up in Kansas
- Crunchy, not smooth, peanut butter and strawberry jam
- French fries (hand cut and twice fried) with ketchup or do you spell it catsup (my mom spelled it this way)?
- Garlic mashed potatoes with real butter
- Chili (must have beans in it) with homemade cinnamon rolls especially during football season
- Warm chocolate chip cookies – C3’s are the bomb!
- RM’s pizza, grilled on a Friday night for a tired wife
Below is our family recipe for egg and olive spread. Just add all the ingredients together and mix gently. Gets better in the the refrigerator after a couple of days.
- 8 hard-boiled eggs chopped
- diced refrigerator sweet and sour pickles (to taste)
- 10-15 green olives (the big kind stuffed with pimento)
- red onion diced (just a little for crunch)
- a glob of mustard
- two globs of mayonnaise
- chopped fresh basil from the garden
- salt and pepper
Serve on a bun or on slices of bread or with crackers.