Dishes...You Prepare That Bring You (nearly) to Tears?
- Funwithfood Sep 30, 2006 01:29 AM
I had frozen my Turkey Noodle Soup from last year's Thanksgiving Dinner. Considering Thanksgiving 2006 is 'just around the corner', I thought I should eat the soup tonight.
It was so incredibly delicious and nurturing. The experience of eating this comforting soup almost brought me to tears. What dish, albeit delayed, do you make has the potential to elicit intense emotions such as these?
Not really what you meant but, food my mother has made for me, either when I am sick, or simply as a kind gesture. The flavors are often recognizable from my childhood, and I am grateful for a reminder of the past and of all of the hard work she did cooking for us kids growing up.
Sometimes I don't even think about it, but when I heat it up and sit down to dinner, I am swept away by the familiar flavors, and find myself nostalgic in a silly way. It reminds me to be thankful of the meals we still have together.
Pot roast. Baked chicken with sage stuffing. That last cassoulet I did back in February, the one with the peruano beans and lamb neck...and possibly the next one as well; I'll let you know.
Actually, such emotional reactions to food tend to ambush me more often than not, and manifest themselves mostly as a swelling eruption of happy gratitude with no particular reason attached. The last one of these was at lunch the other day, when Mrs. O and I were at a place in El Segundo, and I'd gotten a fairly simple dish of linguini with tomatoes, shallots, artichoke hearts, capers and peppers in a bit of slightly garlicky olive oil, topped with a very fresh parmesan, in wide but transparently thin shreds. It was the cheapest entrée on the menu, and it was so perfectly good and satisfying that I could barely believe my astounding luck. And the best news is that I'll probably feel the same way the next time I order it!
a good bbq'd teriyaki salmon steak. It always gets an eye-roll from me. Something about the teri and the salmon and the smoke....bliss for me.
A creme brulee I had 2 years ago at the Old Crocker Inn in Cloverdale. Shimmering, quivering eggy goodness. Another eye-roller.
Homemade butternut squash ravioli with sage butter sauce (from Epicurious.com I believe). Exquisite.
And this one order of Cuban toast I had at a little shop somewhere off Alligator Alley in Southwest Florida once... it involved Cuban bread brushed with mojo criollo and no doubt some oil or butter, cooked in one of those Cuban sandwich presses, and slathered with guava jelly.
Thanks, Funwithfood, for this thought-provoking post. In fact I get this feeling nearly every time I or my husband cooks up a good dinner! I too grew up with in a non-cooking household, sustained by microwaved frozen food, meat and potatoes, and the occasional salad made with (I am not joking) iceberg lettuce and Miracle Whip.
To me, to be able to cook a delicious meal for one's self is no small thing, and I'm reminded of this frequently (especially when we hit a busy or lazy patch and miss the good stuff).
I am always joyful when my husband makes this Jamie Oliver pasta recipe with gorgonzola, walnuts and marscapone. He doesn't cook that often because I usually get home before him, but when he presents me with that dish (or his pots de chocolat), it makes me glow with fulledness and happiness.
The dish that I make that moves me (we're a strange bunch, us chowhounders) is my pork side ribs. I LOVE them, everything about them, including the long-drawn-out-probably-by-intention-because-it's-fun process of making them. They're sticky and moist and make me proud, but the best thing is my father's reaction to them as he's a tough critic. My mother won't even make them, anymore, preferring to come to my house to eat my version.
This happened to me tonight. I made a lentil stew with sausage and kale -- made up the recipe as I went, and was a little anxious about it, because it was only my second time working with lentils, and I've always thought of them as a little tricky. But I ladled a serving in my bowl when it was done, and tasted it, and it just made me feel completely content and almost teary about it. The mouthfeel was just so perfect, and it was nicely spicy, and it just warmed me to my toes.
moroccan bastilla i learned to make in morocco. magic. the hot, crispy, buttery, sugary crust, with chicken, eggs, almonds, and spices....such an amazing combination.