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Broken Heart -- Suggestions Needed

The man I love has gone very far away, and goodbyes were exchanged this morning. I'm about a bottle in, and haven't been able to eat. Any suggestions? I have pretty much everything at my fingertips -- from Japanese and Indian curry to pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes and homemade beef stock to veal chops.

What does one cook to soothe a broken heart?

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  1. I'm awfully sorry about this. I'd go for soup and bread and cheese or baked macaroni and cheese. Warm comfort food.

    Hope you're able to find some comfort during this very difficult time.

    1. Yes...warm comfort foods like chicken soup. Just the ticket. Tea, something sweet might be in order, too. Cyber hugs to you!

      1. Sounds like you could use some hot chocolate or maybe some fresh-baked brownies or cookies, warm from the oven. Wishing your sweetheart a swift return and comfort to you until then. :o)

        1. You have my sympathies. I think we all feel that pain in one way or another at some point in our lives.

          Mashed potatoes, lots of butter and cream in them. Then cookies.

          1. I'm so sorry to hear you're so sad - it's awful to feel this way! I'd say, eat whatever your spirit moves you to eat. In situations like this, I turn to pastas and breads - things that I don't usually eat. Also (for whatever reason) bacon, sausages and baked goods of all types. Popcorn w/butter and salt and some junky t.v. - chased w/homemade chocolate chip cookies or brownies. I agree w/another poster though, maybe getting out is good? I find cooking to be good therapy, but sometimes being in the space that you once shared w/your beloved can be hard - might be nice to get out and remember the rest of your life and the world! Then you don't have to clean up! Good luck.

            1. You will need chocolate, and lots of it. High quality chocolate bars, chocolate ice cream, even those chocolates in a box (feel like a queen: lie on the couch and eat bon bons).
              If you're drinking you probably won't want to cook alot. Get a friend to take you out for an excellent meal. And then go home and eat . . . chocolate.

              Hey, we've all been there. Sorry you're sad, but time -- and chocolate -- will heal the wound. (I've also found smashing his belongings, pictures, etc. is quite cathartic. Just stop short of murdering his animals!)
              Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

              3 Replies
              1. re: NYchowcook

                When I get in a funk it's a crispy-crunchy homemade mac n cheese, baked beans with potato chips (i need to eat the baked beans WITH the chips, not with a spoon). For dessert, something a la mode - brownies, pie, whatever I feel like.

                What do you crave? I use time like this to eat what I want, how I want it, when I want it. If I want brownies for dinner, then, darnit, I'm having brownies for dinner. Or lots and lots of mashed potatoes.

                Good luck.

                1. re: alexajord

                  alexajord, we are cut from the same cloth--mashed potatoes, then some thing chocolate. Brownies ala mode sounds perfect. And drink some wine. Wine always helps everything...

                2. re: NYchowcook

                  You seriously crack me up. I love that you have boundaries -- well, when it comes to animals, not chocolate :)

                3. Macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes. Both, actually, prepared full fat version. This is no time to cut back. Brownies, preferably with icing. Chocolate truffles, really good ones.Some nice wine. 'The Ultimate Napping Blanket' from the Soft Surroundings catalog, or at least a wonderful down blanket to keep you comfortable. Or, do what I did. Get yourself a dog. They love you no matter what you look like, or how bad you feel. You'll get prettier in their eyes every day you live, and you always will be greeted joyously at the door, even if you have only been gone for a minute while taking the garbage outside. You'll never be too fat, thin, old, short or tall in their eyes. You'll always be the best thing that ever walked the face of the earth. Something to think about! Good luck to you.

                  1. I know how you feel, I'm in the same funk. Mine left on my birthday last month to work at the bottom of the earth. He contract doesn't end until the end of March :(

                    My comfort food is a filipino dish, chicken tinola. It's basically chicken simmered in a broth with garlic, onion, ginger with sliced green papaya or chayote and eaten with steamed rice. It may not sound like much but it brings me back to a time when my mom and grandmother were still around for me to turn to when I was feeling low.

                    Also have a "new" comfort food ~ my version of a korean soft tofu stew. In a japanese cast iron pot I sautee some chopped onion, garlic and ginger, add a bit of ground pork and cook until the meat is no longer pink. I put about 1/3 of a jar of hot kim chee, add some water, a bit of clam soup base and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Then I spoon out about 1/2 a container of soft or silken tofu and break it up in the pot. I add a good drizzle of sesame oil and and let it come up to bubbling again. After I turn off the heat, I crack a raw egg into it, stir it in and chow down with steamed rice. Don't know how authentic it is, but it tastes good to me.

                    Don't forget to wrap yourself in a snuggly robe (his or yours), put on some fuzzy slippers and watch a good food movie while you eat. Chin up, he'll be home soon. Phone calls, IM or online chats help to close the distance gap.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: AntarcticWidow

                      Ah, unfortunately, he isn't going to come back. I wish I had his robe!

                      And the soon dubu jjigae you're talking about sounds like a great version! For some reason, I've never used a seafood base broth before, but I'll try it :) Thanks!

                      1. re: link_930

                        Soon dubu jjigae? Thanks, I didn't know the Korean name. There are not many Korean restaurants where I live. A friend of mine took me once to a Korean grocery store near her house; it has a restaurant inside. I ordered the tofu stew with pork and clams because sounded good and I've been hooked on it ever since. Most of the time I don't have clams on hand, so I add a little of the clam base.

                        I'm very sorry to hear he isn't returning. Everyone on this post has offered lots of wonderful comfort suggestions for food and heart. They are one heck of a support group!

                    2. Bake bread....all of the kneading will give you a good workout, the house will smell great, and you can eat a pint of chocolate ice cream while waiting for the bread to rise.

                      1. I second Celeste's bread-baking suggestion. Or cookies. (with plenty of dark dark chocolate chips)

                        Homemade macaroni & cheese is good too.

                        Maybe there's something you like but he won't eat? Now's your chance!

                        1. Two coney island hot dogs with extra chili and onions, french fries and a coke. It's good for hangovers and depression. I'm serious. It's also so messy it'll take your mind off things for awhile. Good luck.

                          1. All, *thank you* for your suggestions. Mac & cheese and mashed potatoes never occurred to me! Is it a regional thing, or am I just clueless to comfort foods? I ripped up my kitchen and am sitting here with braised veal chops, French onion soup, a pseudo bouillabaisse, and chicken soup on the stove. However, comfort foods they are not (to me, at least).

                            Bottle #2 underway. I'm going to have a bitchin hangover tomorrow. (Then I can go for the Coney Island hot dogs!)

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: link_930

                              i hope you feel better.

                              i agree with the above, go with carbs - mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, biscuits, etc. however, since you are drinking, remember to fit in the protein as well.

                              tomorrow a hot dog - or scrambled eggs. they always revive me.

                              and a few days later, returning to a nice diet makes me feel great. not popular, but you'd be surprised how much better you'll feel.

                              til then, eat and drink whatever :)

                              1. re: link_930

                                Mac & cheese was one of my first thoughts too (I make a souped up version of the blue box with ground buffalo, extra milk or cream and cheese), but I believe there have been studies of the efficacy of potatoes on the blues ... If mashed isn't your thing, try baked with all the fixings ... carbs and fat are what comfort food is all about. One of my favorite baked potatoes is a deep purple potato with butter, salt, pepper, sour cream (full fat of course!), green onion, leftover meatloaf glaze (chili sauce, dry mustard, brown sugar), and bacon. Oh, and a side of milk. You can also make a taco baked potato ... a BBQ baked potato ...

                                The food of your childhood is good too ... the food your grandmother made for you. Hey, put it on a baked potato ;)

                                And I second the dog suggestion ... I myself am partial to Shelties, they're incredibly intuitive and empathetic. There is undoubtedly a Sheltie Rescue somewhere near you ...

                              2. Start simple. I'm guessing not only do you not want to eat, you don't want to go to the trouble of fixing food. Nothing wrong with a peanut butter sandwich or two with an apple for dinner. Or skip the bread, peanut butter on apples is really pretty healthy, tastes pretty good, doesn't take much effort, and you can pace it depending on your mood. And no, you don't even have to slice the apple. Just a dab of peanutbutter before each bite, right on the apple.

                                1. For the hangover, a good greasy cheeseburger and a Coke always makes the head feel a little better. And some chocolate. :) Surround yourself with some good friends.

                                  1. So sorry to hear, as I did a long distance relationship for quite some time, and unfortunately got very accustomed to "goodbye."

                                    Tomato Soup
                                    Grilled Cheese
                                    Good scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream or Mint Chocolate Chip

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Emme

                                      I agree: grilled cheese with lots of butter for the frying and lots of ketchup for the dipping. Potato chips. Large jar of dill pickels (the expensive ones from the refrigerator section). Nice box of bon bons as suggested, unless you like baking cookies. If you have no cheese hot tea with sugar and toast with lots of butter. Mmmm, butter, salt sugar.

                                      1. re: waver

                                        Yes! Ketchup for the dipping... lots!

                                        And that toast with butter... it's sprinkled w/ brown sugar and a little cinnamon right, then broiled?

                                    2. I'm so sorry, and I've been there. My suggestions...
                                      1. Lemony chicken broth, very buttery sourdough toast, and sweet iced tea with lemonade.
                                      2. Frito pie topped with cheese and chopped onion and a little squirt of yellow mustard if you can muster the energy, and a Coke. Followed by chocolate ice cream with more Coke poured over the top of it.


                                      1. You CHers are like Yoda! My neighbor just brought me mashed potatoes and meatloaf. I've actually never had it because of what people tell me about it, but I'm sure it's going to be delish.

                                        Bottle #3 to heal the heart, right? ;)

                                        1. Uggggg, the boeken heart!
                                          Sending warm and comfy thoughts.
                                          I guess I'm on the mashed potato band wagon...when I got my heart broken at 18, my mom said the only way she could get me to eat anything was by making mashed potatoes...it's still works!
                                          I had a bit of a broken heart last yeat (more of a breakdown over a test) and my good friend made the most magical meal: perfect glass of red wine; roasted veal marrow bones (my favorite treat) to start; some sort of hearty stew (I couldn't get my mind off the marrow bones) and some mashed potatoes even though there were potatos in the stew...taters make the world better...dessert was chocolate crossaint bread pudding with cream anglaise....mmm.
                                          Your next meal should be enjoyed with a friend and another bottle of wine.

                                          You will again, till then, mashed potatoes!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: tatertotsrock

                                            Today (after those two bottles you mentioned), aspirin and Tums and broth (salty) if you can stomach them. Then small bagels, cut in half and buttered and sprinkled with garlic salt, toasted, and spread with cream cheese. Possibly a milkshake later. My sympathies - I do feel for you.

                                          2. I recommend walking round an up-market store and just buy whatever takes your fancy. There's no way to know what will appeal...
                                            Actually personal experience tells me you won't want to eat anything for days. So be careful with the bottles, as they will sting more than usual.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: Peg

                                              Peg, you're right. I had a spoonful of mashed potatoes, and made some mac and cheese, but ended up just staring at it then throwing it out. That market idea is great, though! My head isn't working properly, but it's always fun coming home and thinking, "well, now what am I supposed to do with dragon fruit and pork chops?" Thanks!

                                              1. re: link_930

                                                Whenever I'm not sure what I want to eat, I start reading cookbooks ...

                                                As I mentioned on another thread, the Sterns' Square Meals has a really fantastic chapter on comfort food (nursery food). I guess you could argue the whole book is about comfort food ...

                                                I'm also a fan of chocolate. Godiva truffles aren't bad at all ... my gourmet grocery store has some pretty darn good chocolate too, and so does Whole Foods. Godiva also makes ice cream that's pretty heavenly ... available at grocery stores like Tom Thumb.

                                                1. re: foiegras

                                                  Link, why don't you just order in from your very favorite take out place -- pizza with exactly what you want on it, some Chinese or better yet any or all of the desserts?

                                                  The wine thing is fine for tonight, but I also recommend non-alcoholic pampering, in the form of mani/pedi/massage. You also could get a steam and pretend the tears are just water.

                                                  Another thing you could do is choose a new cuisine and learn it. Your mind will probably not function properly for a while, but at least you could gain some cooking skills.

                                                  1. re: foiegras

                                                    Thanks for the book recommendation, I'll definitely have to check it out -- I actually ended up with Peterson's _Cooking_, which has become a solid favorite.

                                                  2. re: link_930

                                                    link 930 - so sorry for your loss, how's the head? My never fail (and believe me, it's happened more than once) is simple, chicken noodle soup (or any soup, actually). It gives me something to concentrate on while I'm making it, and something to look forward to while its cooking.

                                                2. My initial answer is comfort food, soup, cheese or mac and cheese. When Dh goes on a Biz trp and I want to be a bit decadent I get a bottle of champagne or sake, I order sushi. then I do a "spa" night, manicure, pedicure, facial mask and enjoy my champagne and dinner while I watch a "chick flick" My personal fave is Pretty Woman :-)
                                                  Good Luck and I hope you feel beter soon! I just opened a bottle of wine myself so salute to you.

                                                  1. Girrrrrrl, you need to grill you up a veal chop. Serve it w/ some diced tomatoes mixed w/ tapenade & basil and a green salad and light vinaigrette. Here's the recipe from Bon Appetit. I use tapenade instead of the Kalamata olives. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                    Easy enough to throw together after the btl of wine and the likely tears you are shedding. So sorry you're sad.

                                                    1. So sorry about your break up. Did you finish the 3rd bottle?

                                                      My comfort foods:
                                                      toasted sourdough bread dripping with butter
                                                      mac n cheese
                                                      pasta with butter and parm cheese
                                                      ice cream
                                                      chocolate truffles

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: OysterHo

                                                        bread and cheese
                                                        pasta carbonara
                                                        chocolate...the good stuff, like Valrhona
                                                        oh, and plenty of liquor. Treat yourself to top shelf
                                                        Is there anything better than a mojito you made yourself?

                                                        1. re: thegreekone

                                                          Very sorry. It's never easy.

                                                          This is kind of random but no one else has mentioned it so here goes: I drink large quantities of orange juice when I'm feeling blue.

                                                          I know, it sounds weird right? But there's something refreshing and yet comforting about orange juice. Call me crazy, but it works for me.

                                                          1. re: donnival

                                                            Donnival, that's too cute! My best friend has the same proclivity for massive amounts of orange juice. She pretends to get drunk from it, though. :P

                                                      2. I feel for you and hope you're feeling better soon. No fun at all to have a broken heart.

                                                        I love the idea of comfort food, but I can't gorge on mac & cheese or ice cream without ending up feeling worse than I did before (ok, maybe I have issues!). So what I do when I need something soothing is make a huge bowl of something I won't feel too guilty about. The Korean kimchi/dobu jigae suggestions above are exactly the right kind of thing. Really spicy, lots of vegetables. Or Japanese noodles with miso broth and loads of veggies and some meat. Or Thai Tom Yum soup with lots of additions. Or even a seriously doctored-up ramen. For some reason, Asian foods are my favorite comfort foods!

                                                        1. Anything that your grandma/mother/anyone close to you would have made for you as a kid. I think that during these times, we revert back to our childhood looking for comfort and familiarity. I'm a midwestern Filipino American and I'd want to fall into my mom's smelt and rice with vinegarized soysauce or my granny's pork tenderloin and fried chicken. Make your favorites or let someone else cater to you... and hang in there :)

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: sausagefinger

                                                            Ah yes! In that case (for me) it would be a toasted everything bagel with nova, scallion cream cheese, tomato, and onion.

                                                          2. I'm so sorry, link. Thinking of you.

                                                            As for what to eat, without question I go along with all the suggestions for mac ' cheese type comfort food. You know...warm, gooey, high carb.

                                                            And don't forget chocolate...the serotonins might temporarily boost your mood to get you over the hump. But have a little protein, too, so you don't crash. ;-)

                                                            However...I noticed you asked, "what does one *cook*" (versus "eat")...

                                                            And...looking at all the lovely, healthy ingredients you have on hand...I'm thinking about soup. I love to make soups, either to celebrate a good mood or improve a blue one.

                                                            I find chopping veggies to be very therapeutic, either to release nervous energy or create some, when I'm dragging. And the fragrances of the veggies, herbs and spices, and the steam and warmth of the long simmer are somehow very homey and comforting. Make a big enough batch for tomorrow, too, or to freeze, and you won't have to cook if you're notin the mood in the next few days ahead. Plus, the process is long enough to occupy one's mind.

                                                            So that's my suggestion, but whatever you choose, do try to eat a little something healthy. Very important during times of heartache, to keep your immune system up. (((Best wishes.)))

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: MaggieRSN

                                                              Pizza - very greasy, to soak up the booze
                                                              Ice cream - the whole pint, from the container

                                                              Many hugs to you, girlfriend....

                                                            2. I think it depends on your cooking psyche. For me, cooking has always been a source of comfort. When I'm blue, I tend to make things that:

                                                              1. Require repetitiveness and time- preferably so that I'm active in the cooking process, but I don't have to be thinking a lot about that process if my mind wanders off.
                                                              2. Are refreshing and light. Sometimes my body craves something bright-tasting when my mind and heart are heavy.

                                                              My list of time-intensive dishes includes:

                                                              -Making kneaded yeast bread by hand (I can justify staying in and being a mess because I'm "supposed to babysit" the proofing dough :)
                                                              -Soft, custard-like scrambled eggs
                                                              -Meatball rolling (one of the only times I make Italian wedding soup is when I'm down because rolling those itty-bitty meatballs takes a bit of patience for me!)

                                                              For the "refreshing" category:
                                                              -Raw fennel sliced paper thin with supremes of orange and a vinaigrette made with the orange juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped olives (the purple-black color of kalamata olives is particularly striking). It's something that's pretty to look at and it doesn't leave me feeling too weighed down.
                                                              -Mango salsa
                                                              -Grilled shrimp with chimmichurri sauce

                                                              One sort of "outlier" for me is a good bowl of pho. It takes a while to make, but it's not really active time. With the hit of lime juice and fresh herbs at the end, it becomes this great dish of something light and comforting all at once.

                                                              I'm sorry you aren't well, and I hope you feel better with time and nourishment for your body.

                                                              1. Hey Link,

                                                                I would say, as soon as possible plan a lovely dinner party. Make sure a couple of new people come (maybe make a rule that everyone has to invite 1 person unknown to the rest of the invitees - you included. It could be someone you meet at the market.) Dress nicely, make a couple of really special appetizers to go with the special cocktails that you'll serve. Life, with all the joy of friends and food that we know, can be really beautiful.
                                                                He's just one guy. There are plenty out there, and the really fun guys are definitely attracted to good cooks.