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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
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Winter Night Comfort Food

Winter Night Comfort Food

It’s a cold, rainy or snowy night. Maybe you just came home from a hard day at work, or you’ve been running around all day doing errands and chores. You’re cold to the bone, and tired, and just want to snuggle down and be warm. When you feel like that, do you think back to when you would come home from school and would the aromas of your mother’s cooking wafting out the door? Whatever it was at the time, it was enough to make you feel happy and warm inside and you didn’t want that feeling to end. As we grew older and went out on our own, many of us changed and started cooking “the modern way”: healthier cuts of meat, more fish, salads, grilled chicken, etc. But did you ever come home after a long, cold, miserable day and just want to reverse time and have some comfort food–something that would stick to your ribs, and make you savor each bite while you would reminisce about the way it used to be? Not store-bought, but homemade, just like your mom made. It may seem a bit old-fashioned, but a bowl of chicken soup or some chicken potpie on a cold winter’s night really hits the spot, not just in your stomach, but with a smell that can turn back the hands of time.
The meaning of “comfort food” in Wikipedia is stated as:

“Comfort food is food prepared traditionally that may have a nostalgic or sentimental appeal, or simply provide an easy-to-eat, easy-to-digest meal rich in calories, nutrients, or both.”

The bottom line is: comfort food makes you feel good, doesn’t have to be unhealthy and can be prepared in advance, so you don’t have to cook much at the end of a hard day. So think back to what dinners made you happy when you were a cold, hungry student and, with some modifications, why not cook some meals that were “comfort food”? Here are some menus and recipes that may conjure up some warm cozy feelings.

Chicken Soup
Make over the weekend, or the day of. It may take 1-2 hours to cook.
Ingredients:
One chicken, whole or halved
3 large carrots, peeled, whole
1 medium onion, whole
2 stalks celery, cleaned, whole
2 parsnips, peeled, whole
Salt and pepper

Steps:
Place chicken in a large amount of water–around 5 quarts and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until froth stops forming on the top of the liquid. Skim off the froth from time to time. When it stops forming, add vegetables as mentioned below. (Could take up to an hour or more if using a whole chicken). Add the carrots, onion, celery and parsnips. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until vegetables are tender and chicken is falling off the bone.
Remove carrots, onion, celery and parsnips. Cut up carrots and add back to soup. Cut up parsnips and remove the chicken from the bones. Set the chicken aside for the potpie. Serve soup with cooked orzo or small noodles.

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11 comments

1 Belinda Damron { 12.16.13 at 10:42 pm }

I actually was craving chicken pot pie today; so, at lunch I cooked up some rice, with cream of chicken soup; added some green peas, a little chopped broccoli, and we had a good dish of chicken soup….

2 porky { 12.06.12 at 10:53 am }

im in college rigth now i just got my farmers degree

3 porky { 12.06.12 at 10:52 am }

oooooooooo yummy yummy

4 porky { 12.06.12 at 10:51 am }

i’m so hungry know

5 Sherry { 12.05.12 at 2:37 pm }

My Dad always referred to the Farmers Almanac for the sign of the Moon. He would cut the cows horns, plant crops and even had his first heart surgery making sure the blood flow was below the heart. Miraculously he never lost an ounce of blood.
I buy the Farmers Almanac every year and I thank you for all the endless information.

6 Helen { 11.29.12 at 11:39 am }

To Pam Paterakis, so what’s the recipe for this yummy beef stew?!! My dad’s meatloaf always brought all of us back home pronto…..years back we all asked him for the recipe and he gave each of us (4 girls) a different recipe! I personally think I have the original but the others think that too, lol!!

7 Mari Owen { 11.28.12 at 7:01 pm }

Ooh, my favorite winter comfort food is some nice, thick, rich, creamy New England Clam Chowder – home made, of course. That’s the only good kind, you know. I make enough to last several meals. It just keeps getting better and better each time you heat it up.

8 Vicki Harris { 11.28.12 at 1:23 pm }

I find most pasta dishes to be very satisfying and simple:
a little ground beef, some tomatoes,garlic & olive oil with most any pasta; and you’re ready to go for any number of people. I have done it for years with much succcess.

9 Tamara Schadt { 11.28.12 at 12:43 pm }

Chicken and Dumplings are definately one of my favorite winter comfort foods.
Big pots of any kind of your favorite soups are great in the winter, ad some homemade warm bread and it is the perfect meal!

10 Barb { 11.28.12 at 12:27 pm }

Since I am now a widow & only one to cook for, I make a pot of chili, vegetable soup, chicken noodle soup, etc. do them up in individual meals & put them in the freezer. It doesn’t take any more time, electric or gas to make a big batch. Then you have meals that can be heated in the microwave. What a quick meal. Just add a salad, if desired.

11 pam paterakis { 11.28.12 at 11:02 am }

My Dad’s beef stew! so yummy and filling. When he would visit after I was married always had him make a huge pot to freeze.

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