Contributed by Mari Farthing, OWB Admin
When I was first married, I remember I would call my mom pretty much every night after work to get a recipe for something. I remember one day, I was in need of comfort food. I don’t remember what happened that day or why I needed Mom’s goulash to make me feel better, but I had no idea what went into the mix.
I grew up in the 70s, and that meant that dinner was usually some sort of casserole. Usually ground beef-based with a starch and a vegetable. My dad was not an adventurous eater (aside from liver and onions night, when Mom would slip us a $20 and send us kids to McDonalds), so there was not a lot of diversity in the menu. Spices were usually pepper and salt—or seasoned salt, for diversity—but the results were always worth it.
Based on that simple truth, there should be no surprise that Mom’s goulash (also called “Cowboy Food” by my sister or “hot dish” when my mom would use this alternate name for it) was comprised of three simple ingredients: ground beef, macaroni and tomato soup.
It’s the tomato soup that’s the key to this one.
So that night I whipped up dinner and was quickly transporter to the avocado green kitchen of my childhood. Aaaaaah. Big sigh.
Now, when I’m in need of a fix, I still whip up some hot dish (I can’t bring myself to call it goulash, having had and enjoyed real goulash), but with a bit of an update. I use (carb-friendly) macaroni, (lean) ground beef and tomato soup, just like Mom; but I add celery and onion and bell peppers to get some vegetables in there.
Most of the recipes that Mom used to make are still on the dinner table at my house, with a few tweaks. Our tastes are a bit more diverse than Mom and Dad used to make, but still provide the same comfort food solution.
What about you? What’s your comfort food? Is it something that Mom used to make?