FINDING MORE COMFORT

 

There are ever so many cookbooks with “comfort” in the titles – and that’s not even including all the other cookbooks with “mom” or “Grandma” in their titles (surely another form of comfort foods). I just want to mention a few more titles for those of you who might be interested in this genre of cookbooks (Please see my August, 2012 blog post titled TAKING COMFORT for more information).

One of my all-time favorite cookbook authors, Marian Burros, wrote COOKING FOR COMFORT, published by Simon & Shuster in 2003.

In the introduction, Burros writes “Roughly three years ago, for reasons  that now seem as unfathomable  and obvious as a shift in the weather, I began to long for the simple, straightforward food of my childhood…I wanted the food my mother made for me…”  Burros was not alone—by my casual calculation (by which I mean it’s totally unscientific—I just go from room to room counting up titles) I think several dozen cookbook authors began focusing on our comfort foods, the dishes of our respective childhoods, the pudding that mom or grandma made from scratch, raisin nut oatmeal cookies and oh, yum! Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting!

This comfort food cookbook contains more than 100 recipes; included is one of my favorites, Hungarian Goulash, but look also for Beef Stew in Wine, Great Roast Chicken, Braised Short Ribs, Mom’s Apple Pie, and another old favorite that is new again, Butterscotch Pudding. (when I returned to making chocolate pudding from scratch, I couldn’t believe how tasty it was!)

These are just a few of the many recipes you will want to make your comfort foods.

Amazon.com has it in soft cover (mine is hard bound) for $3.73 for a pre-owned copy or $3.88 for a new copy from a private vendor. Alibris.com does not appear to have this one on file.

A CUP OF COMFORT/subtitled Favorite Comfort Foods to Warm your heart and lift your spirit, by Jay Weinstein, Chef de Cuisine and Colleen Self, Editor.  This is definitely for those of you who say you “read cookbooks like novels” because this is a collection of stories, from numerous sources, each accompanied by recipes that fit the category. For instance, if I say to you “FIRST, YOU EAT” you would be introduced to Carol M. Hodgson of British Columbia, writing about her grandmother Josephine and her classic Polish kitchen. Included is a photograph of a young Josephine but the piece de resistance is Grandma Zatylny’s BORSCHT—but if you don’t like borscht (what’s not to like?) there are other soup recipes ranging from Chicken Noodle to Hungarian Paprikash Soup (I am swooning over the anticipation of cooking some of these soups when AUTUMN finally arrives in the Antelope Valley). There is also an entertaining recipe (and story) from Lynn Ruth Miller for her Zucchini-Basil Soup who planted a whole packed of zucchini when she first moved to California—she tells about the bountiful crop of Zukes that filled her yard and threatened to break down her patio doors; they climbed over the woodshed into the garage—Ruth writes that she pickled them, canned them, mashed them and used them to garnish desserts and then she began to invent zuke recipes (I wish she didn’t live so far away from me – I would have taken some of those zucchini’s – and I did  create a recipe box just  for zucchini recipes. Included with pages of soup and chowder recipes you will find tips and maybe even a poem or two, such as one for “Mama’s Gumbo”.

Other chapters in A CUP OF COMFORT  include Friends Gathering: Appetizers and Nibbles, Packing a Basket, Taking a Break, dedicated to Salads and Sandwiches, Heartwarming Feasts—meat, poultry and seafood….and lots, lots more.

A CUP OF COMFORT was published in 2002 and is a soft-cover cookbook published by Adams Media Corp. My favorite story may be FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL COOKIES.

This book is available on amazon.com starting at one cent for pre-owned and $2.00 new. (It originally sold for $12.95.  there are a surprising number of books that have “A CUP OF COMFORT” in the title – add cookbook or the subtitle to your search.

Another favorite book of mine is THE LITTLE BIG BOOK OF COMFORT FOOD/200 of the Best Home Recipes co-authored by Katrina Fried, Natasha Tabori Fried and Lena Tabori and maybe my favorite feature of this little gem is the graphic artistry—what appears to be very old copies of prints from eons ago. Well, maybe not eons but certainly from a long time ago! Published in 2006 by Welcome Books, some of the favorite comfort food cookies include everyone’s favorite chocolate chip cookies but oatmeal cookies, molasses crisps, peanut butter cookies, and one of my favorites, Swedish Gingerbread cookies, lemon squares and Marshmallow Rice Treats, fudge brownies and Snickerdoodles. There is so much to love in this little big book – I suggest you go through it page by page and admire all the illustrations before getting down to the serious business of cooking and baking. The little BIG book of Comfort Food is available on Amazon.com for $6.98 for a pre-owned copy. New, the book sold for $24.98 but Amazon has a new edition for $14.42.  Alibris.com has pre-owned copies for $8.98. (*if I were not so adverse to cutting apart books—any books—and I had very young children in my household—I think I would get an extra copy of the Little Big Book of Comfort Food and cut it apart – to frame all the wonderful illustrations! Don’t tell anyone you heard me say that).

From Land O Lakes came a cookbook titled COMFORT FOOD, published in 1999. Sample comfort food dinners such as Chicken Soup & Dumplings, Simple Shepherd’s Pie, Country-Style French Onion Soup, All-American Beef Stew, Busy Day Chili (which can be made with ground turkey), everyone’s favorite Midwest Macaroni & Cheese, Easy Lasagna and my favorite Beef Burgundy & Mushrooms…those are just for openers.  There are a lot of other great-sounding recipes (Layered Tortilla Pie? Or how about Quick Veggie & Cheese Quesadillas?)

There are sections devoted to Salads and Sides, Starters and Snacks, Bread Board and Sweet Comfort.  Along with recipes there are many mouth-watering photographs to whet your appetite. This cookbook is available on Alibris.com starting at $1.00 for a pre-owned copy or from Amazon.com starting at 60c for a pre-owned copy.

Sandy’s cooknote – there is a similar cookbook from Land O Lakes containing many of the same recipes as the larger edition Comfort Food – but the size of those recipe booklets you find in the checkout stands of the supermarket, and this one has the title Comfort Foods. It contains many of the same recipes. The smaller booklet originally sold for $2.99. The larger Comfort Food, sold new for $14.95. Have I completely confused you?  Well, let me add this – the larger cookbook, which has hidden spiral binding features an illustration of Simple Shepherd’s Pie on the cover, while the smaller (booklet size) Land O Lakes cookbook features a Deep Dish Turkey Pot Pie on its cover.

Two other titles in my collection are COMFORT FOOD/102 RECIPES TO NOURISH THE SOUL AS WELL AS THE BODY, by Sue Kreitzman, a softcover collection which, to my immense pleasure, contains quotes from Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings as well as Nika Hazelton! There is even a recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes.

Another cookbook from Project Open Hand is COMFORTING FOODS/feel good recipes from America’s top chefs. Compiled and edited by Norman Kolpas, published in 1995.  This is the third Project Open Hand cookbook and the list of 64 contributors reads like the who’s who of American chefs. This one is available in like-new condition from Alibris.com.   Amazon.com has pre-owned copies starting at one cent or new from $1.93.

Happy cooking!

–Sandy

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5 responses to “FINDING MORE COMFORT

  1. I’ve enjoyed many of Marian Burros cookbooks and she is a very nice person. Back in the ’70′s she was still working for the Washington Post and often was one of the judges at the National Oyster Cook Off (held in southern Maryland every October) … so one year I brought 2 of my copies of her cookbooks along hoping she’d sign them. She did. Years later she was with the NY Times and covered the Pillsbury Bake Off (Phoenix – # 34 – 1990 I think) …..she evidently picked 4 or 6 of the finalists to ‘follow’ during the event and my husband and son were 2 of them! Every time we turned around (whether at a dinner, a rodeo, or just in the hotel area) there she was. I don’t think she went on the ‘special trips, etc.’ that were for the press …she always seemed to ‘do’ things her way. She was/is very pleasant and we always enjoyed her … but had to be careful what we said … as she was great about picking out certain things!

  2. Thanks for your comments, Shirley–this is what makes my blog work for me; this gives my readers a bit more insight to the cookbook author. I dont know how many of her cookbooks I have–have been too busy writing to go search but I think about a dozen were listed inside the Comfort cookbook & I know I dont have all of them. How neat that you got two of them signed by her! Thanks again for sharing! – Sandy

  3. I still refer to two of Marion Burros’ books, which I bought as a young bride — and I married in 1971 at 19. (First husband.) The two that I still use are FREEZE WITH EASE and ELEGANT BUT EASY. At least one of them was co-written by Lois Levine. (I have met, very casually, each of these women and Mrs. Levine struck me as the far more open and friendlier of the two. But, then, she was not an authority writing for the NEW YORK TIMES.)

  4. Thanks, Judy – now I am going to have to stop what I am working on and go search for MY Marion Burros books–I am working on cookbooks from B&Bs and am only halfway through it–might get it finished tomorrow when I get home from church!

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