Sometimes it’s the simplest things that bring us the most comfort. Right now, so many of us are looking for small signs of assurance and comfort as we navigate a time of uncertainty. Food plays an important part of our feeling comfortable and cared for. It’s what we often turn to in times of distress.
Well, that brings us to what are our comfort foods? The above meal was what I prepared for my twin sister, Susan, as she slowly recovered from heart surgery. She smiled when I brought her tray which meant a great deal to me as her caregiver.
Sandwiches are also comfort foods and are fairly easy options for meals lending themselves to a variety of breads and fillings.
Peanut butter & jelly sandwich made with homemade strawberry jam. I picked strawberries last summer and shared some with a friend who made a few jars of jam. So delicious in this simple sandwich.
Back to my sister. Susan is a teacher and usually packs a brown bag lunch. Here’s her take on a lunchtime favorite of a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich (she cautions though, only if tomatoes are in season).
”I like to use sliced challah bread, thinly sliced mozzarella, provolone or some other mild cheese. Place a pat of butter in a small frying pan and heat until medium hot, being careful not to let the butter burn. Assemble three slices of cheese on the bread. If using tomato, I also put two thin slices on the bread. Place in the hot pan. Turn the sandwich over after a few minutes. I usually put another pat of butter in the pan for the other side. Keep the pan over medium heat—you don’t want the bread to burn and the cheese not melt! When it’s golden brown, I serve the sandwich on a plate with sliced sweet pickles. When I’ve made this for my work lunch. I heat it up at school in the microwave for 30-40 seconds.”
My own “secret” favorite sandwich would be a chopped ham salad sandwich with a bowl of soup (this is split pea).
Our Aunt Jenny used to make an indescribably delectable ham salad using a generous tablespoonful each of mayo, grainy mustard, pickle relish and fresh black pepper combined with a cup of chopped fine ham. She meticulously wrapped the sandwich in waxed paper closed with straight pins. As a seamstress, the pins were part of her trade, and I still smile when I think of her. 😊