The Roots of Comfort Food. Simplified.

Comfort Food.  A Definition.

“The term comfort food has been traced back at least to 1966, when the Palm Beach Post used it in a story:

“Adults, when under severe emotional stress, turn to what could be called ‘comfort food‘—food associated with the security of childhood, like mother’s poached egg or famous chicken soup.” – Wikipedia.

Applying this Definition, Comfort Food is All About Childhood and Mom’s Cooking.

Here’s a rather poor quality photo of My Mom.


She was Dynamic, Fun, Hardworking, Beautiful, a Fashion Maven and a Beach Worshiper.

And a Tad Nutty.  In the Best Way.

It was My Mom who made the decision that the Best Way to Practice Our Catholic Religion was to Spend the Entire Sunday at the Ocean.  Together.  Worshipping the Beauty of the Beach.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.  Dawn to Dusk.

Or Something Like that.   I was Young, but it sure did work for Me.

No, not my family.  Wall Décor from a favorite Restaurant in town.  Thought it was fun.


And the Food of My Childhood.  Italian.

What My Mom Grew Up With, She Passed on to Us.


My Mom and Her Sisters Were All Good Italian Cooks.


Growing Up, I thought Every Family Ate Italian.

Sure there was a Spattering of English Food for My Dad.

But My Mom Could Really Cook Italian.  And We Ate a lot of It.

I Cook Italian.  Perhaps Not as Good as My Cousins…

But I Certainly Know Good Italian Food When I Meet It.

And It is My Comfort Food.  Familiar.  Safe.  Home.

Even When Dining Out.


 I am Schooling My Girls on What Makes Good Italian Food.  Good New York Italian Food.

There is a Difference.


Some Favorites…

Potato Leek Soup with Crusty Italian Bread.

Caesar Salad.  Heavy on the Bread.


Angel Hair with Meat Sauce and Pork/Beef Meatballs.  And Bread.


Insalata Antipasta.  And Bread.

Fettuchine Alfredo.  Oh, yes, and Bread.


And the Funny Thing about All This….The Comfort Food of Our Chinese American Daughters???

Yes.  Italian.

Or Perhaps More Specifically, the Italian Bread.  🙂

13 thoughts on “The Roots of Comfort Food. Simplified.

  1. Good New York Italian Food. There is a difference. Growing up in Brooklyn in a Jewish/Italian neighborhood, Italian food was always comfort food. Sure there was Chinese food on Sunday and holidays; matzoh ball soup, latkes, chopped liver at Grandma’s and on holidays; hot dogs at Nathan’s in the summer …. but in times of great emotional upheaval (usually related to a boy), nothing like pasta! To this day, my favorite food to cook and eat is Italian ….. hmmm, do I smell garlic?

    1. I think it’s the garlic that helps with the digestion of the acidity tomato sauce…smells delicious…maybe this should be called New York food. 🙂

    1. Yes, she was quite the character…they all were/are(!) Wouldn’t she have loved the Florida house and the wonderful perfect beach…with Italian food for dinner…you know, your Chicken Parm is right up there with hers…maybe even better. 🙂

  2. Italian is definitely one of my comfort foods. Rick does it pretty darned well (especially the bread part!) and we love it when we get to have dinner with my Italian neighbors (first generation, and boy, can they make great soprasetto, pasta and proscuitto (sp!). Everything in this post looks terrific. (I have to say that I won’t even go to an Olive Garden — to me that is IFSO — Italian Food Shaped Objects!)

  3. Oh my yes…Olive Garden…ugh…in fact, I asked Mr. Doodle to remind me to never go there. Love your high end Italian dishes…we’re still at the spaghetti/meatball offerings. 🙂

  4. Our mothers were wonderful Italian cooks! I learned to cook Italian from my mom. I always pray my sauce/gravey is half as good as hers. It’s always all about the sauce.

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