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Comfort food
Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort.

From Comforting Foods: Feel Good Recipes from America’s Great Chefs.

   You don’t have to be a cooking expert to realize that certain foods make you feel safe and secure, and comfort you in times of need. It should also come as no surprise that these foods have their origins in the misty memories of childhood.
    Have you ever missed a dish that your mother or grandmother made? Do the smells of certain foods bring back fond memories of times together? For most of us it does because food is more than nourishment. It has meaning to it.  Check in with someone who is ill or a relative you haven’t seen in a while. Consider reconnecting with them by preparing a favorite dish. Chances are it will be a comforting time for you both. If you don’t have any family recipes, here are some favorites from FAITH. The magazine’s staff has a fondness for mashed potatoes and meatloaf. Below are updated recipes for these old favorites, complemented by a vegetable side dish that includes a hint of honey.

Mom’s Meatloaf and Tomato Sauce
Yield: 4-6 servings
2 lbs. ground beef
1 minced medium onion
2 eggs
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tsp mustard
2 Tsp salt
2 Tsp pepper
2 slices rye bread, crusts removed
1/2 cup milk

    With your hands, mix the ground beef, onion, eggs, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper. Soak the rye bread in milk and crumble soaked bread into meat mixture. Form into a rough loaf and bake on a sheet pan, in a 6-cup casserole dish or in a 9” x 5” loaf pan in a 375° preheated oven for 1 hour. Slice and serve.

Tomato Sauce
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 cup wine
3 cups chopped canned tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
Crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper
1 Tblsp chopped fresh parsley

    Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is soft, about 2 minutes. Add wine and reduce to a third of its volume. Add tomatoes; cook until tomatoes begin to release their liquid, and then add tomato paste. Season to taste with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in parsley and heat one minute more. Serve with meatloaf.

Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic
Yield: 4 servings
3 lbs. russet potatoes
1 large head of garlic
1 cup sour cream, half and half or plain yogurt
2-4 Tblsp butter
Salt and pepper

    Bake potatoes and garlic head in a preheated 400° oven for 40 minutes; remove garlic and continue cooking potatoes for 20 more minutes until tender. While the potatoes are still cooking, cut off the pointed end of the garlic head and squeeze the roasted flesh from the skin. Split the cooked potatoes, scoop out the flesh into a large heavy saucepan, and beat in sour cream, half and half or plain yogurt until light and fluffy. Beat in butter and garlic, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Reheat in pan or microwave.

Honey-Glazed Pea Pods and Carrots
Yield: 6 servings
2 cups sliced carrots
1/2 lb. snow peas, trimmed
3 Tblsp butter
1/2 Tsp cornstarch
2 Tsp honey

    Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender crisp, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add pea pods and cook until tender crisp; drain and set aside.
    Melt butter in the same pan and stir in cornstarch. Return carrots and peas to pan and stir in honey. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until heated through.

Comforting Quotes: Why not consider these quotations from St. Paul as you enjoy your comfort foods?

• Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions, that we also may be able to comfort those who are in any distress by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

• For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

• For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk, then, as children of light (For the fruit of the light is in all goodness and justice and truth). Ephesians 5:8-9

By Patricia Majher   |   Photography by Philip Shippert

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