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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

comforting

I love my family. I love food. That is all there is to it. I mainly crave food because of the good feelings that surround it. I can eat turkey dinner with all the fixin's and say "You know what would be good for supper tomorrow? *insert tasty food here*" regardless of how full I am. It is definitely because of the amazing foods and desserts I had growing up. I have learned to appreciate a good meal, and the hard work behind it. 


I grew up with my grandmother's cooking for all of my life. She could take the simplest things and make magic! She worked hard to feed her man and her squawking children my mom and aunties. I mean, I don't think I know anyone else that could take tomato soup, macaroni, cheese, and crackers and make a meal fit for a queen. 

The aforementioned mac and cheese!


She definitely is a lady with a knack for cooking and a wicked green thumb! She and my grandfather had this house with gardens of all sorts around it. Most of the gardens she started when my mom and aunts were just little babies. Every time I would come down, even for the weekend, we would always walk around the gardens, and see what was growing. If it was summer we would go out and pick currants or carrots or snap yellow and green beans off of their little vines. My grampie would usually be in his little shop tinkering around with some parts, making his latest invention. There would always be a pot of my favorite stew with doughboys cooking in the house, because Grammie knows that is my favorite meal! I will sure miss going back to that house this summer. So many memories.


HODGE PODGE!
My mother also had (and still has) a love of food and gardening. Our house in Nova Scotia had so many flower beds, and we had a small garden every summer in the back yard. We would go out and pick home-grown baby potatoes, carrots and string beans and make the most comforting thing in the world, hodge podge. It is just what its name says - a hodge podge of fresh vegetables and cream and salt and pepper. Probably not the healthiest thing in the world, but most comfort foods never are! I know she misses her gardens just as much as I do. There's something about flowers and fresh vegetables that I love. Not to mention the finer things in life, like a delicious slab of that french chocolate cheesecake, with ooey-gooey caramel sauce staring you right in the face.

I miss my homeland. The family that is there. The good times. I am blessed to have such a great family. 
Maritimers turned Albertans at the beach!
One of my favorite cousins. Miss you bud!!
These are all pictures taken around my grandmother's gardens... Nature is the best model.









The meal I made today just made me think of all of this. Comfort. 


Slow-Cooker Chili with Chicken 
Adapted from Kraft Kitchen's recipe


Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 jar of salsa (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped roughly
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chipotle chili powder (if you don't have this, just use regular)
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt, pepper, seasonings of your choice
  • Optional toppings : cheese, sour cream, sliced avocado, crackers

Directions:


Combine first four ingredients in slow cooker.
Top with chicken, onion, red peppers, corn and seasonings. 
Cover with lid. Depending on your crock pot's settings, cooking time will vary. My chili was cooked for 4 hrs 30 min. 


Serve and enjoy!
Makes 10 servings
Per serving (without toppings):
Calories - 162, Fat - 6 g, Carbs - 14.4 g, Fiber - 3.6 g, Protein - 13 g

This was the ultimate comfort food. The whole family slurped it down! The whole time I was eating it, thoughts of home flooded my brain along with the feelings that went along with those good times! 


Love you guys, and miss you so much!


xo
Lauren

4 comments:

  1. Love u too and miss you all so much. Just remember to play the "Pull My Finger" cd afterwords. It is tradition.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I LOVE this blog, Lauren!! You are just so sweet and precious!!
    Love you,
    Mom
    x0x0x0x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well this nearly set me into a fit of tears. Well done. Nannie and grampie would love it. Good job xoxo

    ReplyDelete