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Knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement from a Christian perspective is my goal. I post a weekly commentary, which could be about world events or the events of my week. Other days I might share stories, recipes, homemaking tips, book reviews, political talk, biblical truth, or other blogs and websites I like. This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

CRAVING COMFORT cookbook review

My neighbor brought me a loaf of banana bread yesterday.  It's neat to know that people still do that sort of thing.  As we stood at the door chatting, the bread warmed my hand.  Warm banana bread is something I can't resist.  Two seconds after saying goodbye, I was slicing a generous end piece while inhaling the sweet aroma. This bread was made with fresh walnuts, which made it extra special because I don't add nuts to my recipe.

I love to bake, and banana cake or bread is the goodie I bake most.  It seems that every week I have three or four spotted bananas on my counter that I need to do something with before they spoil.  I recently discovered that bananas freeze very well if frozen whole or in chunks.  And my sister-in-law claims that  banana is great to have in the freezer because it can be tossed in the blender to make an icy cold smoothie.  She adds chunks of frozen banana to a pack of Carnation instant breakfast and milk. Sounds yummy!

Comfort food, that's what banana bread is.  And my favorite recipe actually comes from a cookbook titled, Comfort Foods:  America's Favorite Foods Cooked The Way You Like Them by Rita M. Harris.  This book is available at Amazon and I highly recommend it.  My Comfort Foods has many stained and wrinkled pages, the sign of a good, often-used cookbook.  I like the personal notes added by the author at the top of each recipe.  She says that Moist And Creamy Banana Cake is a very old cake recipe that was given to her when her daughter was born and is her favorite cake.  Mine too.  It's moist and delicious.  

Right beside the banana cake recipe is a recipe for carrot cake, my second favorite cake.  And the Super- Moist Chocolate Cake made with mayonnaise, that's a winner too.  Some other dessert recipes I have marked as winners are Peanut Butter Bars, Macaroons, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Apple Pie, Chocolate Mousse Frosting, Very Rich Cheesecake, and Oven-Baked Caramel Corn With Nuts

But this cookbook isn't just about desserts.  It also contains recipes for appetizers, breads, soups, salads, sandwiches, main dishes, side dishes, vegetables, sauces, dressings, condiments and beverages.  I wrote "excellent!" at the top of the crab cake recipe.  Also marked as good are the recipes for buttermilk biscuits, stew, potato salad, layered salad, burritos, chicken parmigiana, cheese manicotti, fettucine alfredo, meatloaf,  twice-baked potatoes, and tuna noodle casserole.

There were many days when I'd come home from school and find a pan of warm tuna noodle casserole on the stove.  That dish reminds me of my childhood.  That's what comfort food is. It's memories.  It makes us feel warm and cared for.  A big bowl of buttery mashed potatoes does that for me.  That's also my daughter's all-time favorite food.  But she prefers instant, which I can't understand.  I like real mashed potatoes with lots of lumps.  And sure enough there's a recipe for Lumpy Mashed Potatoes in the Comfort Foods cookbook.

Well I gotta go.  I have a pile of laundry waiting for me and an empty cookie jar that I'm sure I'm going to hear about before the day's over.  Hope you find some comfort in your day. 







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