Thursday, July 26, 2007


To many, it would mean food which is quintessentially casual and unfussy, perhaps what we call ghar ka khana. It may also connote food that may be filling and induces a feeling of satiation and contentment. For me though, the definition that has the greatest resonance is in a book by
one of the great international cookery writers and broadcasters, Nigella Lawson. In ‘Nigella Bites’, she writes, “If I am being honest, for me all food is comfort food, but there are times when you need a bowlful of something hot or a slice of something sweet just to make you feel that the world is a safer place. We all get tired, stressed, sad or lonely and this is the food that soothes.” In her chapter on comfort food, Nigella includes traditional favourites like mashed potatoes, salmon fish cakes, chicken soup and rice pudding. In doing so, and in including dishes that are really identified with school and childhood, in effect nursery food, she had hit upon something.
Comfort food is a state of mind. All food to a greater or lesser extent induces some measure of comfort. In this respect, comfort food is the opposite; it is food to be eaten for the sake of comfort and not to give you a size eight figure.
For many, there is a tendency to rebel against these new notions of food and a desire to recall the simplicities of the past when there was food and special occasion food such as that served at festivals and weddings. There was no desire to taste Beluga caviar with a glass of Krug, those decadent tastes were reserved to a few highly westernized families.
For the baby boomers, the generation born after Independence, memories stretch back to a golden era when the sole criterion to judge a dish was its taste.
Often the food recalled was the food served at home or at school, a simple dal, a spicy chicken curry, food shared and enjoyed with family around a table,
such is the stuff of nostalgia and memories of times past, it is to these memories that we return and the food we call comfort food is not only delicious but comforting as well, in that it recalls happy times and an innocent past.
Comfort food is in essence gastronomic nostalgia.


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Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Question: I need about 11/2 cups of flour for making cookies but would like to include some whole-wheat flour in the mix. In what proportions should I mix
regular all-purpose with whole-wheat for the best results? - Gloria, Palm Beach Gardens
Answer: Part of the answer depends on what kind of cookies you are planning to bake.The change will be more noticeable, both in appearance and taste, if the
cookies are either thinner or whiter, such as sugar or gingerbread cookies, and less obtrusive in more robust ones like oatmeal or chocolate chip.
Much also will depend on your taste, although there is no question that the higher the percentage of whole wheat in the cookies the better they will be for
your health.
Whole wheat flour is coarser and more gritty. It also has a somewhat tannic taste, which some palates may construe as bitterness. The cookies are thus likely
to be denser and darker.
To find out your tolerance level, it is best to do some experiments. I'd start by replacing about 25 percent of the all-purpose for delicate cookies.
For more sturdy ones, you can start off with an even 50-50 mix. Of course, if you can find the new white whole wheat flour, you can start with a much higher
ratio with almost no taste or textural differences.
Here are hints to ease the transition, gleaned mostly from Whole Grain Baking, an admirable and timely book published by King Arthur Flour Co. of Vermont
(2006, The Countryman press)
* Add 2 tablespoons of orange juice per cup of flour, replacing other liquids; if none is called for, the cookies may turn out flatter and crisper, but the
taste will be better.
* To minimize the spreading, bake them on parchment paper instead of greasing the pan, which allows less "hold."
* To let the brans soften and feel less gritty, cool and store the cookies in a closed jar for 24 hours before eating.

Source: Gholam RahmanSpecial to The Palm Beach PostThursday, July 05, 2007

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007


To this day, the history about Ice cream remains a mystery. However many say that the first Ice cream is credited to Emperor Nero of Rome. It was a mixture of snow, nectar, fruit pulp & honey. Others proclaim that Marco Polo, a 13th century adventurer, brought ice cream to Europe from the Far East. So which countries like ice cream the most?
The United States , New Zealand, Denmark & Australia top the list. The favourite flavour is the classic Vanilla. then comes Chocolate,
strawberry, Neapolitan & Chocolate chip. How do these line up with your own list of favourites?
The most popular topping for ice cream... Chocolate syrup.
Around 13% of men & 8 % of women will admit to licking the Bowl clean after eating the ice cream. Biggest Ice cream sundae - 12 ft tall. This one was made with 4667 gallons of ice cream in California in 1985. The average single scoop ice cream takes 50 licks to finish.

sourced from Grandma.... webmaster at the Baby names Box.

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