Comfort Food When You Really Need It

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I know professional lifestyle and food bloggers hardly kvetch about their sorrows and complaints in depth. The online world is supposed to be light, shiny, colorful, pleasing to the eye, and relatable. I used to have a xanga (anyone remember those?) and I would write endlessly – as is my wont – about my trivial problems. There is something weird about writing an online diary…why not just keep a private one? No one needs to know nor wants to know the things you’re supposed to complain to a shrink about. Despite this, every so often, I quietly put myself on check, stretching out my feelers to strangers.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday. Last week pouring into Monday kinda sucked, but this past weekend sucked especially. I’m so very glad it’s over, and I’ll be even more glad when today is over. Don’t worry. No one died or got fired. In the midst of an event that was wrapping up, I was walking back to my car and just finished a phone call. I put the phone in my right jacket pocket. Some #!@#!@$@#$ in roller blades brushed past me. It took a few minutes for me to register that my phone was missing. That P.O.S. had snatched it! Anyway, it was more lame and time-consuming than usual (because of my circumstances) to have to deal with filing a claim and getting a replacement because that’s how life is. I can’t remember the last time I said, “Well, that was easy” because it never is.

I wish I could say that my phone being stolen is the main reason why I have a dark weight on my mind, but it’s not. Do you have a dysfunctional family or family member? Or someone you’ve had a troubled history with who shows their true colors during the thick of things and you’ve realized against years of denial that it’s hopeless with them? If you do, I needn’t say more. And I needn’t say more about my troubles.

Today is about comfort food. I had this last week, preparing to make a post this week about the comfort foods you eat in a bowl when it’s tits freezing outside because that’s how it’s been lately. But today, this post is about the comfort food you need for the short term when your heart has been broken and it needs time to mend, and there’s that singular comfort of the promise of nostalgia and the protection of your bed.

So last week, I baked a chicken. The drumstick and thighs went into a meal. The breast meat made it into a sandwich. The leftover bones and meat went into porridge. Growing up Asian, we had congee once every two weeks. It was the best comfort food. Nowadays, we have it as a day-after Thanksgiving tradition, and this year’s batch was glorious because our turkey was amazeballs.

—–

CHICKEN CONGEE

  • leftover meat and bones from chicken/turkey/whatever you want!
  • 2 cups of calrose rice*
  • 8 cups of water**
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of chicken bouillon powder or 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • a knob of ginger
*Calrose rice is nice and sticky when it’s cooked. I highly recommend it over other types of rice.
** This amount of water is really up to whether or not you like your congee thick or more soup-like. I like mine to be on the thicker side. Add or reduce water accordingly.

There is no way to mess this up. Put everything in a pot. Bring to a boil. Stir like crazy. Simmer for at least 20 minutes. Add water if it gets too thick. Enjoy! The sky’s the limit for garnishes.

NOTE: That brownish fuzzy stuff I put on my congee is called pork floss. It’s like cotton candy meat. I love it. It can be found at your local Chinese supermarket.

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2 thoughts on “Comfort Food When You Really Need It

    • Thanks for the comment, Anisa! I checked out your blog. You’re pretty honest and “unfiltered” as well, which is refreshing!

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