Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Comfort Food

While I am a bit sad that Christmas has now passed (though, admittedly relieved that the end of the sugar cookie coma is now in sight), I am thrilled that I returned from Illinois with many servings of leftover soup packed away with the rest of my holiday loot. Today’s lunch was chicken tortilla, tomorrow will be chili. Wednesday evening will be two servings of red pepper soup (That’s how Tom knows I like him, I’m willing to share my favorite soup), followed by potato sausage. The list of soups I got to try while I was home goes on and on. Have I mentioned how much I love the holidays?
With the conclusion of the holidays also comes the conclusion of my financial wiggle room. After Christmas presents, plane tickets, and trips home have been paid for I’m feeling the need to channel Ebenezer Scrooge for the next month when it comes to any flexible spending. Groceries included. So I’m eating out of the pantry this week. Which I should probably do a bit more often anyway, so it’s a good exercise. I figured I might like a supplement to my leftover baked chicken, but was looking for something really tasty, as the chicken, well, it had left something to be desired the first time around so I was not expecting anything magical for round two. Enter my favorite standby side dish: poppy seed noodles. But, alas, tonight I encountered one minor problem just as I’d finished tossing the egg noodles through the melted butter: I was out of poppy seeds.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not above eating butter and noodles and calling it a meal. In fact, it wouldn’t be the first time that had gone down in my kitchen on a cold Monday night. But poppy seed noodles with no poppy seeds? I mean, it’s just not right. I scoured the contents of my spice cabinet to see what else I could work with. I began coming up with several additions that would have surely been delicious: garlic powder, italian seasoning, nutmeg. But when I moved back the first row of spices to reveal the taller containers, I knew the answer was clear.
Are you ready? Because this will actually blow your mind. Or at least your tastebuds. Maybe not. But it’s an improvement on poppy seed noodles. So give me a break.
Butter. Noodles. And crushed red pepper.
It’ll change your life. And I may or may not have eaten tomorrow’s lunch helping as my second dinner serving. Oops.
My overactive imagination sees this as the moment that changes the hearts for all of those poppy seed noodle haters of my past. In all actuality, it will probably be just one glorious night in the kitchen where I discovered a food that will make me lick the spoon, the plate and the pot I cooked it in. I do think I may be on to something here…but for now, I have a twist on an old, comforting standby. Maybe I’ll wait a while before I pick up more poppy seeds.

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