I'm not a big comfort food person. I didn't grow up on casseroles and I'm not into mac and cheese. I don't even remember too many of my meals growing up.
As I think back on my childhood, it had two parts. Pre-divorce and post-divorce. Up to 3rd grade and 4th grade and on.
My parents divorced when I was a kid. A few months before my eighth birthday, we packed up the house in San Jose and moved about 80 miles away to live with my grandparents. We left the old house behind and I left my old life behind. I have few memories of the pre-divorce years, and the memories I do have revolve around the pictures I have from back then. Mostly birthday parties. The only food memories are birthday cakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, and fried eggs. (I'm sure my mom cooked, I just don't remember it.)
I remember some foods from when we moved in with, then moved next door to, my grandparents. Those fried pies from earlier this week. Tacos. Okra. Homemade pizza with Little Smokies on them. Sourdough bread. And fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
I still use the same homemade pizza dough recipe and sometimes still use Little Smokies. Tacos occur frequently in our dinner menu. I still like good sourdough bread. Fried chicken and mashed potatoes? Probably the meal I remember that's the closest thing to comfort food. We make chicken here at home, but bake it instead of fry it. I still love mashed potatoes.
But I have another meal that feels like comfort food. I imagine it was in my childhood somewhere, yet I don't remember who made it (mom, grandma, or great-grandma?).
Chicken and dumplings. Nothing better on a cool fall day.