Comfort Food Party
I cannot believe I got a seat at THE Comfort Food Party during the charity auction that I love going to! This charity auction has a ton of themed dinners, like this one. Some others of many are faux blackjack and gourmet salmon dinner night, tapas and wine night, variety of chili night, and this one, Comfort Food and Game Night. I personally love these dinners because I get to see really nice people, and break bread with them. As through the ages, sharing a meal is a symbol of good will and camaraderie.
The menu for comfort food included homemade corn muffins, deliciously spicy chili, heart warming goulash, smooth mashed potatoes, baked macaroni and cheese, savory turnip greens, and chocolate peppermint brownies with ice cream. All this and a bunch of good bottles of wine and good company, who would not love this?
I got there a few minutes early, and I could smell the chili and goulash from the street. The spices, aromatic veggies, garlic, and onions were just stopping me in my tracks because it smelled sooo good! I was stopped in my tracks for only a second before I barged into the house and had to peek into the pots to see what I was smelling! Believe me, I wanted to dive in right there and then, but the majority of the other dozen guests were to come, and I needed to wait for them before we all dove into the yummies.
When I walked in and snapped photos of the goulash and chili as they sat side by side on the stove, I noted that they looked a bit similar with a deep earthy red/orange color, and a saucy consistency. That is where the similarities end. Both had distinct flavors, and textures. The goulash had a slow cooked stew quality to it with chunks of beef that melted in my mouth. The chili had ground beef and a nice Southwestern hot and spicy kick to it. Our host had dishes of chopped onion, shredded cheese and sour cream to top our chili if we wanted to. I ate my straight up because I didn't think it needed to be bolstered at all. It was yummy and comforting.
After I first got to the the Comfort Food house, I was not initially aware that there was mac and cheese, one of my favorite foods, because the 2 big baking dishes of the mac and cheese were hiding in the oven, baking away. It was to my joy and happiness when I saw that our host pull out these golden goodies and place them on trivets on the counter. I just stood there snapping photo after photo. I actually had 2 huge helpings of this dish, and I was happy our host made 2 big baking dishes of this because I was sure there was enough for everyone, even if I did take 2 gigantic servings.
There was one other dish I took note on. It was the turnip greens. The flavor and texture was excellent. It tasted like our host spent all day cleaning, chopping and stewing the greens with a smoked ham bone. Even one of the people who claimed to dis-like turnip greens because of the harsh flavor, was converted by our host's offering of a smooth and flavorful turnip green dish. A few of us were chatting away about the greens when the host said, "Oh, it is Miss Glory brand turnip greens. I just added what Miss Glory said to add, and followed the directions on the can to heat the greens." Yes, we were all stunned. A canned green veggie that tasted this good? Really? Yes, really.
The dessert was really fun. It was a brownie mix out of a box, cooked as directed, but with a twist. This is the story, when our host was walking by William-Sanoma during the Xmas season, she caught a whiff of something sweet and pepperminty. She walked in and saw the clerk sprinkling peppermint chocolate bark shards onto a baking dish of hot brownies. After a minute or 2 of the bark getting melty, the clerk took a spatula and spread out the bark shards, and made a plain brownie spectacular. Our host was waiting to to make this brownie dish for 2 months for the Comfort Food Party. What a hit it was. I would not have thought to do that. So, William-Sanoma did its job by selling the chocolate peppermint bark, and getting a client to walk into the store because of the aroma. Anyway, let me tell you, after eating the giant piece that I did (the size of 4 reasonable sized brownies) I can attest to the deliciousness of this dessert, and I understand how the aroma would beckon people to look for where the aroma is coming from. It was comforting to the next level.
The Comfort Food dinner just would not be complete without comfort pets. The cat, he is certainly a comforting pet indeed, and he has made himself comfortable in his chair at the table. Good kitty.