"We are going to focus on LIFE for Katya. I believe, one day, she will amaze the world."

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Comfort Food

As seems to happen far too often, the best thought out plans for our family just kind of get messed up by life--or critters and insects. In fact, insects of the stinging variety really put a crimp in today's plans when they chewed (yes, you read that right!) a hole in the ceiling of the sewing room and swooped in, invading our house in generous numbers! My hubby has been faithfully battling them,including some trips up into the attic to kill and then repel any further attempts. So very thankful that we were home when this happened. It would not have been fun to be away for the day and come home to find that they had totally taken over the whole entire house!

So, with a morning like that, comfort food for lunch it is.

Something quick and easy, that can be eaten whenever each family member is free to dive in.

Rice Soup, an old family favorite of Paul's family.

Followed by these scrumptious goodies for dessert.

 I'll tell you about the Rice Soup. You will have to wait for the Wares By Cherry blog post to find out about those delectable cookies . . . 

The first time I ever tasted this Rice Soup was when I was visiting Paul's family in Oklahoma. I honestly don't remember if it was on my first trip there before we were engaged, or in March after we were engaged and I went there for his brother's wedding. It seems it was the latter, but this many years later, who can say for sure? At any rate, my memory of what I thought of the soup served for lunch is a LOT more clear than exactly which trip.

My thoughts were that it was an unusual flavor. And that it was tough to get down due to that. But I politely and dutifully ate it, since it was a part of my husband's upbringing. And to be kind and loving to my husband, I asked for the recipe and learned how to make it after we were married.

It didn't take long before the soup grew on me. My children all grew up with it (well, except Kristina and Katya--they came lately to it) and ALL of them like it. I even have children tell me that they like my version of it better than their Grandma's version, so I'll take that as a huge compliment.

Since we have altered it so much over the years, we mostly now just throw every thing into a great big stock pot and make it, without using any recipe. It's fast, it's easy, and it's yummy! Those who can have dairy cheese eat it with that, those who needed goat's cheeses, partake of it with goat's cheese. Hot dogs of the no-nitrate variety are enjoyed frequently along side it.

Rice Soup recipe as it was handed down to me

1/2 cup rice
2-4 cups water
1 qt soup stock
A few sprigs parsley
3 points star anise
1 bay leave
A few pepper kernels
salt to taste

Edited to add: the original recipe also forgot that chopped onions are definitely called for! We always use them. Mmm.

Cook all together, when rice is done, add 2 cups tomato juice and some cream.

Now, we start a big stock pot boil and use several qts of water. We then add the Frontier Chicken broth powder if we don't have actual chicken stock. We dump in brown rice--usually several cups full. Add our spices--going generous on the Anise, whether it be the stars or the seeds. We cook till the rice is tender, add our tomato juice, and then add a splash of Rice Milk (non-dairy milk substitute).

Serve with shredded cheese and crackers. The kids are always happy if there is enough left over to have a second go-round at. The flavor is often better the second day. Some of Paul's family make this using beef instead of chicken, but our family doesn't care for it that way. Neither do we care for it with pasta (another variant) rather than brown rice.

If you decide to make it, please do drop a comment and let us know what you think of it! ;-) I have no clue what background this soup may have--if it's a Ukrainian type soup or Russian or what. Many of the foods his family fixes are clearly identifiable as Russian or Ukrainian cuisine. But I don't know about this one.

My children class this as a comfort food. Hey, it works for me!

What are comfort foods at your house?


Hevel said...

The closest to this recipe I've ever tasted was a tomato soup in Germany.

:)De said...

My kids love what we call, "Can-Can soup". It is a crock pot meal that the kids prepare together. Each kids picks two cans of vegetables....whatever they like and add them to the crock pot. A can of this, a can of that. Sometimes I add a cream of celery, onion or mushroom or sometimes I add broth for a thinner soup. Salt and pepper to taste, serve with crackers. It too is better on the second day.

Milena said...

Comfort food here is full grain couscous stirred together when hot with maquerel in tomato sauce (from a can) and green peas. To be eaten cold on a hot day, or warm on a cold day. Easy to make huge quantities and easy to bring along on a picnic. Takes hardly any time to make either. The children cheer when I make it.

csmith said...

We are pure southerners and our comfort food shows it! Fried chicken and mashed potatoes, cream gravy and biscuits, pinto beans and cornbread, and peach cobbler as often as the kids can get me to make it.

Anonymous said...

my mom used to make a potato, green bean and ham casserole with cream of celery soup that I loved! It was perfect for the cold days of winter.