I began the Comfort Food Poll after I had been talking about the YamDaisy Cafe idea for a while, and had some feedback that cheap nutritious food would not be attractive to potential customers. It sounded too much like aching jaws and boring vegetables. Even when I talked about delicious, nutritious, local, seasonal food made from scratch on the premises….No, said some, people want junk food.
So I came up with the idea of finding out for myself – by asking people what they want to eat when they are hungry and tired.
You have had a hard day, you are sick, tired and hungry. The Fabulous Food Fairy says “Sit yourself down and I will make you a lovely comforting meal. What would you like?”
I asked this question in my website, on the Facebook ‘Comfort Food’ Page, in my Community News Sheets and I asked most people I met.
The 70 or so results were very interesting! I quickly saw that the range was SO wide that one dish could probably not be counted a winner. If I did count it that way, Roast Lamb would be the winner, closely followed by Chicken Soup, Vegetable Soup, Pumpkin Soup, and Macaroni Cheese.
But there were variants within, one chicken soup had noodles, another had vegetables, another had dumplings and so it went. I have ended up putting them into broad categories which seemed to indicate the favourite types of food better.
1st Place: Delicious nourishing soups
2nd Place: Scrumptious bakes including spanakopita and macaroni cheese
3rd Place: Tasty stews; curries were a big player here
4th Place: Heart warming pasta dishes
I had to work out what to do with pasta bakes, there were a couple of lasagnes as well as another pasta bake, so I counted them in both categories! There was also a love for potato mash, it appeared as part of a meal over and over again. Pies were popular, especially from British contributors, and toast soldiers with soft boiled eggs appeared too.
Most of these comfort foods came from Australia, indeed, most came from my local community around Melbourne, and they do show that the sort of comfort meals that people would ask for, are exactly the sort of food that would be served at a YamDaisy Cafe. Of course we did have someone nominate chocolate! And another would simply want pavlova… but it is truly overwhelming that most people chose delicious nutritious meals.
Simone would like pasta with a delicious sauce and a green salad. And then some apple crumble and cream!
Kath likes macaroni cheese! Real comfort food!
Lorraine would like a wonderful stew with deep rich flavours: lots of veggies, maybe pulses, lambshanks…beautiful organic produce so it is not full of additives and flavourings.
14 year old Kacy: Anything! I would eat anything the Fabulous Food Fairy made! I don’t mind what. ANYTHING!
When Geoff comes home tired and hungry, he would like The Fabulous Food Fairy to make a pizza with the lot: ham, pineapple, hot salami, mushrooms, little prawns… the lot!
Chris: Because I live in the tropics, I would be happy to have a roll with avocado and cucumber. For something more substantial I would like curry with rice and some veggies and pappadams.
Chris again: Oh, and you can’t go wrong with spag bol (Spaghetti with Bolognaise sauce).
Les would like the Fabulous Food Fairy to make him an elaborate miso soup. A hearty one with noodles and rice and special things like prawns in it!
Country Girl says: I would be over the moon if someone offered me some good chicken a la king, or something spicy with sausages and potatoes…real down to earth, comforting food. And they would really make me feel better if they offered me some kind of delicious sweet to top it off; chocolate cake or brownies.
Michael would like hot apple pie with cold cream, yoghurt or icecream. Just the thing!
When he comes home tired and hungry, Greg would like the Fabulous Food Fairy to give him weetbix and hot milk, with leatherwood honey drizzled on top. Mmmm comfort!
Naomi would like pumpkin soup with crusty bread.
Andi would like a cup of coffee with a piece of shortbread and a piece of dark chocolate.
Anne would choose nice roast lamb, with roast veggies such as sweet potato, parsnip, pumpkin and potato, and she would like brussel sprouts with it.
Tony would like a pasta bake with minced beef, ham, spinach, cream and tomato.
Rosie: Risotto with chicken and prawns, spinach, roasted capsicum and cream.
Trish: Home made wonton soup and shallots
Melissa: Chicken and dumplings.
Christy: Fried chicken, mashed potato, gravy, coleslaw and a big glass of iced tea. And a buttery biscuit.
Jan: Chicken soup, with chilli, ginger, garlic and lots of veggies, Indonesian style.
Trevor: Chicken noodle soup.
Rose: Minestrone with garlic bread.
Tom: Pumpkin soup with ciabatta bread.
Joy: Dahl and rice with lots of coriander.
Lin: Beef Madras curry (or Rogan Josh) with rice and naan bread.
Jane: Red salmon mornay and peas with pasta or rice.
Anna‘s comfort meal would be the mild red lentil dhal her mum makes, with rice and chutney.
Maureen would like chocolate…
Monika generally cooks something quick and simple for herself, so her comfort meal would be something complicated and taking longer to cook like a beautiful vegetarian lasagne.
Peter would like a vegan pizza: a wholemeal base topped with pesto and relish, garden greens, mushrooms, fried tempeh, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, soy cheese, chopped walnuts and herbs.
If the food fairy made Phil a comfort meal it would be Tortellini Bolognaise.
Bev would love sausages and mashed potatoes with onions and gravy and some french beans. She would like bread and butter pudding for dessert.
Bev also remembers being taken to a French restaurant in the city on Mothers Day. She ate ox cheek cooked in red wine. It was the best meal she has ever eaten.
Brian‘s comfort meal would be home made pavlova with banana, passionfruit and cream.
Francine: Soft boiled eggs with toast soldiers.
Sue would like veggie soup.
Phil wants chicken parmigiana.
Jane loves spanikopita.
Curt would like Lasagne Bolognaise.
Amrish would like paneer, the soft Indian cheese, with spiced vegetables and the potato stuffed panfried flaky bread called paratha. He says that as he eats it the cares of the day would fall away.
Michelle would like nice, thick, hearty, flavoursome vegetable soup with sourdough bread. And after that a baked fruit pudding with custard. The pudding would be something with rhubarb. Maybe apple, sultanas, rhubarb and cinnamon.
Brie would like roast lamb and gravy with roasted potatoes and pumpkin and broccoli and cauliflower as well.
Jinie would like garlic mashed potatoes.
Gina would like rissoles, gravy and mashed potato.
Patricia: The soup my father used to make, with the chuck steak browned and then cooked with beans and vegetables in a beautiful stock.
Lara‘s comfort meal is roast lamb and all the trimmings: roast veggies, gravy, mint sauce….yum!
If Lara is feeling really crook her comfort meal would be a soup… a chicken or a vegetable broth.
Harper would like the Fabulous Food Fairy to make him some fish and chips!
Gillian loves pasta and pesto. She likes extra grated parmesan with it, and she likes some grated carrot over the top too!
Jill: Sardines on toast.
Shirley: What a great range of comfort foods. Do you want some more? I love gado gado, and spanakopita (no idea how to spell it but I mean those spinach and feta parcels), and fresh seasonal salads too.
Sue would like veggie soup.
Terri: My grandmothers traditional spaghetti with napoli sauce and lots and lots of parmesan cheese, always makes me feel better. Plus chocolate but that is to be expected. oh and not forgetting a great cup of tea with bickies to dip in. Mmm…
Andrew and Chris: Andrew would like Osso Buco where the veal is cooked slowly with carrots, celery, onions and tomatoes in good chicken stock until it is just melting. And a gremolata garnish (lemon zest, garlic and parsley) just makes it fly. Oh yes, said Chris, that’s what I would like too!
Em would like potato bake. (Slices of potato layered with onions, olives and greens and then cream poured over the top and baked til it is all deliciously soft and comforting) O yes, and some veggies on the side, cooked or salad would be fine.
Glenda would always choose chicken parmigiana! She likes to have a salad with it.