When I walk into my kitchen today, I am not alone. Whether we know it or not, none of us is. We bring fathers and mothers and kitchen tables, and every meal we have ever eaten. Food is never just food. It’s also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, and who we want to be.
Molly Wizenberg, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, 2009

It’s Jamie Oliver’s birthday today. Who would have thought that the fresh-faced, lisping youngster would become one of the most enduring celebrity chefs in history with his Naked Chef series? Although, in Jamie’s case, ‘naked’ refers to simplicity rather than nudity, the very word makes me want to cry. Our current cold weather defies description; my nose is drizzling and my face is too numb to feel it. Until the drizzly bits freeze up, pulling my top lip up toward my cheek in a lopsided grimace.
And so, as often happens, Sidey’s weekend theme is right on the mark, there is a call for comfort food. Yesterday was National Soup Day and, daydreaming of sunnier climes, using what I had in my pantry and freezer, I set out to recreate a Basque stew/soup I’d once read in a magazine. Onions, garlic, white beans, herbs, white wine, fish, prawns, mussels, tomatoes … and lots of chilli.
Eaten beside a roaring fire, it provided no small comfort.

A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, that shit true as gold. You put some love in your food and a fool can taste it. Raelle Tucker, True Blood, Cold Ground, 2008


60 Comments Add yours

  1. nice blend of senses and sense

  2. souldipper says:

    You have the added bonus of loving anything to do with food. It’s contagious! It’s filtered all the way over here to Canada, Cindy girl!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I am glad, Amy 🙂

  3. buttercup600 says:

    I can almost taste it….your wonderful food and your love for it girlfriend!! Making me sooo hungry. Don’t be too cold, keep the fire burning!! Sending you warm love from Oz oxo

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Honey friend 🙂 xxx

  4. earlybird says:

    Yum! Keep warm.

    It’s overcast and blissfully damp today here!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Enjoy the damp 🙂

  5. earlybird says:

    PS _ Although, knowing the Basques, they probably eat that in mid summer!

    1. theonlycin says:

      That’s a nice picture 🙂

  6. Tandy says:

    what a perfect dish 🙂 Hope you stay warm and snug this weekend xxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      You too, Tandy 🙂

  7. Decadent dish that stew/soup – looks fantastic.
    Hope you weather warms up A LOT.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hope so too, we’re outdoors at the oyster festival tomorrow :O

  8. It’s so cold down here in Oz too Cindy, nothing for it but to cook & eat all weekend & if that doesn’t work, then we’ll just have to open a couple of good reds to keep us warm. If this is Autumn what in the #@*?! is winter going to be like.
    Happy Birthday Jamie too…., love the guy.
    OK, back to the kitchen – have an warm weekend Cindy 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      We don’t have Autumn, straight into Winter from one day to the next. Stay by the stove, Cheffie 🙂

  9. Greg says:

    “A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, that shit true as gold.”

    Love that quote!

    Happy weekend Cinders!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Back at you, Gregegg 🙂

  10. Tilly Bud says:

    I used to love my Mum’s homemade pea soup. I can still taste it even though I haven’t had it for about twenty years. That’s real comfort 🙂

    Love both quotes today.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Pea soup is my husband’s favourite … no, actually … I think it’s chicken and corn broth …

  11. leigh says:

    Itchy, travel feet.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thelma & Louise 😉

  12. adeeyoyo says:

    Purrfect weather for eating, and eating… Ham & Pea soup @Tilly Bud is lovely too.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Going to have a two-hander sandwich now 🙂

  13. Yummmmiiiieeee!!!! I like your photo’s!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks, I’m not very happy with the colour 😦

  14. The quote starting out your post is wonderful 🙂

    “We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.” ~Alfred E. Newman

  15. Leeswammes says:

    Comfort food? I’m a vegetarian and those pictures look scary! 🙂

  16. mairedubhtx says:

    There’s nothing like comfort food on a cold winter’s day to warm your heart.

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re right, winter food saves my sanity during these months.

  17. Garett Gabriel says:

    Sounds and “smells” absolutely delightful … that did it for me. Very enjoyable read,… thanks waking my senses ……

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ll have to have Lee over for a grub session before I return her to you 🙂

  18. SuziCate says:

    Love your opening paragraph and closing quote! Happy weekend to you!

    1. theonlycin says:

      And to you, SuziCate 🙂

  19. nrhatch says:

    Stay warm, Cindy!

    A bloody Mary in front of a roaring fire . . . aah!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Doing a Chilli Mary for starters today, thinking of you 🙂

  20. slpmartin says:

    Sorry about your weather there…here in SoCal sunny and warm…a fine day for a barbecue.;-)

    1. theonlycin says:

      Enjoy it Charlie 🙂

  21. I’m kind of in the mood for soup, but it’s very warm here. Do I want to heat up the kitchen? Maybe. I’m way too fond of comfort foods. Blessings to you, Cindy…

    1. theonlycin says:

      How about a chilled soup?

      1. Maybe. Don’t you have to cook them and then chill them? I’ve never made chilled soup.

  22. Liane says:

    I didn’t know it was National soup day, but we hit it right on the button too yesterday with a divine pot of chicken soup. It is one of those dishes that is simply tastier overnight, so guess what we finished off for dinner tonight 🙂 Don’t know whether the soup suited the weather or whether the weather suited the soup – perfectly either way! 😉

  23. Your family is lucky to have you cook such great warm meals for them.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks, I love doing it for them 🙂

  24. bluebee says:

    Ditto on the cold this side of the world, Cin – wish that stew was on our table – will drop a big hint to Masterchef Man

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hope he takes the hint 🙂

  25. wonderful post, brought the smell of that soup right through the screen.

    with my window duvets i’m nowhere near as cold as you are.

    1. theonlycin says:

      You should start a business 🙂

  26. gospelwriter says:

    I love homemade soup on a cold day… and on any given day there’s something undeniably comforting about reading (and viewing the photos on) your food posts, Cin 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Ruth, you’re kind 🙂

  27. Jo says:

    Great minds think alike! I used the same quote in my blog on comfort food.
    I loved this particular challenge.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Jo, where is your blog?

  28. I just dont know if i like the way Jamie Oliver dips his fingers into food and tastes while he continues along. I am a taster. I taste while i cook. Probably because i never follow recipes. But not with my fingers. I am sure it is he that does it….. is it?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Nigella is the worst culprit of finger-licking 😦

  29. pinkpolkadotblog says:

    Wonderful post!

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