Sunday, May 20, 2012

Comfort Food

When you were a kid feeling low or having a bad day, your mom would offer you hugs and comforting words, and then proceeded to make you something to eat that would always make you feel better.
I want to share a dish with you that still to this day makes me feel better when I'm feeling down.
Let me first start with my bad day, or should I say bad month...
A month ago the restaurant I work at went through an overhaul.  It was a month of scary events that consist of what you most likely read in chef/restauranteur memoirs.  The chef quit, the owners stepped in and starting cleaning house.  There was yelling, firing, crying, pots being thrown, people walking out, and nights where I find myself still working at an ungodly hour.  The stress level was way past the danger zone.  Everywhere I turned, someone was freaking out and yelling at me.  My boss, my co-workers, even my customers. But! Life is a they say.
So I find myself in the kitchen...where most life problems are worked out.  This time it was my sister, Annie who was offering comforting words... and food.  I just sat there feeling like I went through hell, no words, too exhausted for tears.  She made me dinner and when she put out my favorite dish, I stared at it and wanted to cry, again.
It is a very simple dish made out of eggs and water - that's it.
You take equal portions of egg and water, beat it together and steam it for about 10-15 minutes.  The cool factor in this is how she portions the water perfectly.  Let's say she uses four eggs.  She cracks three into a bowl and the with the last egg, she makes a tiny hole on top and shakes out the last egg into the bowl.  She now has a perfect measuring "eggcup" for the water.  She fills the "eggcup" with water then pours it into the bowl; 4 times.  At this point, you can add water ever you like; mushrooms, scallions, etc.  She adds a little oil for a moist texture.

This is what comfort food is all about.  A simple recipe, usually from childhood and generally has an effect on you like the last scene from Ratatouille.  I scooped a very generous portion over rice, add some oyster sauce, took a bite...and voila! I felt much better.  Thank you Annie, you knew exactly what to do.