What foods do you reach for when things are tough? Do you have a go-to recipe that you make for people when they’re going through a hard time? Is it a tray of lasagne? Chicken soup? Congee? On the 10th anniversary of Victoria’s tragic Black Saturday fires, Richelle Hunt and I talk about the role that food plays in times of grief and strife. A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who shared their very personal stories and dishes with me; the top dishes were all simple foods with a huge emphasis on carbohydrates and proteins and clean flavours, which goes to my point about the foods we truly crave…they don’t involve foams, soils and skid marks.
The overwhelming favourites were:
Pasta - especially lasagne (SO many votes for lasagne!), but also simple dishes like alio e olio, and good old spaghetti Bolognese.
Curries - dhal and rice, lots of lentils and chickpeas. Listen to my radio segment for my own personal memory of food in times of grief.
Eggs - boiled, scrambled, poached, the simplicity of basic foods is beautiful.
Buttered toast - I can definitely attest to this one. My mum used to make me toast with equal parts honey and butter, or sometimes, just plain white bread, buttered and sprinkled with white sugar on top.
Congee, or rice soup in multiple cultures - starchy, rich, savoury goodness.
Chicken - roasted, Hainanese style and even fried.
Soups and stews - Ugly delicious at its best.