What are your ingredients for a perfect comfort food? Years ago when my children were younger and away at their dad’s I would curl up on the sofa with a bowl of hot spaghetti, covered in olive oil and pepper and make the most of having the TV remote to myself. It was hot, quick and crucially at that stage of my life, cheap.
When Mr B and I moved in together those bowls of pasta fell by the way side and nights of cooking for just one diminished. But as a lover of comfort food I always make sure we have at least one night a week that revolves around something comforting, eaten whilst curled up on the sofa.
Which is why I was thrilled when Holland’s pies got in touch and asked me if I would like to try out their new vegetarian range of pies. What could be more perfect for a comforting quick and easy meal, curled up on the sofa now that the clocks have changed? The pies come in three varieties: Wykes Farms Mature Cheddar Cheese and Onion, Cheese and Veg , and Vegetarian Mince and Gravy (the latter have just launched). You can even eat it with one hand (don’t ask my how I know this but it might have involved a chicken tikka pie and an FA Cup Final).
Cooked in the oven and served with a large dollop of mashed potato and a few green beans, is there a greater comfort food? I really don’t think there is.
These pies really are the perfect comfort food, easy to cook, ready in a few minutes, reasonably priced, filling and warm. Comfort foods for me are always warm, they feel like a hug from the inside out, don’t they and I think that’s why a pie will always be up there in my top three comfort foods. It’s probably also why they are sold at football matches! Warm, you can eat them with your hands without it all falling down your top, and they might make you feel a bit better about your team losing!
The Wykes Farms Mature Cheddar Cheese and Onion that we were sent to scoff is the first branded collaboration between Wykes who are famous for their cheese, and Holland’s Pies who have been making all things pastry for over 160 years. They are available in Asda for around £2.25 for a pack of two, they come frozen and can be microwaved or baked in the oven. If you want to find your nearest stockist click here: Pie Finder
My other ingredients for a comfort evening to accompany some comfort food would be:
Something gripping on the TV
Monday night has long been a good night for drama on BBC or ITV and I have loved watching something that not quite be Mr B’s cup of tea. If there isn’t something on currently then I find something on Netflix to binge on. This week I did the entire third season of the Crown (okay I may have started at lunch time) and it was lovely to finish the final episode just before 10pm and then go to bed.
Talking of tea
When I was a single parent I wouldn’t drink in the evening because I was always terrified that the children would need to go to A&E in the middle of the night and I wouldn’t be able to drive. Ridiculous to still be thinking that way given they can all now drive, but there was an incident last year where we did need to call an ambulance for Ellie at midnight and it was good to know I had all my faculties about me (well as much as you can when your youngest is sobbing in pain and doubled up on the floor). So with Mr B being out on a Monday night I still won’t drink. It is always a night of tea for me. I make a big pot with Darjeeling or Russian Caravan loose leaf tea and enjoy having a bit more of a leisurely brew than is usual during the day.
Catch up with friends
Before turning on the TV and getting immersed in something gripping I make sure I have caught up with friends that I might not have spoken to in a while. It is rare for me to get a chance to talk to people on the phone during the day so if a chat is long over due then Monday evening is the time I do it. Or it might just be a few quick Whatsapp messages, either way I love knowing that I haven’t left it too long between catch ups. And if the chat on the phone does go on for longer than was expected at least I know that Mr B is being ignored or getting fed up that the TV is still on mute.
To round off my comfort food evening I always treat myself to a dessert. We never eat dessert normally so it feels like a proper treat. During the summer it might be something simple like a Magnum but in these colder winter months I go for a hot rhubarb pie or apple crumble.
Then I make sure the only difficult decision I make is, custard or ice cream?