The 5 Comfort Foods from Childhood

Friday 15 April 2016 by

In the good old days before gluten was the enemy, I used to love to eat proper comfort food – cake and pasta and all the carby delights. But having now been relegated to the eat-at-your-peril category, there are a few treats that will forever be Childhood Memories. Here are my top five comfort foods from my childhood…

Jamie Oliver, Baking, Jam tarts

Jam tarts

I used to make jam tarts with my granny all the time. We’d spend hours covering ourselves in flour and sticky jam, and then it would a torturous wait for them to be cool enough to eat (with lots and lots of whipped cream). Jam tarts to this day have that gorgeous nostalgic feel of weekends with my grandparents, and the smell of warm pastry and jam whisks me back there.

Jam tarts are probably one of the easiest things to bake in the world, and always prove popular with kids. For an excellent recipe to follow, try Jamie Oliver’s rainbow jam tarts.

BBC, Spaghetti Bolognese, Pasta

Spaghetti Bolognese

The smell of frying onions and mince is still one of my favourite smells in the world. And of course, mum always makes the best spaghetti Bolognese, right? The recipe is so simple, and you can always freeze the Bolognese to include in lasagnes and other dishes at a later date. Spaghetti Bolognese reminds me of dinner on cold, dark evenings after school, overflowing from the plate and covered in cheese. And somehow it never tastes the same with just fusilli, it had to be spaghetti…

Again, this is an insanely simple recipe, but everyone does it differently. I won’t ever reveal the family secret to our own Bolognese, but try this BBC recipe on for size – the trick is to leave it bubbling away on the hob for ages!

Mary Berry, Victoria Sponge, Baking

Mum’s Victoria sponge

The Victoria sponge would only make an appearance on special occasions – when guests were coming or there was a barbecue – and mum would produce one like magic. Again, this is a no-brainer recipe that is often complicated by the varying ways in which you can actually make it. But even if you throw all the ingredients in at once á la Mother Bear, with a bit of practice, you will still get a light and fluffy sponge. With or without fresh cream, this was always the best bit about having guests over.

If you’ve never tried to make a Victoria sponge before, check out Mary Berry’s recipe for a quick introduction.

Annabel Karmel, Chicken nuggets

Chicken nuggets

Okay, so these were never homemade. They always came in big frozen bags. But chicken nuggets were an absolute favourite of mine when I was a kid. They’re all kinds of bad for you, but I didn’t care. Even when I reached university, chicken nuggets were my home-from-a-night-out food of choice (you can get gluten free chicken nuggets, which has transformed my life) – I simply upgraded from tomato ketchup to sweet chilli dip.

Want to have a go at making your own chicken nuggets? Check out Annabel Karmel’s failsafe recipe – don’t be put off by the Rice Krispies!

Stonesoup, Cheese on toast, Toastie

Cheese on toast

Isn’t this everyone’s favourite comfort food? Cheese on toast was one of the first points of order when arriving home from school. I loved the stuff – the more cheese, the better. If you head to Borough Market, there’s a whole stand dedicated to the best cheese toastie ever (it includes pickles). But this staple dish has a myriad of variations – the only prerequisite I had was that it had to be thick slabs of cheddar and a healthy dash of Lea & Perrins.

Pimp your cheese on toast with Stonesoup’s five-ingredient ultimate cheese on toast. It’s a revelation.

What’s your ultimate comfort food?
Do you have any childhood favourites that you still love today?

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