What food memory takes you home? What flavor or smell transports you to a long-ago time or place?
When I was a kid, we lived on generic macaroni and cheese. Just add butter and milk to the packet of bright orange cheese powder. At 15 cents a box, it was one of the ways single-parent households like ours made ends meet in the 1970s, along with top ramen, and chipped beef on toast. These were the first foods I learned how to prepare. Baked custard is forever linked with my grandmother. Whether she came to our house, or we visited hers, there was always baked custard with nutmeg on top. She baked it in white milk glass custard cups. Custard and any food filled with custard remain my absolute favorite foods. My ultimate comfort food.
In honor of DreamWorks’ new film, The Hundred-Foot Journey, starring Helen Mirren, we’ll be sharing recipes inspired by the film this week. For dinner on Monday night, I made the Haricorts Verts with Walnuts, Goat Cheese and Cranberry Vinaigrette. When I got home from the store I discovered I was out of walnuts, so I used the pecans that I had on hand. I served the delicious and delicate green beans with chicken I made using the dependable and delicious Julia Child’s recipe for Chicken Sauteed in White Wine and added a baguette. Both of these are quick and simple enough to prepare for a week day dinner.