Culinary Comfort: Food for the Pandemic
BY DEE-DEE GOIDEL & KAREN PERRY
As of this month, we have lived in the pandemic
for a year. Instead of leading full
lives, in a sense we have become prisoners.
The key word now is “survival,” staying healthy.
However, health alone does not suffice. You must
blend it with human contact and a positive spirit.
We must nourish ourselves and others with sustenance
and hope. What is a good way to accomplish
this? We propose a return to comfort food.
What is the definition of “comfort?” Webster
defines it as “to give hope, to console, consolation,
freedom from pain.” We cannot find a better
description for Dee-Dee’s recent encounter with a
box of matzo. It was a nasty, snowy day and Dee-
Dee needed to perk herself up. She remembered
her Mother and Bubbe bringing her steamy stacks
of matzo brei pancakes. What a glorious memory
and a real comfort food. So the perfect thing for
her to do was to make matzo brei pancakes and
share them with some nearby masked friends.
The motivation for this column is for us to lift up a
few spirits. This will happen when you share recipes
for your favorite comfort foods and warm stories
about them. Each month, we will select a comfort
food that is liked by many of you. Recipes for that
food will be submitted by you for publication in the
Courier. Along with the recipe you might want to
include a few words explaining your attachment
to the food. Even if you do not have a recipe to
send, we would be happy to receive a paragraph
describing why you hold that food so dear.
Let’s start feeling a little bit better. This month’s
featured dish is Grilled Cheese. This universal
favorite is loved by toddlers and teens to adults
of all ages. You begin by mastering the standard
lunch counter version, American cheese grilled
on white bread. From the basic lunch counter
version, you can create dozens of sandwiches.
Just change the bread and/or fillings. Elaine
Arden from Building 2 made a simple change.
She purchased brioche bread from Mister O and
used it instead of plain white bread. The brioche
gave the sandwich a rich, buttery taste.
Once you are comfortable making changes,
and enjoy challenges, there are many “cousins”
of grilled cheese for you to try. The simplest one,
and very popular, is adding tomato. Karen suggests
adding tuna to make a “Tuna Melt.” First, the tuna
is flaked with a fork in a medium bowl. Then the
mayonnaise is added with salt and pepper. The
tuna mixture is placed on a bread such as rye or
sourdough. Then a favorite cheese, such as extrasharp
Cheddar, is added. Cook as directed in the
Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe above.
Another unusual grilled cheese variation is
“Grilled Cheese with Apple and Apple Butter.”
In this sandwich, Granny Smith apples are cooked
in butter. The apple mixture melts along with sharp
Cheddar cheese on country white bread.
If you like the taste of French Onion Soup, you
will like “French Onion Grilled Cheese.” The
secret here is cooking onions and butter for 20-25
minutes until they are dark brown and caramelized.
The onion mixture is melted with Gruyere
cheese to form this delicious sandwich.
We feel comforted already, and Bon Appetit!
SHARING YOUR RECIPES
Now that you are good and hungry, let’s talk
about next month’s comfort food. “When the
weather outside is frightful…”, as it was for most
of February, the perfect choice is SOUP!
Remember that your shared memory can
involve anything from canned soup to homemade.
Recipes can be sent along with a note
explaining your pleasant memories. If you do
not have a recipe but have fond memories to
share, we want to hear from you as well.
Please leave all replies with the concierge
Building One and Two residents: address your
submissions to Dee-Dee Goidel 2(29N).
Building Three residents: address your submissions
to Karen Perry 3(9U).
BASIC GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH
2 slices white bread
2 tablespoons butter
1 slice American cheese
Preheat skillet over medium heat.
Generously butter one side of a slice of bread.
Place bread butter-side-down onto skillet
bottom and add one slice of cheese.
Butter a second slice of bread and place
butter-side-up on top of sandwich.
Grill until light brown and flip over.
Continue grilling until cheese is melted.
(This sandwich can also be prepared in a
Observations at the Towers
BY BUD BANK
I find that people getting on
and off the elevators are very
considerate. I walk the arcade
once or twice a day. I say hello to
all, most people respond with a
friendly hi or hello, some don’t say
anything. I believe they don’t hear
me. As you might imagine, we do
have a small population of seniors
that don’t hear well.
I’m happy to say that our food
stores have what we are looking
for, and for that I say thank you.
My favorite security guards are
in the arcade every night. Thank
you for keeping us safe, Darlene
and Paul. Thanks also to our loyal
doormen. They do a great job and
never complain about the cold.
Buffy’s delivery people are running
day and night; also thank you
Duffy and crew.
I love reading Nextdoor, thanks
to Barbara and Dianne for this.
Many people have told me that
I am very lucky because I am now
wearing a mask, and I look better
with the mask on. Like most people,
I appreciate the compliment?
Snow began falling Sunday
night, January 31, when I woke
up Saturday we had lots and lots
of snow. I looked in my refrigerator
and I was in trouble, it was empty.
I went downstairs for my daily
arcade walk, I could not believe
the two food stores were open, and
also Buffy’s and the drugstore. I
bought lunch at the food stores and
ordered dinner at Buffy’s. Thank
you all for getting here safe and
To my surprise our mail arrived,
Sylvia made it, Sylvia is the best,
I received two letters, both were
bills. I still love you Sylvia.
I made my first appointment for
the COVID-19 shot. I have my
fingers crossed (pleased no side
I think it’s time for me to take
my arcade walk say hello to lots of
nice people. Hope everyone stays
safe and healthy. ~ Bud
Photo by Dawn Steinberg 20 NORTH SHORE TOWERS COURIER ¢ March 2021