It started off with the scent of onions and garlic sweating. Rosemary, thyme, and sage followed along with being accompanied by a distant roar of thunder. The aroma of pork shoulder drifted and made its way to a very sleepy and cozy boy all tucked in his bed sheltered away from the oncoming storm. Drifting out of bed, with a hunger in his belly and heavily anticipating this delicious meal he makes it to downstairs. Eagerly he thinks to himself “Rainy days are meant for Mom’s pot roast”. For many a home cooked meal meant fire roasted tomato and zucchini soup, a baked broccoli mac and cheese, or a slow cooked ham with a decadent side of velvety soft mashed potatoes.
For Father George Rutler, it was the flavorful and tender pot roast that he indulged in on cold and rainy days. When we think of a warm home cooked meal we think of the emotions tied behind them. The coziness it provides, a sense of security, causing us to reminiscence on all the good times provided by food. Looking through different cultures these meals may look different but no matter the language, the background, or how hot or cold the region they live in, there’s just something about a home cooked meal that just doesn’t compare to anything else. There really isn’t anything like it, no two dishes are ever really the same, and yet it delivers a universal sensation to anyone when made. Assembled with love, time, and care we can all agree that comfort food brings memories and a sense of euphoria. For Father the epitome of comfort is derived from his memories of home.
He grew up in a small town where every season was celebrated with a different fried, baked, or grilled dish. For the summer days, a grilled salmon contributed something light to keep the long days filled with laughter and the infused fragrance of the fresh fish kept everyone anticipating the sun going down for dinner. Caught from the stream not too far away from his home town home, the in season salmon was coated in olive oil and baked with lemon and garlic and herbs. The spring time was for chicken with creamy mushroom and snap peas to remind him of the first flower blooming and the snow beginning to finally thaw. The texture of the creamy mushrooms replicate the chunks of snow melting and the crispness of the snap peas mimic the flowers peeking through the blanket of melting ice. The fall was made for thanksgiving of course. Roasted turkeys, mashes, casseroles, and all sorts of potluck style dishes to remind Father of all the comfort that surrounds him. Thanksgiving is for family and for all the food they bring. For Father Rutler, a good home cooked meal meant bringing a sense of peace to his heart knowing that no matter the day, home is only a few bites away.