When a Korean child's tummy aches, she longs for a nice, warm bowl of "Jook." It is truly a treat, made especially when a child is sick. These days, I know you can order it at restaurants and buy instant mix at the grocery, but when I was little, nobody wanted to stand over the hot coal stove, stirring the mixture of rice and water for close to an hour. My mom, well-known in our circles as a great cook, made ours with chicken broth and tender pieces of boiled chicken.
In Korea, it is known as "jook," but in Chinese as tzuok, conzee or xifan. Most east Asian countries have their version, varying only slightly by what is served with it. The basics are the same - rice, cooked on low heat so that it is a watered down, soft porridge. It is therapeutic for its very blandness.
My mother-in-law, raised on a dairy farm in western Pennsylvania, was served buttered toast, sprinkled with sugar and covered with warm milk. I have another friend, raised in the Pennsylvania Dutch culture, who had a similar recipe for a sore tummy.
What is your comfort food?