The Seattle Times - SOME YEARS AGO I was house-sitting for a friend, mostly to escape a particularly unpleasant situation with a particularly unpleasant boyfriend. My mother paid a visit to cheer me up, toting bagels, lox, sautéed bell peppers and a refreshing white burgundy from France. A far classier pick-me-up than the greasy subs we bought off a truck during college finals. When times turn tough, many of us look to food to make us feel better. Research shows that people define comfort foods as those that bring back memories of family, childhood and connections to important people or events.