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Old 07-24-2018, 04:14 AM   #1
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A Very Unscientific Study

What food from your childhood is sheer and utter comfort food, and in contrast, what food from your childhood did you vow never to let near your mouth again, a promise which you’ve kept?

For me, the first question is hard to answer, unless I rephrase it to read “culinary childhood.” There is no food from my childhood that is comforting. As you’ve seen me write before, Mom, may she rest in peace, was no cook, and no gourmet either. If you held a gun to my head the only answer I could come up with would be PB&J. Or Bob’s Big Boy Roquefort Salad Dressing and dip, which Mom doused everything in to hide her Kitchen shortcomings. My comfort foods are Asian born: okonomiyaki, tonkotsu ramen, Japanese curry, egg drop soup, or a bowl of bibimpap all can find their way into the coldest places in my heart.

In answer to the second? Tongue, beets, lima beans.

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Old 07-24-2018, 04:20 AM   #2
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I don't remember. I see video of food being shoved into a baby's mouth and somehow accept that was me.

I don't have many memories of food back then, until I aged some more, like aged 17.
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Old 07-24-2018, 06:31 AM   #3
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What food from your childhood is sheer and utter comfort food, and in contrast, what food from your childhood did you vow never to let near your mouth again, a promise which you’ve kept?

For me, the first question is hard to answer, unless I rephrase it to read “culinary childhood.” There is no food from my childhood that is comforting. As you’ve seen me write before, Mom, may she rest in peace, was no cook, and no gourmet either. If you held a gun to my head the only answer I could come up with would be PB&J. Or Bob’s Big Boy Roquefort Salad Dressing and dip, which Mom doused everything in to hide her Kitchen shortcomings. My comfort foods are Asian born: okonomiyaki, tonkotsu ramen, Japanese curry, egg drop soup, or a bowl of bibimpap all can find their way into the coldest places in my heart.

In answer to the second? Tongue, beets, lima beans.
Butter (lima)beans - served up as a vegetable at school dinners several times a week. Just tipped out of the tin and warmed through. Absolutely vile & I had endless fights at 5 years old with the teachers on dinner duty - "You are a very naughty little girl. There are starving children in Africa". To be fair, post-war rationing was just over (1954) and people were still in that sort of mind-set but despite that, I was never made to eat anything I really disliked at home so school dinners were a shock. Recently, I've discovered the Spanish butter beans packed in glass jars which are good as an ingredient.

We won't even go into the battles of milk, supplied free at school back then - lukewarm, slightly "off" by the time it was served at morning break in summer and frozen in winter. Milk made me sick and I wasn't required to drink it at home so Mother eventually arrived at school and then I was no longer required to engage in milk-related battles with the teachers!!

As for comfort food - my Mother used to make "Millionaire's Shortbread" - a base of shortbread biscuit (made with butter of course) then a layer of home-made caramel sauce and topped with chocolate (good choc, no "chocolate-flavoured topping" for my mother). She used to send me back to college with a large Tupperware container of it which my friends and I scoffed after lights-out on the first night back. And the "mother-radar" seemed to tell her when I was feeling a bit down and a box of it would arrive, out of the blue, by post. I still make her recipe, particularly for bake sales and it's always one of the first to go.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:23 AM   #4
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Mom was a great cook and she used to make some great dishes. There are several I remember that make me smile and a couple I now make to keep the memory alive. She made a chicken soup, with rice or noodles that she finished with beaten egg and lemon. That was always a pleaser. Also another soup with ground beef, and mint that was finished with yogurt. She also made a fantastic cold stuffed grape leaf dish as an appetizer that I have made on occasion.

I learned at an early age that I hate liver (beef). Still do. Also cauliflower, rhubarb, lima beans and dried chick peas.
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:00 AM   #5
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Second part for me is easy: Natto. ...haven't had a taste of it in 60 yrs. The smell alone still makes me gag.
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:18 AM   #6
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Second part for me is easy: Natto. ...haven't had a taste of it in 60 yrs. The smell alone still makes me gag.

I had to look that up. Sounds disgusting.
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How is the taste of natto?

There's nothing natty about natto. This old-fashioned soy product is made from whole soybeans that have been soaked, boiled or steamed, and then fermented. It's known for its sticky coat, cheesy texture, musty taste, sliminess, stringiness and pungent odor.May 2, 2013
I'm especially grossed out by the musty taste, sliminess, stringiness and pungent odor.



I never liked my mom's tuna casserole made with chinese flour noodles, they were like worms.


I'm crazy for perogies, so much work, and so so good.
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:36 AM   #7
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I am Swedish, my mum cant cook more then a few things and those she amazing with, sadly that is Christmas food...

My dad and his father and my maternal grand mother was amazing cooks, I have found memories of elk roast, baked pike, pork shoulder smothered in tomato sauce, pancakes, cookies and everything they made.

What I wouldnt eat is my mum´s pickled fried herring, lima bean soup or garden stew. Oh and I dont eat pyttipanna or surströmming or pickled herring.
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:09 PM   #8
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Second part for me is easy: Natto. ...haven't had a taste of it in 60 yrs. The smell alone still makes me gag.
Ugh! When I lived in Asia, I prided myself on my willingness to try anything. I even ate a live shrimp once. Not raw, live! But natto? No way. One of my friends liked it, for breakfast no less. We lived together for a while (roommates), and whenever she popped it out, I had to leave the room. Raw sewage is more appetizing!
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:43 PM   #9
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It may sound strange but what pops from my favorite comfort food memories is a CI seared slice of rare beef tenderloin. It was always a "dark" one my Dad couldn't sell from his meat case, so I guess you could call it economical for us. We generally ate what couldn't be sold, as long as it was still edible. For example, canned goods with missing labels were always a surprise. Once in a while it was dog food and our dog was happy.
I was raised on foods others won't eat, like beef tongue, lamb kidneys, sweetbreads, liver and brains.

Hell will freeze over before I ever eat another Brussel Sprout.
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:49 PM   #10
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Now I'm getting a little self conscious. What food do I first remember?
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Old 07-24-2018, 02:39 PM   #11
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Mashed potatoes with brown gravy and a buttery yeast roll are my favorite comfort foods

On the banned list are liver and lima beans. My mother tried, unsuccessfully, to convince me butter beans are different, but I didn't believe her

Funny how many people don't like lima/butter beans.
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Old 07-24-2018, 02:58 PM   #12
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I can't think of any childhood foods that I think of as comfort food. I didn't really experience really good food until I was an adult.

One interesting thing is that I hated asparagus as a kid, because my mom bought it in cans, and cooked it to death. The first time I had fresh asparagus lightly steamed, it was an epiphany.

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Old 07-24-2018, 07:16 PM   #13
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Childhood comfort food...tuna casserole if I made it.


Will not eat brussels sprouts any way you can make them, cooked cauliflower, over cooked brassicas of any type. Most brassicas I will eat if they are raw.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:04 PM   #14
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It may sound strange but what pops from my favorite comfort food memories is a CI seared slice of rare beef tenderloin. It was always a "dark" one my Dad couldn't sell from his meat case, so I guess you could call it economical for us. We generally ate what couldn't be sold, as long as it was still edible. For example, canned goods with missing labels were always a surprise. Once in a while it was dog food and our dog was happy.
I was raised on foods others won't eat, like beef tongue, lamb kidneys, sweetbreads, liver and brains.

Hell will freeze over before I ever eat another Brussel Sprout.
As a child I disliked Brussel sprouts but mother always put one on my plate and quietly, with no fuss, insisted I eat it (something she never did with anything else that I disliked). I'm glad she did because they are now one of my favourite veg. Having said that, she never over-cooked veg or anything else so that may have helped.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:15 PM   #15
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Hmmm?! Interesting question and, as others have commented, it has layers to it.

Growing up, my mother was a reasonable "basic" cook, which means that she could follow the '50s Betty Crocker Cookbook to the letter. Nothing creative. Just by the book.

By the time I reached the age of 8, most or all of the cooking for my parents and siblings was put on my shoulders, so no more rote food, which is most likely the birth of my interest in food and cooking.

Can't really come up with any remembered comfort foods, but have plenty of non-comfort foods but, mostly, because how they were cooked or OVERcooked.

There are very few foods I dislike but, growing up, Brussels sprouts was near the top of the list. Mainly because my mother would cook them until they were a camouflage-grey, mushy goo. They held their shape, but barely. We were encouraged to eat them because they were only "little cabbages." Yeah, right!

It wasn't until I was well into my adulthood that, properly cooked, I discovered that Brussels sprouts were quite tasty and have become one of my favorite veggies.

My father and I both enjoyed a rare steak. Instead, the ones my mother prepared could have shingled roof. A travesty when it comes to good-quality beef.

As for comfort food as a child, I would have to report that the cafeteria ladies in my elementary school nailed it in any area.

Their chicken and dumplings were to die for and their yeast rolls sent me to heaven. Forget those yums, their desserts were nothing short of heavenly. Absolutely NOTHING like what today's students are served.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:50 PM   #16
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My mom wasn't a very good cook, and dad was away from home a lot. Mom also taught school, so she left early in the morning and often didn't get home until almost 6:00. Most of our dinners came out of a box or bag. Many nights we would just get in the car and go out somewhere.

I think from ages 7 to 12, I saw more of my grandmother than my parents. She lived two houses away, and every morning she would come over to the house and get us kids off to school. Her morning specialty was soft boiled eggs over toast with bacon or ham. I don't make it that much myself anymore, but it still brings back good memories.

Although she was born in the US, my grandma grew up in the Amana Colonies in Iowa and German was her first language. She was a great cook, and not surprisingly made awesome German food. We always had Sunday dinners at her house. Sauerkraut, red cabbage, potatoes, pork schnitzel, and sausages were comfort food for me.
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:30 PM   #17
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I'm surprised you didn't like pyttipanna Cakepoet. It's one of my comfort foods. We got both the Swedish version, pyttipanna and the Danish version, biksemad when I was a kid. I like it enough that I taught DH to make it and he enjoys it too.


I absolutely detested lima beans as a child and young adult. I would be willing to give them another try, because I like fava beans. How different can they be? Aren't they both poisonous raw?
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:30 AM   #18
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Taxlady: It is made with leftovers and was the most common dinner the first day back from holidays at schools. It was never the fancy store bought stuff or well made and well it had everything died that you had in a year when it came to meat and then potatoes and onions and sometimes you found things that you couldnt identify..
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Old 07-25-2018, 06:42 AM   #19
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Liver, kidney, brains, heart, tongue, tripe, sardines, smelts, actually any fish with the exception of canned tuna or salmon and even then only mixed up as salad for a sandwich.

Mushrooms I had an unreasonable fear of, until my 20's when I had some canned straw mushrooms a girlfriend was putting into a spaghetti sauce. she had to chase me from the kitchen as I almost ate the whole can. Slowly from that I expanded my mushroom taste - there are still some I'm not really partial to but I eat at least a pint+ per week now of standard straw/button/crimini/portobello (all the same mushroom, just different sizes).

Canned carrots and peas - were a staple at every meal. Blech!
I now eat fresh peas but still not my favourite.

My mother was actually a very good cook and also adventurous. But only later on when there weren't 6 mouths (+ friends) sitting around with knife & fork in hand.
She had to try everything once. (me too, but I'm not quite so willing to try certain 'new' things)

Comfort food - she made the most amazing Hash! to die for - watched her grind the left over meat, the potatoes, the onion. Sadly I have never been able to replicate it.
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:01 AM   #20
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Taxlady: It is made with leftovers and was the most common dinner the first day back from holidays at schools. It was never the fancy store bought stuff or well made and well it had everything died that you had in a year when it came to meat and then potatoes and onions and sometimes you found things that you couldnt identify..
With dried up meat and mystery stuff, it doesn't sound very appealing. We usually make it with leftover meat. We use leftover potatoes, if we have them. Did yours have crispy bits of bacon and a sunny side egg on top?
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