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Old 02-15-2009, 02:03 PM   #1
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Food Memories

Every year or two I bring this one up, and always get some lovely responses. Think back to your childhood, and come up with those times when you were cooking or eating, things that transport you to a time and place where you wish you could sometimes return.


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Old 02-15-2009, 02:34 PM   #2
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Well, I don't know if it's a positive memory but it brings a smile to me.

When I was 9 my mother had the nerve to have another child . She went to the hospital to give birth to my brother leaving me home with my dad ~ a non-cook. In a valiant effort, he tried to make meatloaf with disastrous results. I don't know what he did but it involved too many saltines and an egg and ketchup on top of the loaf. It was awful. I was never able to eat any meatloaf again.

Fast forward to October 18, 1991. I was in the hospital giving birth to my own child, and I missed requesting dinner for the evening. By default I got the more "unpopular" dinner tray. Imagine the roar of laughter when I opened the tray to find MEATLOAF. Apparently meatloaf and birth at Los Alamitos Hospital go hand in hand. I promptly sent my father to McDonald's for a quarter pounder and a diet Coke.

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Old 02-15-2009, 03:26 PM   #3
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I have realized that I cook not only because of the food and the taste, but because of the huge connection with long-gone family. The whole family ... my mother, both the grandmothers, all the aunts, and some of the uncles, etc, were all very proud of their cooking skills and used food to show their great love.

They all were ancient, even when I was younger, as my family didnt marry young, so they have been gone a long time. So Food to me is so much more than just food. I think I use it as a way to connect and remember as much as anything.

Chicken and Dumplings and Fried Chicken remind me of Sundays right after Church. A Pound Cake reminds me of my college days as one was made every weekend for me by my grandmother to take back to the dorm the next week. Lane Cakes and Muscadine Pies remind me of long-ago Christmases. Chicken Pot Pies with Biscuit Toppings on cold winter nights, and so it is with dozens of other dishes.

When I encounter the 'speed bumps' along the highway of life, I find myself making these even more often as a way of finding connection and comfort.
There are no bad foods, only bad cooks.
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Claire View Post
Think back to your childhood, and come up with those times when you were cooking or eating, things that transport you to a time and place where you wish you could sometimes return.
When I was as young as 6 or 7, staying the night at my nana and pop's house. She'd make me an egg sandwich with a bowl of cocoa puff cerial for a late snack. I can never eat a bowl of cocoa puffs, or an egg sandwich, without thinking of her.

One dish she used to cook for my family when we'd all go visit, her version of rivel soup, is still a favorite of mine. Again, when I eat it now, I can't help but remember those turquoise dishes she had, and how she'd put yellow food coloring in the soup to yellow it up.

Another thing about her, not at all food related, but since we're down memory lane I'll throw it in; when ever she'd call an elevator, she'd hit the up button to go down, and the down button to go up. Her reasoning was that she'd push up to go down because she wanted the car to come up to her. And vice versa. ;)
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:13 AM   #5
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At one point in my childhood, Daddy was a survival instructor, teaching downed pilots how to live off the land. This was misbegotten for more reasons I can go into here, but that's the military, what can you say? He'd leave the house before any of us woke on Saturday mornings, and he'd come home "from the mountains" on Thursday afternoons when we were at school.

Neither of my parents had a sweet tooth, but Weds afternoon my mom would make a big, iced layer cake.

Thursday afternoon happened to be CCD classes followed by mass. Since they weren't able to go to mass on Sunday, the men who were so inclined (Dad is devout) would be in the back of the base chapel. After services, those of us whose fathers were survival trainers would go to the back pews and wake up Daddy.

There wasn't enough food in the world to fill up my skinny Daddy. That cake was always gone, and for dinner, because it was cheap and filling, we always had New England Boiled Dinner, with lots of bread, butter (well, really margarine) and a hug salad.

New England Boiled dinner is something I never make, only eat it at Mom's when we're there. But I always think of that year when we only had two days a week with Daddy, and ate that meal every Thursday. Friday we ate normally (this is when Mom said to heck with the church, she wasn't making Dad eat fish when he only got a couple of meals a week, and she never looked back), then they went dancing. The smell of New England boiled dinner, even the thought of it, reminds me of that year.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:59 AM   #6
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My Mom prepares delicious 'kheer' in winter and I love my Mom's 'Kheer'.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:59 AM   #7
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Our family's Thanksgiving feasts ... the best ... family & food ... love & laughter!
"Nothing is worth more than this day." ~ Goethe
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:47 AM   #8
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The rain always makes me think of my Mom baking. Whenever it would be really cold, rainy, nasty outside I would come home from school to smell wonderful baking in the house. I loved that.

Its not so much a smell or anything sensory that reminds me of my Dad, but he had some particular quirks that everyone remembers well. When slicing cabbage for coleslaw you had to use a particular cleaver and slice it paper thin, season it just so...you get the picture. He was meticulous. I often think of him tsk tsking when I cheat and open a bag of shredded cabbage to make my coleslaw.
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:26 AM   #9
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My Dad spent the last years of the 1950s in the Philippines with the USAF.
He brought back precisely one recipe:
Chicken Adobo.
Chicken, garlic, onion, soy sauce and vinegar, simple but delicious.

It was the meal I made him the night he passed away, so I don't make it much
anymore. Maybe in a few more years.....

As for good memories, a bologna sandwich with just the right amount of mustard
on it can snap me back to childhood. I'd make 2, get a book and read. To prolong the
lunch, I ate tiny little bites from each edge, keeping the sandwiches square...
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:38 AM   #10
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I remember helping my mom make all kinds of cookies. She was so patient and let me help with everything, no matter how awkward I was. My favorite was when she would make sugar cookies with imprinted cookie cutters and we would get paintbrushes and "paint" them with food coloring and water. I'm so sad I can't really do it with my kids because of food allergies.

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Old 02-20-2009, 10:55 AM   #11
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My grandma's Boston Baked Beans. My freak out birthday cake. My mother put my favorite doll inside a cake and decorated the cake like a huge princess dress. I took one look at my doll and fell apart and screamed until she pulled the doll out from the center of the cake, destroying all of her hard work in the process. Oh lord she was patient with me!

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