Food Memories

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Many of my favorite memories involve food. And I'm not talking about Thanksgiving with the family. I'm talking about non-food centric activities, where my strongest memory is of the food.

One of my favorite stories to share is of my paternal grandmother. I must have been about 8 years old. Granny was a Southern cook, to be sure. One morning while visiting her, she made breakfast. I remember thinking that Granny's scrambled eggs weren't very good...they were kind of grey. But I knew better to say anything (my parents taught me manners!) and ate as much as I could. When I was done, Granny asked me how I liked the eggs. I, of course, told her they were good. It was it that point she rocked my world. "There were calf brains scrambled with those eggs". I remember the smiles on the faces of the family around the table as my head was spinning. Ha ha, very funny Granny. I haven't eaten calf brains since. Never will. Too traumatic a memory. What a horrible thing to do to a little girl!

One of my other favorite memories is around the same age. My dad used to burn piles of leaves on our property every fall. And every fall, one of those burn piles got out of control and the fire department had to come. We lived in a small, rural area, and the fire department was all volunteer. To pay them back for saving our ranch from burning to the ground, my Dad had a big barbecue for the neighbors and firefighters. It was a feast, with beef and pork we raised ourselves, as well as whatever animal Dad could shoot from the attic window. I even remember the frog legs jumping on the grill - Dad and friends had gone gigging for frogs the night before.

We didn't eat out much when I was a kid. But I remember the trips to town with my maternal grandparents. We always got to go to lunch. And it was always a treat! Chucks for Chinese food. The Blue Bell Cafe on Fridays for clam chowder. And occasionally, if I was very good, they would take me to Jimboy's Tacos for the best, greasy, cheesy tacos on the planet.

The other food memory I have of my grandmother is that she always made soup and sandwich for lunch. And her sandwiches weren't like the PB&J my mom made. Grandma's sandwiches has different stuff on them. First off, they were on whole grain bread. Mmmmm, chewy. She used Saffola mayonnaise, turkey, Swiss cheese, and sprouts. Oh, how I loved those sandwiches. Usually served up with a bowl of minestrone or bean with bacon soup. I miss lunch at Grandma's house!

I used to love going to my Dad's for the weekend. There were fast food choices galore in the big city that we didn't have in our small town. Kentucky Fried Chicken for Friday night dinner. Long John Silver's (still my favorite!) for lunch on Saturday. And Winchell's donuts for breakfast on Sunday. It was all about the apple fritters and the lemon filled.

Speaking of mom used to make homemade donuts on the weekends for a treat. I've been dying to recreate those donuts for my kids...Mom - still got the recipe?

As good as the donuts were, they weren't my favorite breakfast my mom made. We lived in apple country, and in the fall when the apples were harvested, my mother made apple pancakes with apple syrup. To this day, one of my top 3 favorite foods. Hey Mom, send that recipe too, okay?

I hope my jaunt down memory lane has stirred up your own favorite food memories. There are worse things to daydream about!




mom said...

This brought tears to my eyes. I am so pleased you have fond memories of growing up. Good memories make lifes troubles a little more bearable.
The doughnut recipe was from my first cookbook, a wedding gift from Aunt Eva. Steve borrowed it 25 years ago and never returned it. Thats the same book that had beef stroganoff and tuna casserole!

I just saw the apple pancake recipe yesterday. I will send it off.

Much love

mom said...

Bonnie commented, but it didn't show up. She said your a good writer, and should write a book!

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