Saturday, February 04, 2006

(dis)Comfort Foods

Today I had pasta with ketchup. Don't know why, except it was there and I suddenly wanted it. When pregnant with child number one, I ate it all the time. Thought about it all the time. Craved it. I don't think I've had it since then, until today.

It's one of those foods FabDame and I ate as children--she had it with wagon wheels and I had it on twists. Others included pork-n-beans with cottage cheese, grilled cheese with grape jelly, and apple and cheese sandwiches on WonderBread.

I also loved cling peaches with sour cream. FabDame preferred canned pineapple to peaches and I never understood why. Still don't. I think she also liked fruit cocktail (correct me if I'm wrong, oh Fab One).

When I got sick, Mom made me white rice with brown sugar, butter and milk, and Dad always went down to the Dairy Barn to get me black cherry soda. Those were rare and coveted treats.

Then there was Grandma Toast. Out on the High Plains of Clovis, New Mexico, where we summered with the grandparents, my grandmother would rise at dawn and butter some sour dough bread. She'd stick it in her cast iron stove for I guess about 40 minutes on low heat, until it got as hard as Melba Toast. Then she'd put the pan on top of the stove and we'd snack on it all day long--usually along with some homemade jelly.

Is there anyone else out there who's eaten Frito Pie? A sort of faux Mexican lasagna made with layers of Fritos, cheese, chilified meat and pinto beans. It was salty, fatty, and it set in your stomach like concrete. In short, heaven on a Fiestaware plate.

How about you? What are some of the more interesting foods you ate as a child? Do you still eat them now or are you glad those days are over?


Blogger Karen said...

Ketchup and pasta... intresting. Can't say I ever had the urge to try this one.

The only childhood food I can think of that I loved (and which I still imagine I would like the taste of, but can't imagine putting into my body) is fried bologna sandwiches. Besides the fact that I can't imagine eating bologna at all these days - processed mystery meat, hello - I liked it singed black on the outside and bubbly i the center. With ketchup, on soft white bread. They were my favorite dinner.
Sour cream and peaches... I think I'd like that. We mixed cottage cheese with fruit, but I bet the smoothness of sour cream would be yummy too.

February 05, 2006 10:54 AM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Hey Karen! You just reminded me of another sandwich I used to enjoy--only this one I ate in my twenties:

Fried salami (or bacon) on buttered rye toast with orange marmalade. OMG...

*checking fridge*


Guess that one'll have to wait until the next online shopping adventure.

February 05, 2006 12:57 PM  
Blogger Kris Starr said...

My brother used to *always* eat peanut butter, jam, bologna and cheese. Yes, together. He would always cut the sandwich into quarters, and as he got older, he added a whole olive to the top of each quarter (like a cherry or candle), and he also would dribble a little bit of olive juice from the jar over each section.

Still makes me shudder to think about it.

Nothing's coming to mind for me, with the exception of toast the way my mummu (grandmother) made it. Toasted white bread, slathered very generously with butter and jam, and folded in half. As you ate it, you could squeeze the two halves together and make the melted butter/jam goo ooze out the top. Yum.

I must admit, dear, that some of your choices are...well...interesting. *ggg*

February 05, 2006 10:21 PM  
Blogger Rae said...

I love frito pie. In fact here, they take the bag of fritos and toss the stuff in there. Lettuce, tomato, sour cream, meat, cheese.

I love potato chips, banana's and peanut butter sandwiches.

My grandfather would make me coffee bread. He would take bread, butter it and toss it into the pan and fry it and then pour coffee or tea over top of it.

Trying to think of what other things I ate.

Interesting and refreshing topic Miss Ann.

Rae, who prefers peaches to pineapple any day.

February 05, 2006 10:58 PM  
Blogger Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

Woo-hoo! Food! My all time favorite topic!!! :-D

Loved my Irish (paternal) grandmother’s griddle bread. Kind of like Irish soda bread, but made in a cast iron skillet on top of the stove and flipped so that it cooked on both sides and came out about two-inches high and dense and ready to be slathered with real butter. She also made pork pie, which had a flaky lard crust, ground pork, and was baked in an angel food cake pan. Served cold it was scrumptious.

Loved my mom’s fluffy tapioca pudding and would eat mounds of it. Also loved the fried chicken she’d make for the picnics we went on. I’d pick all the crispy breading off the bottom of the pieces as they cooled and then I’d sneak away so no one would know. LOL Her German Sour Cream Twist cookies were outstanding. The cookies are complex and time-consuming with layer upon layer of buttered and vanilla-sugared dough that becomes similar to puff pastry, but better because it’s also dense and chewy. (*drooling*)

Loved all my Greek (maternal) grandmother’s flaky phyllo dough recipes, like baklava, etc. Also her fresh, yeasty pecan coffeecake and her dolmathes, which are grapevine leaves stuffed with seasoned ground beef, rice and pine nuts, served with agvolemeno (egg-lemon) sauce. I make those about once a year.

My dad made delicious, eggy crepes almost every weekend. He called then cinnamon egg pancakes and I didn’t realize they were crepes until I was older. I love to make those often. He also made a great fried tomato topping for eggs, using butter, bacon fat, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Mmm, make that a lot, too. Another favorite was when he made garlic fried spaghetti from the leftovers. Just the pasta in sauce, fried in butter and tons of garlic over a slow heat for a long time until the outside of the noodles got a little crispy.

February 06, 2006 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Jane/FabDame said...

Peaches with sour cream, pineapple with cottage cheese! (Yes to the fruit cocktail). Did you forget over easy eggs with wheat germ? Since you named all the weird goodies, I'm naming the "normal" ones: Grandma's homemade ice cream (vanilla, peach or black walnut), Grandma's green beans, Mom's Mushrooms and Onions sauteed in butter, Mom's Baked apples with...sour cream, Mexican food at La Guadalajara (mmmn greasy tacos and sopapillas dripping with honey), Delaware Punch for you, Dr Pepper for me. I have fond memories of all the fresh produce we enjoyed in the summers in Clovis: peaches and plums (sand plum jelly on THE toast), Watermelon and Cantaloupe. I loved going with H.H. (our Granddad) to the various farms or Bob's Produce Market to watch him pick the produce. It was a very serious business and he had his tried and true methods. I still aspire to picking produce as great tasting as he did.

February 06, 2006 9:16 PM  

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