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Food Memories
10-25-2010, 07:21 AM
Post: #1
Food Memories
Oh, this will be the best thread ever for me. I love hearing these types of things. Here are a few from me:

S'mores: Memories of the almost weekly bonfires my Mom would hold at our home. Anyone was invited, the crowd swelled to 40-50 people most weeks. No matter how tight money was, there was always enough chili and hot dogs for everyone. And at the end of the night, S'mores.

Roast beef and mashed potatoes: When it was too hot or cold for a bonfire, my Mom would at least get our own family together each week with this staple. My family had our ins and outs as we grew up together - in large family that is an issue. But we were always gathered together because of Mom's food and that usually worked things out for us. Since my Mom passed away in December, my family has grown very apart. Almost like being around each other is too painful because it reminds us of her gatherings.

Divinity: Every Christmas until I was in my late 20's, my Dad and I would set aside a day to make divinity and fudge. It's really hard to make and two hands is a definite help. Inevitably, my brothers would pop a piece of divinity and swallow some Coke then run around foaming at the mouth. To this day, I still refer to divinity as "Ghost Poop."
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10-25-2010, 11:16 AM
Post: #2
RE: Food Memories
Seafood. Plain and simple.

We lived in Portland, Oregon a number of years, and a rfew times a year we would go to Seattle down on the Market and pick up what must have been 20 pounds of seafood. Scallops, shrimp, salmon, flounder, tuna fillets....and sometimes we would pick it up just as the boats were pulling up. I always laugh at people here in the Midwest who "think" they are getting fresh seafood.....let me tell you, when you buy it right off the boat - thats FRESH! That was also when my dad started letting me partake of a glass of wine with dinner. I was 14 the first time he let me try it, and thats a memory I shant forget.

Good thread Fuzzy!

Primary Principle - "It must NEVER be my fault"
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10-26-2010, 12:20 PM
Post: #3
RE: Food Memories
Being with my Maternal Grandparents in the kitchen helping make Peanut Squares. My Grandmother would make a sponge cake, with me being able to help make it. It was my Grandfather's job to help shuck the un-salted peanuts and then I was to grind them with a small hand nut grinder(before the days of a food processor) into a large bowl. When the cake was cooled , cut into squares and nuts ground , a hot vanilla icing was made. We'd drop the squares in coat them well in the icing and then quickly roll them into the peanuts and set them on a cooling rack to set up and "dry". During that time I was allowed to have my own cup of coffee to drink, mind you that the half n' half ratio to coffee was fairly strong, and one of the hard earned treats. Both are gone and now and I've developed an allergy to peanuts , but I still remember those times( along with many others) in their kitchen spending time with them.

"... always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can..." Practical Magic
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10-26-2010, 04:02 PM
Post: #4
RE: Food Memories
A big 2nd to Boomer on the seafood. Growing up literally on the ocean... Lord I miss the harvest.
My mom was a country girl, and pretty much everything she laid her hands on in the kitchen was just wonderful.
I miss her vegetable beef soup with cornbread. It took all day to make it, but man... I would devastate the pot!
Her fried chicken. <sigh> Paula Dean (Savannah) is the closest I can come to describing my moms cooking.

"We're gonna' add a touch of butter ya'll...."

WHAM!

Most of us are so caught up in life that we forget to live it.
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10-26-2010, 04:05 PM
Post: #5
RE: Food Memories
Oh my arteries clog up just from watching that durn show. My LORD she uses butter like a maniac!

Primary Principle - "It must NEVER be my fault"
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10-26-2010, 06:36 PM
Post: #6
RE: Food Memories
It's funny - we "knew" her when she ran "The Bag Lady", a hole in the wall sandwich shop in the Victorian district.
She was always just "Paula", ya know?
She moved to Market Square eventually, and that's when things began to open up for her. Even at that location, she would walk around during lunch and lay her hand on your shoulder, or scratch your head and say - "Hey ya'll... everything alright today?"
Now people come from Japan to eat at her place, and it's the same Southern cooking that I was raised on. Silly, huh?

Most of us are so caught up in life that we forget to live it.
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10-28-2010, 07:13 AM
Post: #7
RE: Food Memories
I like to go to museums, and one of my favorite kinds of museum are when they reproduce a little town from the 1800’s, complete with furnished buildings to explore and costumed reenactors to talk with. Its like visiting another time, and one of the best ones I have been to is “Living History Farms” on the west side of Des Moines, IA. It has a village to look through along with several farms from various eras surrounding it. It was very refreshing to see how many young people are the costumed interpreters, young people interested and knowledgeable about history and preserving it. It was all of particular interest to me since my own long ago relatives immigrated to Iowa from Germany during this time, and this would give me an insight to how they lived.

While touring the farm houses at the museum, I not only experienced the sights and sounds of history, but also the smells! In many of the houses they were cooking a noon meal, using ingredients they grew right on site, with period recipes and on an authentic wood burning stove. It all smelled so wonderful, as I was hungry and ready for lunch, but it was not for the visitors to eat (you know all those health regulations). The reenactors would eat the huge meal themselves on a picnic table outside, which included a stew, many sides, and fresh baked pies. It was a struggle to be hungry and witness all this but not be able to have any. The people cooking explained how the food turned out so differently on the wood burning stove, which contained a water reservoir to provide hot water. This hot water in the stove was a source humidity in the oven, and provided moisture to the food as it baked, unlike modern dry heat ovens.

A couple of weeks ago I visited another museum like this called “Old World Wisconsin” located in southern Wisconsin. This museum also had several farms showing how early settlers lived, and they also had the meals cooking with all the enticing aromas. One meal looked simple enough, an iron fry pan simmering on the stove top with potatoes, onions, and some sort of meat. I asked what it was, and was surprised to find out it was sausage from a hog they had just butchered last week, a hog raised right there on the museum farm. The fluid it was simmering in was pure lard.

I decided to try to cook something similar at home, well a little healthier version anyway. I went to the store and picked out some turkey kielbasa sausage, which has about half the fat and calories of regular sausage. Along with that I picked up some small red potatoes and a big vidalia onion. I sliced all the ingredients up, browned the potato slices up in a frying pan, and then added the onion and sausage. Instead of lard, I added a little water for it all to simmer in. As far as spices, I just added a little basic salt and pepper. As very simple as this meal was, it turned out pretty good and was enjoyable to eat. I’m sure it didn’t taste the same as the meal at the museum, but it at least was inspired by it.

-Rey

Well-weathered leather, hot metal and oil, the scented country air..
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