Amy at the wonderful blog BeautyJoyFood has tagged me for a food memories meme. For those of you who may not be familiar with the concept, "meme" (pronounced meem) is an alteration of "mimeme" and is defined by Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary as "an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person." Various memes are always bouncing around the food blog community, usually offering a personal glimpse into some aspect of the food blogger's life. They also give you a chance to discover new blogs.
This meme asks for five food-related things you miss from your childhood. At first I drew a complete blank, but then some amusing, long-forgotten little tidbits began to leap out from the past and onto my notepad. I even started having fun. Although this is a little different from my usual posting style (and I'm not sure if anybody else will actually find these memories amusing), I decided I would take a risk and join in. So, whether you're ready or not, here are five food-related things I miss from my childhood:
1. Always knowing exactly what kind of ice cream cone to order: Blue Bubblegum.
This one's pretty self-explanatory.
2. Five cent suckers from See's Candies.
These were big, square, awkward chunks that you could barely fit in your mouth. They tasted delicious and seemed to last forever--a terrific bargain for a kid at the mall on a limited budget. The hardest part was deciding between chocolate or butterscotch. As the years went by, I remember the price getting bigger and the suckers getting smaller, but you still couldn't beat them. I haven't had one in ages, as I am more of a Milk Chocolate Bordeaux girl these days when it comes to See's Candies. On a lark, I went to the See's Candies website to see if the suckers are still being made. They had some little "gourmet lollypops" that looked as if they might be the diminutive great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren of my beloved childhood treats. Caffe Latte and Vanilla must be new flavors. Twelve dollars for 1 lb. 5 oz.
3. That Mashed Potato Stuff
I love sauces and gravies and food that is all mixed together. I would have done very well in a household that stir-fried everything. But when I was growing up, nine times out of ten, the answer to "What are we having for dinner?" was (literally) "Meat, vegetable, and something else." With rare exception, these three things were never touching one another, let alone mixed together or drowning in a pool of gravy. Not long after I met him, my ex-husband (who is a very good cook) offered to make me and my brother absolutely anything we wanted for a special dinner. We both immediately screamed, "LASAGNE!"
And so it was always a thrill when my mother announced that my brother and I would be eating dinner on our own, because this meant we would get to sit on the floor at the big coffee table in the family room, watch TV, and have That Mashed Potato Stuff. I do not know if this dish has an actual name. I do not know if it was based on an actual recipe. It was a pile of instant mashed potatoes which had a large crater formed in the center. Into this was poured a ground beef-gravy mixture that I believe was made with Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup. I absolutely adored it. You cannot cringe until you have actually tried it. This is a far cry from my current eating style, but I know that if my mother handed me a plate of That Mashed Potato Stuff right now, I would probably gobble up the entire thing.
4. Total nutrition ignorance, calorie unconsciousness, & completely guilt-free eating of absolutely anything (like blue bubblegum ice cream).
Need I say more?
5. And finally, Not having to do the dishes!
Because this is a meme, I now get to tag fellow food bloggers and send them back into their childhoods. Obviously no one is obligated to participate, though I am hoping these people will. I know at least two of them grew up outside the U.S., and I am looking forward to reading what everyone comes up with:
Anne at Anne's Food
Nic at Bakingsheet
Sam at Becks & Posh
Shuna at Eggbeater
If you are tagged, here's what you do: Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place; add your blog’s name in the #5 spot; link to each of the other blogs for the desired cross-pollination effect.
3. Do or Do Not
Next: select new friends to tag and add to the pollen count.
Then list your memories.
And if anyone else has a childhood food memory they would like to share, feel free to write about it in the comments section. Or post it on your blog and leave a comment here with the link.