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Fondest Childhood Food Memory

post #1 of 42
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Hey all. Thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss.

Mine would have to be the weekends we spent at our little cottage in very rural New Bruncwick, Canada. Our cross-pasture nighbors were my great aunt and great uncle, who were small scale farmers and across the road was my great grandmother. Must be something in the water out there that prolongs life. Anyways, it brings a smile to my face to recall the days we spent at the farm harvesting big, bumpy cucumbers from their plants, yanking orange carrots from the ground, along with potatoes an radishes, taking a handful of peas in their pods and occassionally snacking on the peas, pod and all. Corn was also to be had. My brothers and I loved to husk them, throwing the stringy inner bits and the outer husks all over the front yard of the cottage. I think we just liked making messes to be truthful. While we were over at the farm it was pretty much a given we were going to feed the cows. My grandmother would then proceed to whip up an amazing dinner.

For dessert we would usually have pie, which was filled with blueberries that grew wild right behind my great grandmother's house at the bottom of a mountain. While over there were required to pick raspberries and strawberries that grew in front of her house right beside a bubbling brook that we were warned never to cross as the current would sweep us away. These were destined to become homemade jams.

I still e-mail my grandmother (who is surprisingly tech-saavy) to get recipes from her.
post #2 of 42
Watching my mom make chicken noodle soup, noodles from scratch.
It didn't get more scratch than this, we raised our own chickens.
She also used to make a roast beef hash breakfast.
She would brown the hash, flip it, then when the second side was nearly done she would make indents with a spoon and crack eggs in the indents and let them poach.
Then she'd put a dash of worcestershire and cover each egg with cheese and put a lid on until melted.
Yum.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #3 of 42
Watching my Grandmother make Cretan cheese pies.  The dough was just simple flour and water.  The filling is called mizithra and I think that's sort of like ricotta cheese.  She would take a tennis sized ball of dough and press into it a tbsp of cheese and work it into a cheese filled ball.  Then she takes a rolling pin and rolls it out into a 6in round disc.  These would go into a shallow frying pan with olive oil.  She would fry them one by one and each was eaten as it came out of the pan either plain or drizzled with honey, walnuts, molasses, cinammon, or any of the above.  Boy am I in the mood to see my Grandma!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #4 of 42
Koukouvagia,  I thought myzithra was like an unsalted feta, rather than like ricotta. At least that's what it seemed like to me; more curd-like, whereas ricotta would be creamy.

The World Cheese Book describes it thus: "Made for thousands of years from whey of Feta and Kefalotyri, Myzithra is considered the ancester of all Greek whey cheeses. It comes in two types: fresh Myzithra is unsalted or slightly salty and similar to cottage cheese, while aged is dry, salty, and firm." Oddly enough, it has no DOC or PDO protection.

From this I would have to say I've only sampled the fresh version; which certainly would work in those cheese pies---which sound delish! 
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 42
One of my favourite memories is when my father started experimented with Oriental cooking.  The first dish was chicken with cashews on rice.  He did a great job.  He's always experimented with different styles of cooking (he's actually a Doctor of Physics lecturer - go figure).  Has made pizzas from scratch including the base - but made them too well, so we were still wanting more hehe.  This was his Italian phase and we got lots - really lots - of spaghetti bolognese & terrific lasagnes.  Then there was a baked cheesecake phase.... I think we all gained 10# then :)

Now my parents are older there are a few dietary restrictions, but he makes a really good mixed steamed veg mix with a white sauce and poaches chicken and fish to perfection.

When we were very young, back in the dark ages,  apple sauce with dumplings starred in winter.  Mum's sauerkraut with debrecini sausages is a standout memory.  Always a favourite family gathering food - she had to make a tonne of it.  Big family.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #6 of 42
My grandma always greeted me with a bowl of chocolate covered raisins when I would go visit her.

I remember and love all of her cooking, but that bowl of raisins always stuck with me. Anytime I get nostalgic, that's what I go for.
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
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It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
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post #7 of 42
My mother's vegetable soup. We lived in a small town on the east coast of Scotland and surrounded by farm land. All the veggies were local, fresh and (in today's parlance) organic.

With only a few ingredients - basically carrots, onion, maybe some turnips and potattoes, a little barley to give it body and plain old tap water - she produced the most delicious soup ever.

She read in a magazine article one day that canned soup, because of how it is produced, is healthier than home made so, no more veggie soup. I haven't stopped looking for the author of that article!!!
post #8 of 42
Mine was cheeseburgers at Favalo Brother's Meat Market on North Salina St. in Syracuse, NY.

Although I didn't appreciate it at the time, they made the most amazing, hot juicy cheeseburgers in the world. They ground their own beef, fresh, right in the store,  cooked it on an old cast flat-top and immediately served it all hot and juicy on plain white bread with a slice of white cheddar. The bread would soak up all the grease, and it was heaven in a little wax paper bag.

The place had old wooden floors that probably got swept now and then, but hadn't seen varnish in a hundred years, and all they sold was meat, bread, and a few other basics.The whole outside of the building was white stucco and windows containing faded signs that hadn't been changed in decades. Unfortunately, they've been gone for 40 years and now it's just a parking lot. I have no idea what happened to the Favalo Brothers, but  wherever you they are, I just want to say "Great burgers, guys!"

Terry
Edited by web monkey - 3/3/10 at 6:56am
post #9 of 42
Meat pies from the Scottish pie man on Concession street.  He made his own pies on site and they were amazing.  I've had Scottish pies since then but none compare to his.
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post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

Koukouvagia,  I thought myzithra was like an unsalted feta, rather than like ricotta. At least that's what it seemed like to me; more curd-like, whereas ricotta would be creamy.

The World Cheese Book describes it thus: "Made for thousands of years from whey of Feta and Kefalotyri, Myzithra is considered the ancester of all Greek whey cheeses. It comes in two types: fresh Myzithra is unsalted or slightly salty and similar to cottage cheese, while aged is dry, salty, and firm." Oddly enough, it has no DOC or PDO protection.

From this I would have to say I've only sampled the fresh version; which certainly would work in those cheese pies---which sound delish! 

You're right, it's not like ricotta but I imagine ricotta can be used in its place.  I've never been keen on cooking with these types of cheeses until lately but I do remember helping my grandmother stuff the dough balls with cheese and you're right, its texture is similar to cottage cheese and its flavor is similar to a very mild feta.  The unslated version of the cheese is used for desserts, but in the case of the the cheese pies we use the saltier version. 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #11 of 42
My mom was Slovak, and made Easter morning breakfast buffet old Chez style. Good sliced Kielbasa, Sedic ( Molded scrambled egg hung in cheese cloth), poppy seed and nut cakes, home made breads,Bobka, Baked Ham,on, and on, and on, and on,.......Those were the days you can smell the coffee when you walked into the house....................Chef Bill
post #12 of 42
My grandma's donuts.  She would fry up the 'holes' first, so that if we watched quietly and behaved we could snack on the holes while she finished the batch for the adults.  They were crispy deliciousness.  I now have her donut cutter, but I've never been able to make donuts that even begin to compare.
post #13 of 42
Tordelli made from my grandmother's recipe - with a meat, onion, spinach, cheese filling.  These were made every christmas and easter - left to dry on the huge diningroom table on a tablecloth - the whole table top was covered with rows of  these ravioli. 

My father's cornbread.

The pancakes we kids made sunday night for supper. 

A sandwich with toasted pita bread, meat loaf, sharp parmigiano-like cheese and those green long picked peppers they called peperoncini. 

My father's home made, hand cranked ice cream. 
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #14 of 42
mine would have to be the time my family would gather on friday night and cook. especially in the summer time when we would cook the food on an open fire along with fresh bread, kebabs, and bunch of salads made from fresh produce my grandma grew. All my family would gather and have fun and enjoy great food.
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post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by skatz85 View Post

mine would have to be the time my family would gather on friday night and cook. especially in the summer time when we would cook the food on an open fire along with fresh bread, kebabs, and bunch of salads made from fresh produce my grandma grew. All my family would gather and have fun and enjoy great food.

That sounds like an incredible experience! Did you guys have an open fire in your backyard? In a fire ring? 
post #16 of 42
My fondest memory is watching my then-elderly grandmother mix and knead dough for challah. I have her bread-making board and rolling pin in my kitchen.

I stood next to my mom during dinner preparations all through my childhood, amazed that, although she never used a cutting board, she could dice an onion perfectly while cradling it in her hand.
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post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post




That sounds like an incredible experience! Did you guys have an open fire in your backyard? In a fire ring? 

 


im originally from uzbekistan and alot of the food was made on open fire with wood. We would set up a horshelooking thing with bricks and place a kazan which kind of looks like a wok but made of thicker steel and sometimes cast iron. or set the bricks paralle and cook the kabobs like that. we would cook soups and bunch of other foods outside. We had stoves but on a good day or for a party we would cook outside and get the best flavor from the wood and the fresh air, along with fresh ingredients. when i was younger i was the one always starting the fire and watching my grandfather cook (men only cooked on special occasions)and my grandmother aswell when she was in the kitchen.
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post #18 of 42
Lots of good stories, I am enjoying reading them all.

For me when I was a kid I spent a lot of time over my aunt and uncles house playing with my cousin. My uncle had a lot of land and had several large gardens that was his pride and joy and also his garden was us kids place to get free snacks. We would always go for the cherry tomatoes and we knew if we got caught there would be hell to pay but it was worth the risk. I still can hear him yelling out the window Hey!!! get away from those!!! and we would run like the wind into the woods. Good times....

Brian
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by skatz85 View Post

im originally from uzbekistan and alot of the food was made on open fire with wood. We would set up a horshelooking thing with bricks and place a kazan which kind of looks like a wok but made of thicker steel and sometimes cast iron. or set the bricks paralle and cook the kabobs like that. we would cook soups and bunch of other foods outside. We had stoves but on a good day or for a party we would cook outside and get the best flavor from the wood and the fresh air, along with fresh ingredients. when i was younger i was the one always starting the fire and watching my grandfather cook (men only cooked on special occasions)and my grandmother aswell when she was in the kitchen.
Wow - I was wondering where you grew up. That sounds like such a unique experience. I love wood fire cooking, unfortunately haven't done it for years. Back in France we used to go up in the mountains, find a flat area, gather a few stones and a few pieces of dead wood lying around, and start a big fire. We'd cook sausages by skewering them on smaller twigs, steaks by placing them on the flattest stone around the fire. The flavor was unbelievable. We'd sleep around the fire, and the next day when we'd wake up our clothes had that super strong smell of wood fire that we'd bring home with us.
post #20 of 42
^oh yeah thats the best part all that smokie flavor on your clothes oh man, i get excited just thinking about it.
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post #21 of 42
my fondest childhood food memory would be going to my Grandparents house occasionally for traditional Sunday lunch, every time i went for Sunday lunch at my Grans' she made Savoury Minced Beef with mash, veg, and yorkshire pudding, savoury mince always smells the same to me since then
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we're as good as our last meal.
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post #22 of 42
I'm surprised I don't have more food memories from childhood.  My grandmother ran a restaurant, my uncle a drive in.  The restaurant, Lutz's Country House is long gone, though Lutz's Drive In is still there on Dewey Lake Road, north of Dowagiac.

I remember summer evenings when we'd visit the farm and trek miles to the woods for a weenie roast.  Well, it seemed like miles at the time, it was more likely maybe 500 feet from the farmhouse to the fire ring.  Hot dogs, chips, marshmallows and an open fire on a warm summer's night in the country.  Maybe that's why I have such a fondness for grilling and barbecue.

One vivid and interesting memory I have, which I belive I related before, involves mushrooms.  My father did part time land surveying work on weekends, spent a fair amount of time out in the woods of southern Michigan, northern Indiana.  One weekend he and a friend went mushroom hunting, having spotted some good crops the previous weekend on a survey.  He brings them home and my mother made them the focal point of the dinner, frying them up in lots of butter.

I hated the smell.  I hated the sight of those things.  I wanted nothing whatsoever to do with those ghastly blobs - where's my mac and cheese??

It was an odd reaction, given that for many decades now it is rare for me to go more than a day or two without incorporating some sort of mushroom into whatever I'm cooking.  If only my parents, rest their souls, could stroll into my kitchen tomorrow with that basket of wild mushrooms....


mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #23 of 42
Mezzaluna,

My mother cuts things in her hand too.  And always towards her thumb.  I get the jitters while watching it (she is eastern European), although with all the angst going on with the risk from the people who were watching,or helping prepare the meal, I have never seen her cut herself.

Not recommending it, but just amazed by it

Teamfat,

I haven't cooked with my mum and dad for many a year now, distance being the issue - so I miss it too.  I will miss it even more when I can no longer do it at all - as do you.  Many fond memories of being sat down around the kitchen table and preparing meals, to their exacting instructions.  But, I will never try and make eggplant again - my dad really kicked up a fuss (hey I was 13 and never cooked it before) when I got it so very wrong it was awful. 

Daina
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Sunshine View Post

Mezzaluna,

My mother cuts things in her hand too.  And always towards her thumb.  I get the jitters while watching it (she is eastern European), although with all the angst going on with the risk from the people who were watching,or helping prepare the meal, I have never seen her cut herself.

Not recommending it, but just amazed by it

Daina


My mother and grandmother too.  They never used a work surface for anything.  They chop onions in their hands, they stuff grape leaves in the palm of their hands, and a whole myriad of other things that I need a cutting board for.  It drives me crazy to tell the truth, it's just too dangerous and with a flimsy knife too.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #25 of 42
No cutting boards in our house either,and Mom using the knife to cut vegetables in her hand. I remember her boiling a whole Chicken half way, then baking it in the oven for the main meal. We would start the meal with hot chicken broth, and a bowl of cold egg noodles on the table, to put into the soup, to cool it down. She could feed 5 people, on soup, and chicken for pennies. I just got back from Mexico and saw all the chickens in the markets with nice yellow skin, I was tempted to boil one up, just to see the broth with a nice yellow color.................Chef Bill
post #26 of 42
Every now and then my mom would spend a day in the kitchen preparing her specialties: chopped liver, roasted chicken with potatoes, and My-T-Fine chocolate pudding.  Her chopped liver was great, and I loved "helping" her make it.  And the potatoes that came out of the oven were unlike any I've ever had since.  She'd cut them in half and they'd be basted with the chicken fat and drippings so they'd get a little crispy-crunchy and browned on the cut side, and taste o, so good.  And the My-T-Fine pudding was definitely mighty fine!
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post #27 of 42
I don;t usually cut in my hand, but if the counter is too packed with stuff and i'm too lazy to clear it, or if i just don;t want another thing to wash I cut against my thumb too.  Never got cut that way, even with very sharp knives.  It's a knack.  It's much slower than a chopping board though, But i do it when there is only one onion to slice or maybe something to cube. 
I remember my uncle cutting that way when he ate peaches and i still enjoy eating peaches like that.  I don;t peel them but i like to slice them against the thumb and then  hold the slice between thumb and knife and bring it to the mouth. 
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #28 of 42
In Tuscany there was a tradition now completely dissappeared because not more politically correct.
We would get sliced tuscan bread, dipped into wine, with a layer of sugar on it.
This was considered healthy and I can still remember the flavour and the sugar crunch.
post #29 of 42
I will never forget my grandmother's desserts......her Baked Alaska would be put on the table and then she would light it....as little girls our eyes just stared in absolute amazement...she was a wonderful Cook. Many sundays I would be standing on a chair beside her, she would make sure I had the dough in my hands so I could feel the texture, same with the cookie dough....her orange/chocolate cakes 8 layers high....it always smelled wonderful when I would walk into her home....but I will never forget the music and how my granfather would grab her in his arms and spin her around the kitchen.....it was a house filled with song....filled with good food and so much love.
My mother has followed the same way......

Petals
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Served Up
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Wine and Cheese
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #30 of 42
 My grandma's spring rolls. It literally translates into "meat rolls" in hokkien . Not anything like the standard spring rolls. They are bite size pieces with a mixture ground pork and shrimp wrapped in bean curds then deep fried. the meat will be plump and tender while the bean curd gave a nice chewy texture .
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