Food is such a powerful memory magnet.
Much of the food around our house, until I was ten-years-old, was dictated by my grandfather. He was a meat and potatoes kind of guy so we had a lot of meat and potatoes. Roast beef every Sunday with mashed potatoes. Fried catfish that absolutely melted in my mouth. Duck he had shot himself (and we would pick the BBs out while we ate). Shepherd’s pie which I remember only because it usually meant I would go to bed hungry. (I am not a person who likes their food all mixed up and I would usually only eat the crust.) About once a month my grandmother would make corned beef and then I would beg for a bowl of cereal or something else to eat. I have never acquired the taste for it. Creamed tuna on toast was a fallback when nothing was available or she didn’t feel like cooking.
My grandmother made grilled cheese sandwiches in same grille she used for making waffles – you could flip the irons over and use the flat side. It squished the sandwiches really flat and all the cheese was melted. It was a long time before I could eat a grilled cheese sandwich that wasn’t smooshed flat like a pancake. Cheese was Velveeta. I loved fried bologna and grilled Spam. In my lunch box I took bologna sandwiches (mustard only) with the crusts cut off and Ding Dongs or Ho Hos or Hostess cupcakes.
There was a lot of Bisquick used for waffles and pancakes and biscuits. We had turkey for Christmas and ham for Easter. Always. It wasn’t often but sometimes I got Kool Aid or Hi C or Tang. Carnation made this chocolate breakfast bar that I remember liking a lot.
My grandmother had a yellow cake she made from scratch and timed it so that it came out of the oven just when dinner was done. She’d make a single layer and then serve it with giant globs of butter. I loved Bosco syrup on my ice cream and loved to whip the ice cream until it was a soup I could drink with a straw.
My all-time favorite sandwich was (okay, still is) creamy peanut butter on soft white bread with slices of sweet pickles.
What about you? What foods stand out in your memories from childhood? I know I’ll remember more once someone else chimes in.