The prompt for today is;
What are the dishes that defined your childhood? What were your favourite dishes to eat?
Perhaps my most pleasant memories of childhood center around food, which may explain why I look the way I do! I grew up in a house where dessert was not only offered every night after dinner, but if you were too full, you were berated for not eating all of your dinner.
We had taste tests to determine which was the richest, most fat-full milks, ice creams, etc. I was put on my first diet at age 10 and while I felt guilty for much of my childhood for being so fat, how does a 10 year old get fat anyway? It's not like I made my own decisions about what foods to eat, or that I was taught the value of a balanced diet! I just ate what was served. It wasn't my fault that the cookie jar was always filled with home made cookies, that dinner rolls AND potatoes accompanied dinner, that cereal came with full fat cream poured over it (still a treat today, though I almost never let myself have it), or that Sees chocolates were a staple at every holiday dinner.
My sister and I even had contests to see who could eat the most "hockies."
Hockies definitely define my life. It was the name my German great grandmother called fried bread dough. Just hunks of dough, flattened and fried to a golden brown, served hot, lathered with butter. I think my personal best was ten. (As a teen ager, my mother once ate 12 corn on the cobs, in the years when she acquired the nickname "Chubby," which followed her the rest of her life!)
English muffins were a special on Sunday morning, the only day of the week we had them. I got to butter them before they went into the broiler and again, there was a "how many can you eat?" component to that too. Didn't want to leave any uneaten at the end of the meal.
We had dinner at my fraternal grandparents' several times a year and dinner always came with Cheetos and Sunset Magazine hors d'oeuvres, which were thin slices of baguette spread with a mixture of mayonnaise, parmesan cheese and thinly sliced green onions and then broiled. Still love them today (and still buy Cheetos today, come to think of it).
My maternal grandparents lived in Inverness (California) when it was much less developed than now. We didn't see them often because it was a long drive and I always got sick on the winding roads (nothing is more fun than throwing up while your father yells at you for throwing up, as if you could control it!) They had a cabin on an acre of land and one field had a wall of blackberry bushes. I loved going out with my cousin to pick blackberries. Then I would bring them in the back door of the house, where my grandmother kept her package of Lorna Doone shortbread cookies and I loved squishing a ripe blackberry between two Lorna Doones. My own mini version of a strawberry shortcake (which I also loved, with home made biscuits and mounds of real whipped cream)
When we returned from a trip to visit my grandparents, it would generally be too late to cook dinner, so my mother served us "milk toast," toast thickly buttered, in a bowl, with warm milk poured over it.
I remember when my mother discovered pesto, and "pasta with pesto" was always a big treat when she made it (still is today--Walt loves it).
And then there were "Goodness Sake Cookies." My mother went to a luncheon once where they were served and she got the recipe. It was years later before I realized these were actually Mexican Wedding Cakes, balls of short dough with pecans, baked and then rolled in powdered sugar. We had them every Christmas.