Tuesday, February 28, 2012


A few years ago, by way of a Christmas gift to my family, I asked them for food stories. Sisters, brothers, cousins and friends were urged to compose their childhood memories and I got some great responses. I gathered and sorted and did them up on holiday paper. Then I bundled them off to each contributor early in December. It was a big hit. Today I'd like to share a few of their remembrances with you.

From our sister, Wendy

Do you remember setting the table every night for dinner? We would set the dishes, silverware, and milk glasses out and then pour the milk. Jim would come to the table every night before the milk was poured and pretend he was Popeye. He would lift the empty glass as if it was Popeye’s can of spinach (remember the cartoon?) and shake it into his mouth. Well, one night we had already poured the milk and Dad, Shar, Tim and I were already seated at the table. Jim came to the table, picked up the glass and poured milk all over his face! You know Dad—you could never know for sure if he would laugh or not. The kids were all biting their cheeks trying not to laugh, but when Dad burst out, we all did. It’s my favorite Jim story.

From our family friend, Bill

I remember once when my mother was out of the house and I was about thirteen or fourteen years old and decided to make oatmeal cookies. So I took the box (remember the round box of Quaker Oats?) and followed the recipe on the back that used the entire box. I had cookies on cookie sheets, frying pans, pots, lids – everything I could find to bake them on. But the cookies were edible and ranged in size from a ½ inch to four inches. Boy! What a mess! Luckily my Mom didn’t kill me.   

Editor’s note: I, for one, am glad he didn’t mess with his Mom’s Honey Cake. THAT would have been a true sacrilege.

From our cousin, Denny

My only food thoughts are your Dad's BBQ's and Christmas. Your Dad’s secret to satisfying folks with his BBQ was to make them wait.  When dinner was served everyone was starving, and dirt would have tasted good.  The food was always good, however.

Christmas foods for the adults were always an enigma to us kids.  How any of them could enjoy lutefisk with that disgusting yellow cream sauce, makes my skin crawl to think of it.

From our sister, Pam

Steph (her twin) and I were trying to make a cheesecake once, the kind you refrigerate, not bake, and the recipe called for powdered sugar. We didn’t know if you were supposed to pack the powdered sugar like you do with brown sugar, so of course we did, and it was terrible. The funny thing is (and this is the difference between the first born and last born) that Mom liked it and ate most of it. We didn’t even get into trouble! It was really awful though.

There are other stories and I'll share them another time. My own story, Remembering the Pie, was published in Sasee, Prairie Times and eventually in the anthology, I Didn't Get Old Being Stupid. I may share that another time, too.

Image: digitalart                                              http://www.freedigitalart.com/


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