Food Memories ::

I received this cookbook for Christmas from Liz. I'd been looking through it each time I went to the bookstore for awhile now. I first learned about it through this post, by Amanda Soule. The other night I decided to try a few of the egg recipes. What got me thinking was that this little meal on the left in the glass brought back some childhood food memories for Adam. Basically, it is a very soft-boiled egg cracked over broken-up pieces of buttered bread or toast and stirred so that the yolks coat the bread pieces. Add salt, and yum! Such a simple meal and so tasty. It is also really ideal for little self-feeding fingers like June's. I also made up the fried potato dish you see on the right. It was very tasty.

So anyway, after Adam's food memory, I started wondering about my own. [Besides the fact that the whole book is really about childhood memories of food, it didn't hit home until Adam's remark.]

And here is a picture of my own, most cherished food memory. It is home, it is love, it is comfort.

It is black tea with milk and sugar. And to make it the tea of my childhood delight, it is served with Chips Ahoy cookies for dunking so that the chocolate melts in your mouth. You have to be kind of fast with the dunking or the cookie will break into the tea, thus spoiling the whole effect. As for making the tea, one should really purchase PG Tips. And though the sugar can be dropped into the cup before pouring the boiling water in, the milk cannot be added until after removing the tea bag. (There are rules you see.) If you make it a lot you get a tea-sense and know exactly when to remove the tea bag.

With the cookies I recall many after-school cups of tea. I remember playing with my friend Kristin, being very excited that we were permitted tea ("caffeine will stunt your growth" echoing in our heads) and granted the responsibility of carrying sweet hot cups of tea down the stairs to watch movies. It is also a homecoming feeling to know that stepping in the door of my mom's house, or my sister's house means an invitation of, "would you like some tea?" I feel deeply satisfied by it. Sure, it is every day. But perhaps that is why it is so enjoyable.

I had some other food memories as well, and I will be posting them now and then. Please respond with some of your own food memories if you like. I am fascinated by this subject and would love to incorporate new recipes of the simplest foods into my mothering-cooking life. Oh, and if you do not have a blog and do not want to create one but really want to share, just let me know and I will post for you. Or if you'd like to be a "guest blogger."


  1. I shared with you before that a treasured memory of my childhood was the egg mixed with toast pieces always served by my mom whenever I felt under the weather. It was my special treat. mom's way of babying me & at the same time making me feel very cared for. When you mentioned the hot tea, I hadn't thought about it much since my youth, but mom also made hot tea & served it with milk & sugar. My friends always thought the milk in hot tea was odd. But you & I now they didn't know what a treat they were missing!

    As a small child my Grandma also made me home made vegetable soup whenever I cam for an overnight visit. She even put it up during canning so that when my Dad dropped by Grandma could send a few jars home for me to enjoy. Nobody could make vegetable soup like my Grandma could. Her main ingredient......was love!:)

  2. Oh Debbie your email absolutely contributed to me thinking about food memories like this. I wish I had remembered to mention it.

    I'm glad you have hot tea memories too. And now I want to try some of that vegetable soup!

    You know my aunt, Indigo, jars a lot of things, particularly tomatoes she's grown or makes it into homemade tomato sauce. It is the closest thing I can think of to your grandma's vegetable soup. It is impossible to describe how good home-canned foods can be.

  3. My mom did not like to cook--although she never shirked like I do--but she made great Christmas candy!

    Pralines. Fudge. Hello Dollies.

    My blood sugar is rising just thinking about it! Yummmy!

  4. That cookbook looks fantastic. Food can transport me to another time and place so fast, most of my memories are associated with either a food or music. I think my favorite that comes to mind is blackberries, straight off the bush. They are hard to get where I live now but I used to spend many wonderful summer hours of my childhood eating these. I remember being five, mad at my mom, and planning to run away and live on blackberries ;)

  5. food memories...
    also the egg/bread--my mom would make fried egg sandwiches for me, lots of butter, yum.
    Also cinnamon toast "log cabins"--the bread cut in strips and stacked up back and forth like a log cabin. That was sort of "sick in bed" kind of food.

  6. When I was sick as a child, I remember eating mashed potatoes and drinking Welch's grape juice.

    During my hosptial days when I was very sick and on TPN (total parenteral nutrition, being fed through a vein), I would watch cooking shows and read cookbooks all day and night. I kept a list on the whiteboard in my hospital room of the foods I wanted to eat once I was allowed to eat again. I had the strangest cravings, of foods I never ate normally. Chef Boy Ardee in the can. Gross, I know. And cheese, when I always hated cheese. We think it was because the meds I was on depleat the body's calcium reserves.

    My maternal grandmother was Greek, and she made fabulous Greek food. I remember wonderful meatballs, called soutzoukakia. Yum! I should make some this weekend.

    When I was thinking about this post, I was suprised that I didn't have more food memories from childhood. I remember food from favorite restaurants more than homemade stuff. Johnson's Shrimp, Castluna Pizza, Earl of Sandwich subs, all in Chicago. Primanti's sandwiches, Peter's Place Seafood Bisque soup, Original Hot Dog Shop french fries, all in Pittsburgh. Goat Cheese Souffle, Heart of Palm and Artichoke Salad from Antonia's in Key West. Breakfast at the Dennis Pharmacy in Key West, with their wonderful Cuban bread. Croissants de France in Key West for brie and a warm baguette. Pizza from St. Mark's Place Pizza in Greenwich Village, heavy with oregano. Cuban food from the Cuban restaurant at the airport in Miami, surprisingly one of my favorite restaurants, for their ropas viejas and black beans. Sweet potato fries from a diner in Sedona. BBQ from a shack off the highway in Little Rock. NOTHING in Baltimore -- I'd rather be back on TPN. Odd as it sounds, Dave and I have been to Baltimore a number of times and have NEVER had a good meal there, even though they are known for their seafood. Black Forrest Cake from a restaurant on King Street in Toronto. Beef on Weck in Buffalo. I guess I associate a lot of good food with travel to new places as opposed to home!

  7. Julie, I have already made the plans for log cabin toast someday. It may be awhile, but I love that idea.

    Melissa, I'm with you. My food memories are mostly of restaurants or at friends' or extended families' homes. Or so I thought at first and now I've had a number of strange little memories come back. One main thing though is that most of them are not health foods!

  8. I love that book too. Such a treat for the eyes and soul.

    My mother used to make me bananas, milk and sugar occasionally for breakfast. Also, for years she served us baby oatmeal with brown sugar, long past when we were babies. Cherished memories.

  9. I drink black tea with milk and sugar, too!

  10. I got to thinking more about childhood food memories & remembered my mom serving a delicious dish. She drained sauerkraut, fried with onion in butter, takes all the bang out of it! Then greased baking pan, she placed boneless skinless pork chops with top side brushed with butter. Baked for 75 minutes at 400. Then placed saurkraut with pork on top with potatoes mashed together with a few boiled carrots for color on the side. I don't like saurkraut but this dish mixes the flavors so well & it is a wonderful meal on a cold winters night. Homemade cornbread is like icing on the cake.

  11. this cracked me up, Melissa:

    NOTHING in Baltimore -- I'd rather be back on TPN.

  12. My food memory definitely includes tea and cookies too. But I reinvented myself and my preferences when I was 19 - so now I like meatloaf. I really don't recall mom making meatloaf until I was in my late teens. I also fondly remember new york steaks with crab legs from Costco - mom would make that for me when I would come home from college. Man she sure spoils me!

    The tough part is remembering food preferences from my pre-teen years. Heck, Amers you probably remember that time better than me being 3 years older. I guess being lactose intolerant created alot of negative food memories: headaches, indigestion, smelly farts. Blech.

    Things I remember fondly: egg sandwiches (tomato added), tomato soup (with bread and butter), fried eggs...hmm I think I am detecting a trend: I like tomatos and eggs.

    When Patti was around I cooked simple meals for her and dad. They were very appreciative since they worked so much. I would make spaghetti with crappy store bought sauce and doctor it up with onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Everyone was very appreciative. I fondly remember that.

    Great blog Amers!

  13. Well I do like sauerkraut, and this meal description is making me sooo hungry.

  14. What a lovely post. I'm all posted out now, but later I'll have to make my own fond food memory post!


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