5 Childhood Food Memories – meme

Ana (from Pumpkin Pie Bungalow) tagged me for the 5 Childhood Food Memories meme, asking for five food-related things you miss from your childhood.

Well, I can’t honestly say that I miss all the following but these are the five things that sprang to my mind when Ana sent the tag.

  1. Orange crush
    We rarely got to have pop when we were kids. The only time that I remember was when we went to the zoo or the very rare occasions that we were taken to A&W (when they still came with trays to clip onto the car window). I’ve always detested the dark colas. But I loved orange crush. And that’s what I always chose. I loved kicking up a little dust with my keds as we walked along the zoo path. I loved that we got to use a straw to drink it straight out of the bottle. I loved that the straw got all flat because it was made of paper. I loved that the bottle was cold and beaded with water from the ice chest it had been stored in. I loved the brilliant orange colour and the fizz that tickled my nose. I never have Orange crush now. It’s just not the same. It is incredibly disappointing. It doesn’t have that fresh citrussy flavour that I remember from my youth. Maybe it’s because the straw is missing.
  2. Cantaloupe with ice cream
    One of the things my parents were (and still are) absolutely wild about for dessert was wedges of ripe cantaloupe filled with vanilla ice cream. It’s not my favourite thing even now. But one summer day, we all put on our best clothes and went to my great aunt’s house for dinner. She had a beautiful garden, filled with the most wonderful flowers. And the living room shelves had lovely small ornaments that we could look at but not touch. I don’t remember what she served for dinner – it must have been something I liked. But I do remember the wave of panic when she proudly announced that she had gotten cantaloupes for dessert. Oh my!! We were always under strict orders that we were to eat everything served to us whenever we were guests. We were not to complain or pout. I must have done just that though when my great aunt was in the kitchen getting the dessert. My mom said, “We’ll ask for just a small amount.” My dad said, “But it has ice cream! You like icecream!” And I wailed, “Nooooooo! It’s too cold” (I’m sure didn’t really wail, but that’s what I remember….) And it’s true; while I do like icecream now, it is not my first choice. It really is too cold. and I still cannot stand the smell, taste or colour of cantaloupe. (I cannot recall now if I actually had to eat any cantaloupe or icecream or not.)
  3. Canned peas with cocktail onions
    I had a horror of all vegetables when I was young. I still can’t believe how much I loathed squash, turnips, carrots, beans, beets, peas… I didn’t mind corn. But peas! Those were the worst. For some strange reason, when I was quite small, we would often have canned peas with cocktail onions. Who knows how many glasses of milk I drank to wash down the three or four sad looking green peas that would be on my plate beside the teaspoon of turnip or carrots? And the horror if my plate had a cocktail onion as well…. Goodness, but it’s remarkable that I wasn’t sent away permanently. What a nightmare I must have been. (I love almost all vegetables now – but I draw the line at canned peas.)
  4. Bing Cherries
    We always had dessert for dinner when I was growing up. The dessert and bowls would be brought to my dad’s place and he would dole it out. When we had canned bing cherries, he counted each cherry. If there were an uneven number, the bowl with fewer cherries got more juice. I adored those cherries. Even though they weren’t stored in the fridge, they were always cool and sweet. I would roll each cherry around and around in my mouth, savouring the taste before discreetly removing the pit with my spoon to the saucer of the bowl.
  5. Corn on the Cob
    Whenever we had corn, each place setting would get a green plastic cob tray embossed to look like the husk and two little yellow corn cob holders with stainless steel prongs. My mom must still have the trays and holders somewhere in a cupboard. We used to love using them. The steaming corn would be in a big bowl in the center of the table and we would be given a cob at a time – placed in our little green tray. We would be reminded that Emily Post’s etiquette book instructed us to butter two rows of half the cob at a time. And then we would say that we would rather adhere to Emily Stick’s method and we would all slather our corn with butter that would drip down into the bottom of our trays that had been sprinkled with pepper and salt. And we would swirl the corn around and around to pick up the extra butter. And laughing, we would pick up the corn and plunge our teeth around four or five rows of corn, letting butter run down our chins….
How this meme works:

Choose four bloggers to tag (none of whom are obligated to take part):

I just can’t bring myself to send this on. (Yes, I’ve always had a horror of chain letters) If you would like to join in and have not already been tagged, please fill in your name.
  1. Fill in name and blog URL.
  2. Fill in name and blog URL
  3. Fill in name and blog URL.
  4. Fill in name and blog URL.

Now, remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place; add your blog’s name in the #5 spot; link to each of the other blogs for the desired effect.

  1. Clea Cuisine
  2. Station Gourmande
  3. Tasca da Elvira / Tarzile.com
  4. Pumpkin Pie Bungalow
  5. blog from OUR Kitchen
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  • Ana

    Thanks for playing along, Elizabeth. I also remember the paper straws. Weren’t they wonderful? Now you just gave me an idea…cantaloupe and vanilla ice-cream. Two things that I love and I’ve never thought of putting them together. And on that note, I don’t think I’ve ever had canned cherries. Funny because, of course, we did not have cherries in Africa, but some good soul could have thought of importing some canned ones. Never saw the product there. I’ve seen it here but never thought of trying them because we have the real thing, albeith not for long. I think I’ll purchase a can and try and be Elizabeth for a moment.

  • ejm

    I can’t say that I’ve had canned bing cherries since I was a kid OR if they are any good any more! Real bing cherries yes. They, of course, are wonderful.

    As for the cantaloupe (brrrr) and ice cream, I hope you enjoy it, Ana. What my parents do is cut a cantaloupe in quarters so that there are four boat shaped wedges. They then remove the seeds and put a scoop or two of ice cream in the cavity.

  • your sister bing

    I remember the canned cherries as “pitted red cherries”. I have never really liked bing cherries, but I LOVE red cherries, aka sour cherries, I believe. I don’t know if they come canned any more except as part of that disgusting pink cornstarch masquerading as pie filling.

    I remember the cantaloupe and ice cream exactly as you told it though. I have never learned to like the musky taste of cantaloupe; the only melon I actively like is watermelon.

    Emily Stick – snort.

  • ejm

    Yes, one can get canned pitted sour red cherries in any Polish deli. They are sold in glass jars that contain sour red cherries, sugar and cherry juice. Even though the jars say the cherries are pitted, we always check each cherry for pits. Invariably there is at least one cherry pit in a 500ml jar. We have also seen the jarred cherries at Loblaws.

    Really, Bing?? They weren’t bing cherries that we ate for dessert? I was certain that they were.

  • I have absolutely no recollection of having cantaloupe and ice cream. I don’t dislike cantaloupe. Perhaps by the time I came along, they had realized the folly of trying to make us like cantaloupe. I remember the doling out of the fruit, though, especially the fruit salad in a can–who would be so lucky as to get the maraschino cherry?!?

    Occasionally, we would have Bing cherries but more often, we would have pitted red cherries. I loved those.

    And the peas. Oh, yes, the peas. I remember sitting at the table until bedtime refusing to eat the peas. I still have issues with peas, especially the large ones and more especially the canned ones which are no longer peas but have become something else entirely. I’m happy to say that because of my wretched experience with the peas that my son has never been forced to eat anything and now, at almost 11, will eat most everything (except mushrooms and zucchini–everyone should be allowed to dislike one or two foods). Once, when he was 8 or 9, he professed to hate all vegetables as he was eating some squash and said to me, “Mom, is this delicata squash or heart-of-gold squash? Heart-of-gold? I think I like it better than delicata.” At 9, I would gladly have given up my right arm not to have to look at squash and certainly wouldn’t have known there was more than one kind of squash.

    The corn boats! How I loved the corn boats. I found some in a local supermarket about 5 years ago. They were exactly the same except yellow instead of green and the corn cob holders were incredibly cheap–they broke almost immediately. My son was, and still is, enchanted with the corn boats and whenever we have corn insists of trying to find them in the never-used cupboard. He never finds them in time and comes back to the table looking forlorn but wanting to eat his corn hot without the boats rather than cold in the boats. I’ll make a concerted effort to find them for him.

  • your sister C

    I do remember the cherries! I think they were sometimes “bing” and sometimes “red pitted.” We loved the fact that our father seemed to take very seriously and cheerfully our concern about Exact Equality.

    I never liked cantelope — still don’t. I do remember the great aunt, but never liked going there. I loved looking at the knick knacks — I seem to recall lovely china girls wearing lovely dresses — was there a fine lace china dress? But of course one mustn’t touch! I remember a book she would show us — it had children in it, so I guess she thought it suitable. It showed children toiling in salt mines… gruesome! Were we allowed to touch the pages? I remember always being very cautious in her home. I suspect our mother may have been in trouble if we committed Infractions. I much preferred going over to to Grandpa’s house where you could relax, curl up on furniture and touch anything, including Grandma’s jewellery (when she was present). And rarely was there any unlikeable food.

    I admit that I liked the peas! But I don’t remember the cocktail onions which we may have been allowed to spurn, since I think Mum liked them.

    As far as orange crush is concerned, I still have a rather unpleasant memory of the gaseous and sometimes painful burps after drinking it!

    Much later, I tried to find some corn boats with little corn-holders, assuming that since we had them, they must be universally available! I do not remember being reminded about Emily Post, except by my sisters who would lead the way in the gleeful cackling about violations — I can’t remember who coined the alternative advice of “Emily Stick” — I can’t claim this credit. I do remember reading Emily Post’s encyclopedia of American snobbery, though, and taking it very seriously. Someone must have given this tome to our mother; I can’t quite imagine my mother or father buying one! Of course we quite properly ignored Emily Post’s advice in the matter of buttering only two rows of corn, which I think she said was really a last resort anyway, since it was really bad to eat corn on the cob at all.