Fondest Childhood Memories...
My Nana loved to can and make all sorts of interesting goodies. Why I recall this one is a mystery to me? She liked to make sugared citrus rind and I'd always help. I'd sit on the "chair with the stairs" (a step stool w/steps that pulled out, It was sunshine yellow, metal and very heavy!!) and dredge the cooked rind in sugar.
"Crackles" and "Nutty Cookies"! oh yummers!
"Spritz Cookies"! Changing the different design disks, making them, decorating them and waiting to eat them!! Yummy cheese puffy treats, like a cracker, but fluffier and oh-so-tasty!!
Another memory was the day after Thanksgiving when my Mom would have the pressure cooker making turkey and rice soup, and creating her "Day After Turkey Day" casserole and "Turkey Divine"!
YUM! Good 'ol homemade foods. Ah, nice warm thoughts on a cold day! :-)
We had a big field near where I grew up. One day I went out with a group of friends and picked tons of wild strawberries/frais du bois, most as small as my pinky nail. I brought them and my friends back home and got my mom to "help us" make them into fresh strawberry pies. It was great fun - for us kids - and so delicious.
When we moved away from that field we'd take trips to a pick-your-own berry farm (much more efficient!) and I have great memories of picking berries and making jam with my mother.
Watching my Mom cook at the eye level of the counter/chopping board, I guess around 5 or 6. I'd go and watch just about everyday just because that's what kids do. After a while I figured out what would be for dinner by watching the ingredients and process, and of course by asking 20 times.
On a "good" day I remember thinking to myself "we're going to have really good food tonight" and barely being able to contain myself. On bad days I'd go in the play room and eat junk with my sister.
Others: strawberry patch that produced a couple of quart bowls each day during summer...so much I got sick of them. Valencia orange tree. Barbecued lamb chops with my Grandmother.
The first time (that I remember) we had Thanksgiving dinner at my paternal grandparents' house. Their tradition was roast duckling, and it was awesome! Love at first bite. As soon as I was on my own, it became my tradition also; and for Christmas, too, unless there are too many guests -- then I go with goose.
When I was in first grade we moved a mile (!) from my school, but my grandma lived two houses down. So I would go to her house for lunch every day. She'd make cheeseburgers, or french toast, or chicken noodle soup, and cinnamon toast cooked under the broiler. When I had my very first loose tooth, she cut my cheeseburger into bite-sized pieces.
My other grandma made these open-faced sandwiches: spread mustard on a slice of bread, then slice a hot dog lengthwise, place on the bread and top with a slice of cheese. Then you put it in the toaster oven.