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Apr 22, 2008 11:30 PM

Best Food Memory From Long Ago

You know that dish you had in your childhood that just stuck? What is it?

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  1. My Aunt Lyllis' ratatouille. I was about 11 and I was mesmerized by the look and smell of this food cooking in the frying pan. I'd never seen or smelled or tasted anything like it cooked in my home. I enjoy making it (it's one of my husbands favorite dishes) and the smell ALWAYS takes me back to that moment.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Axalady

      Souvlaki for the first time as a young teen at a local Greek pizza joint...

    2. My great aunt's ravioli. She used to let the dough hang over the backs of her kitchen chairs. They were sooooo good. I still love ravioli and go thru the trouble of making it from scratch 3 or 4 times a year but can't come close to how Aunt Lucia made it.

      1. Going to the cinema for the first time to see "Bambi" and delicately unwrapping the thin foil from my Alpine White bar for my first taste of white chocolate. I was 4 and barely remember the movie, but I can still remember breaking off chunks of candy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JungMann

          My grandmother's home made strawberry jam, on her home made bread. She let me have as much as I wanted (to my mother's horror). Jam on bread has never tasted the same.

        2. Picking wineberries at the boat club where I took sailing lessons. They grew wild on the hill, and you never had enough time to eat enough of those bright things in the sun. They're never sold, so I spent years thinking they were a fantasy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: thinks too much

            I remember the taste of raw new potatoes. In the fall of the year when the potatoes were dug it was the job of the children to gather them up and put them in the burlap bags for winter storage. We used to get the tiny ones -- not much more than stubs on the roots -- and eat them raw. I remember the cool, starchy flesh with the smell and taste of the rich earth in the fall evenings.
            Not something I'd seek out now, but it's sad that my children have never had that sort of total food experience (other than picking blueberries). The memory is so vivid -- in my mind and in my mouth!

          2. My Russian grandfather's big potato and onion pancake.. crisp on the surface, soft inside; topped with butter-sauted slices of the giant meadow mushrooms we had gathered, and a buttery, black (from the spoors), mushroomy dripping's sauce. This for breakfast. Heaven.

            8 Replies
            1. re: fromagina

              My mom's chicken fric-a-see - now that's a dish that has gone by the wayside, sadly....chunks of chicken with lima beans and little meatballs and pupic in this delicious gravy served over mashed potatoes

              now, how many of you know what pupic is???

              1. re: paulispumonti

                I do! But I recall that other family membes also called it a pipic.

                1. re: critter101

                  Yes it's so long ago it could be "pipic"- now, they never told me exactly what pipic was, and I was afraid to ask- it may be the Yiddish translation for rocky mountain oysters!!

                  1. re: paulispumonti

                    You say "pipic", I say "pupic", but it's all the same...Yiddish for bellybutton.

                2. re: paulispumonti

                  When my grandmother(#1) roasted a chicken, or turkey, I got not only the pipic, but the goughle...(I'm trying to transliterate here....)

                  MY other grandmother also made a gadempte, a kind of roasted savory meat, with potatoes and carrots. It was salty and a pinch sweet from the carrots. It was defintely NOT the thing with arpictos and other sweet stuff, can't remember the name....Broke her heart when I stopped eating meat.

                  Grandmother #1 also make a killer stuffed breast of veal. It was all about the stuffing...

                  But somehow, the sharpest food memory is from Chinese-American egg rolls from almost 50 years ago, and the crunchy flavor of the celery and bean sprouts...Really takes me back. I think they were on the board walk somewhere; maybe Coney Island?

                  1. re: galleygirl

                    Galleygirl, you've stumped the chump. I know what pupic (pipic) is, but what's goughle?

                    1. re: chicgail

                      I don't actually know which is which! But it's either the heart, or the tushie, because I got both....I'll check with Mom, who'll know that much.

                      1. re: galleygirl

                        yum. My mom called the tush piece the touchas, but my fav was the heart and the kishkes (giblets). I'll bet the goughle was the heart.

                        When I was little, my mother also used to get and cook what I think were unlaid eggs from the poultry guy. Don't know what they're called or if you can even get them today, but I loved them.