HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

What did your Mom always have on hand, that you NEVER do?

  • 1027
  • Share

Looking at my mother's Xmas cookie recipe the other day, and I always get a kick out of her listing 1 cup butter (oleo) as an ingredient. I don't think I've had "oleo" in my fridge for at least 20 years, whereas my mom for either economic or "health" reasons only rarely had butter.

And when I wanted to make banana bread today, the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook recipe has shortening as an ingredient, which I almost never have on hand. Mom always used it instead of veg oil to fry chicken, as well as for baking.

So my list of "what Mom always had around, but I never do" includes:

margarine
shortening
instant rice
cake mix
jello
garlic salt
celery salt
onion powder
Lipton tea
nondairy coffee creamer
canned fruit cocktail

Anyone else? (Of course I have a list of what I have around that my mother never did, but that is a different subject!)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. In the case of the spices, my mom still has the same jars from, like, 1962

    Garlic salt
    Onion salt
    Celery salt
    And all sorts of spices that were so old as to be useless
    Freeze dried onions
    Parmesan cheese in a green can
    Artificial vanilla extract
    Iceberg lettuce
    Sachharin tablets
    Frozen concentrated orange juice

    She was definitely from the better living through chemistry generation.

    94 Replies
    1. re: taos

      <<She was definitely from the better living through chemistry generation>>

      LOL, taos. Ah, those were the days... not! Ugh. Saccharin. My father used it in his coffee, so he could have pie for dessert. (Much like my girlfriends who always make sure to have in their wallets packets of Sweet 'n Lo and Splenda, which they whip out whenever we meet for "coffee and".) That Saccharin. Nasty NASA-jet-fuel stuff. Ever taste it?

      1. re: Steady Habits

        Spices and the rack possibly bought when she got married in the 70s. Including celery salt - I didn't know anyone else used it. I was not allowed to "clear out" the old stuff, so it ended up taking over shelves in the pantry!
        Parmalat
        American Cheese
        Tomato Sauce making trifecta - canned puree, canned paste, canned crushed
        Canned veggies - especially corn and peas from Publix for dad and me since she wouldn't touch the stuff
        Fixings for SOS in case I spent the night at a friend's house
        Fake syrups
        Pink packets of Sweet n Low
        Totino's Pizza Rolls or Bagel Bites
        Shaker of Mom-made Cinnamon Sugar
        Canned stuffed grape leaves
        International Creamers
        Jug of white wine - maybe opened once a year
        Fluff
        Matzo - year round but less often during passover somehow

        1. re: TampaAurora

          Celery salt! I have that - you can't make a good bloody Mary without it!

          1. re: cycloneillini

            Bloody Mary's aren't on my list of drinks. I'm glad to know it's useful to someone.

            1. re: cycloneillini

              God save the celery salt. Cycloneillini, I bet your Mary's are sensational. Mine are.

              1. re: amazing grace

                celery salt is good in tuna and potato salads.

                1. re: alkapal

                  Yeah, I use celery salt in tuna and egg salad as well.

                  1. re: Orchid64

                    and thus, deviled eggs, natch!

              2. re: cycloneillini

                But now there is celery seed which can be used in all those good Bloodys, tuna, chicken, potato and egg salads - allows you to use more celery/less salt.

                1. re: saycheez

                  Strangely enough, celery salt is good on cottage cheese.

                2. re: cycloneillini

                  I like to rim my Bloody Mary glass with celery salt. And I don't care about my sodium intake in a case like this, I'd rather do with out.

                  My mom always had frozen chopped onions on hand. She rarely cooked with freshly chopped onions, ever. Not much else is different in our pantries, she usually tried to make everything fresh.

                  1. re: cosmogrrl

                    Ha! My mother swore by onion salt -- never powder, which I find actually flavors some things better than fresh onions. I only remember fresh onions used by her in beef stew. Whereas I keep fresh onions on hand, but usually reach for the frozen onions when I'm in a rush or making things like chili or a dish where I don't feel like dicing fresh and it won't matter.

                    She still has all the different salts and uses them when she cooks (not often as she is almost 90 and can't taste anything now). I use garlic powder, onion powder and celery seed. Strictly for nostalgia, I have many of my mother's and grandmother's spice tins from when I was a child in the 50s and 60s that I either 'inherited' as a bride in the 70s, or confiscated when my parents downsized a few years ago... :)

                    1. re: MaineCook

                      I use celery seed in albondigas.

                  2. re: cycloneillini

                    You also need celery salt for Chicago dogs. It's tradition!

                    1. re: cycloneillini

                      You mean like the one I'm having right now! There is no substitute for it in a Bloody Mary! No celery salt would be like saying having no Tabasco sauce in the house either!

                      1. re: cycloneillini

                        No spices with "salt" in the title even though I use all those spices: garlic, onion, celery straight. I buy ground celery seed for bloody mary's, use quite a bit in mine, love that taste - wouldn't be right without.

                        1. re: cycloneillini

                          caesars!!!

                          1. re: cycloneillini

                            No arguments but you should know that ground celery seed works fine.

                            Mmm, note to self: buy tomato juice and Worchestershire.

                            1. re: Weetje

                              Hey gang - the Bloody Mary Party is at Weetje's house!

                          2. re: TampaAurora

                            Margarine- I grew up thinking it was butter and butter went on *everything* They still keep a large tub of it on the table at every meal!

                            Packets of Carnation Instant Breakfast. We called it chocolate milk and if we didn't like what was served for dinner we had to drink it.

                            The whole sale club sized containers of Peter Pan peanut butter. My dad calls it "survival paste!"

                          3. re: Steady Habits

                            My brother and I used to melt saccharin tablets on our tongues back in the '60s. Kind of like beating your head against a wall because it feels so good when you stop...they tasted so awful it was great! (Probably accounts for why we are the way we are now.) :)

                            1. re: MaineCook

                              My parents have friends that to this day go out of their way to find little bottles of those tiny saccharin tablets to sweeten their tea. I think I asked them once why they don't use NutraSweet or Splenda because they are both much better than saccharin and I really don't remember their responses. It's a little weird.

                              1. re: MaineCook

                                my mom would use just a couple of those saccharin tablets in a big pitcher of tea. she also used the lipton powdered tea. (remember when it was taken off the market for a while?).

                                now my aunt billie made tea the right way, with real tea bags and lots of sugah! ;-).

                                1. re: MaineCook

                                  My mom keeps a container of saccharin tablets in her purse so that my dad can sweeten his coffee with them when they're eating out. Blech.

                                  1. re: MaineCook

                                    Is that because of the chemicals or because of the beating your head against the wall?!?
                                    ;-)

                                2. re: taos

                                  Way back when I was kid and food got to this little rock in the Atlantic by boat pretty much everything was in cans or frozen. Even butter came in cans from NZ. We are some 600 miles off the coast of the Carolinas, but for some reason butter was shipped from the Antipodes. But I digress.
                                  In my mother's kitchen:
                                  Tins of evaporated milk
                                  Tins of Nestle's cream for trifle
                                  Canned vegetables (spinach was the absolute worst)
                                  Canned fruit
                                  Cans of corned beef from Argentina (which I found terribly exotic at the time)
                                  NZ cheddar aka 'rat cheese'

                                  Bird's custard powder

                                  1. re: taos

                                    Cooks Illustrated did a blind test and artificial vanilla extract rated as high or higher than the "real" kind. Icebert lettuce is my choice for BLTs and lettuce cups and also a wedge salad. Isn't celery salt used in Bloody Marys?

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      c, please join me in a Hound movement to reinstate iceburg lettuce and frozen orange juice concentrate to their rightful places - up there with anything else given appropriate use.

                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                        At last my husband has two potential recruits for his organization, F.O.I.L.
                                        (Friends of Iceberg Lettuce) He will so happy --- he's felt really lonely for a long long time.

                                        1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                          My husband will be a happy founding member for F.O.I.L. He uses iceberg to make Greek salad, and shredded on sandwiches. I will confess that in the summer I have been known to order a wedge of it with blue cheese dressing.

                                          1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                            Sign my dad up--you can't have a "combination salad" (as my Grandma calls a simple tossed salad) without iceberg. He actually gets grumpy if you try to sneak something "greener" in. And there's no other way to eat combination salad than with five tablespoons of Catalina dressing.

                                            1. re: amy_rc

                                              Amy, what is Catalina dressing?

                                              1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                It is a Kraft product-- my dad calls it French. It's thick and tangy and loaded w/ HFCS. Not good or good for you.

                                                1. re: amy_rc

                                                  Thanks, Amy. I guess I'll stick to home made Thousand Island on a wedge: The Classic! (Kraft French? Ouch!)

                                                  1. re: amy_rc

                                                    may not be 'good' for you, but is wonderful on canteloupe and seedless green grape salad -
                                                    and Iceberg should only be served with Thousand Island ! to somebody else!!

                                                    1. re: ksmith51432

                                                      oh man! catalina dressing with crumbled blue cheese makes any salad, even iceburg, sing.

                                                      1. re: forstton

                                                        a checkout lady told me this one time.

                                                    2. re: amy_rc

                                                      what does HFCS stand for? I love Catalina dressing altho I am normally a totally organic freak-we grow almost all our own food and all of our fruit-apples, blackand blueberries, red and black raspberries, strawberries, pears, sour cherries, grapes, etc and I do all of our baking from scratch and bake for my catering customers as well as bake for customers who have gluten allergies. I developed a bread that actually tastes good instead of like cardboard for my celiac/gluten people. But I am addicted to that red catalina-) I make my own vinaigrettes etc and my own 1000 Island and Blue Cheese but can't give up my Kraft Catalina. lol. Does anyone know where 1000 Island Dressing got it's name? The man who built the castle for his wife Louise-he loved her madly-his chef invented it-and the castle is built on one of the Thousand Islands. It sat empty for years after his wife died and he ordered it closed but now you can tour it. Crazy castle. The islands are an archipelago that straddles the US-Canada border in the St. Lawrence river. It's a cool story if you want to look it up. Gorgeous area. Well that's my 42cents for today-)

                                                      1. re: plantfreek

                                                        High fructose corn syrup, I hate abbreviations of words myself. If you eat everything else healthy in your life, it won't hurt to have one "bad" thing you love (not that HFCS is the most evil thing in the world you could eat).

                                                2. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                  He has at least 3 now, iceberg is my favorite, hope my wife doesn't read this, she likes all the yuppie lettuces.

                                                  1. re: malibumike

                                                    I grew up in the midwest, and my mother always had Western salad dressing in the fridge - it was our favorite red French - similar to Catalina. I live in Texas now, and it's hard to find a restaurant that serves any type of French dressing. We have 10 differnt kinds of Ranch but no French. Every place up north still has it. Still my weakness - I love a good red French (I know that's an oxymoron for some of you) with crumbled bleu cheese.

                                                    1. re: cycloneillini

                                                      I'm with you. Grew up in the midwest and like that sweet french. I'll sometimes put it on a baked potato.... just because. Never really learned to love the Ranch.... but even iceburg tastes good with some French. I'm just north of you now in Oklahoma. I can usually find French on the salad bar, but it depends.
                                                      My mom always had some sort of weird bastardized french/ranch/russian, heck i don't know what it was... but still has it.. martha Gooch I think is the name of it. Had some on some salad at xmas dinner.

                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                        My mother always combined half-empty jars and bottles of same-category foods. Apricot/strawberry/raspberry jam, for example. French/Thousand Island. Most of them were okay. I didn't like spinach so she smashed the boiled potato on my plate, mixed it with the spinach, and doused it with gravy. My father combined cans of paint. For a while, the asbestos shingles on the second floor of the brick-clad house were lavender-gray. Maybe that's why they kept their mouths shut during my elementary school phase when, having learned about the GI tract, I cut up all my food and mushed it together on the plate!

                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                          Better than my more sensitive students who, after dissecting a chicken wing, announced they wouldn't eat chicken anymore. At last count, one wasn't eating chicken flesh 4 months later. Chicken in some variety is ever present in my kitchen. The quintessential white canvas of the kitchen. I still apologize to those moms! Emergency vegetarian recipes are always a "pleasure" to a cash and time-strapped family.

                                                          1. re: TampaAurora

                                                            Chicken weirded me out in my 20's. The little arms reminded me of people arms. The little legs reminded me of people legs. It took years to get over this.

                                                            1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                                              Hahaha. I had a few boys in the class who kept parroting a line from an animated movie - a T-Rex complains "I have a big head and little arms." Between them and the kid who snuck out a bone (everything was soaked in bleach before even coming to school) to show his old teacher down the hall who was known for her her no-nonsense style. Getting kids to understand what they consume and their impact on the world was one of the great perks of teaching.

                                                              1. re: TampaAurora

                                                                Ah, yes. But I know that movie, and it's a great movie.

                                                            2. re: TampaAurora

                                                              I didn't eat chicken after dissecting it in 7th because of the smell--they must have left those out unrefrigerated for who knows how long. It also coincided with the release of Angel Heart and adolescence.

                                                              By the time I hit 25, I was eating everything again, including frog legs, which look like Barbie legs. :)

                                                            3. re: greygarious

                                                              It's great that your mother and father found each other.

                                                            4. re: Firegoat

                                                              OMG I love Martha Gooch french dressing! I haven't had that for years. Definitely can't buy that in Texas.

                                                              1. re: cycloneillini

                                                                I just had some Martha Gooch last time i went up to Kansas and saw mom!

                                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                                  If I ever run across "Martha Gooch" dressing, I'll buy some on the strength of the name alone. It's one of those names that evokes a time, a place and a long-lost way of life: Scarlett O'Hara. Toulouse-Lautrec. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Martha Gooch.

                                                              2. re: Firegoat

                                                                I was really hungry coming home from work late the other day and bought a bottle of a sweet onion dressing you'd probably really like if you like the sweet french, Goat. I wasn't impressed by the combination.

                                                          2. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                            Another recruit reporting for duty sir! I know it isn't as healthy as real green lettuce, but I still buy it all the time. One, no other lettuce works as well in sandwiches (romaine in a sandwich - yuck), two, still a kid pleasure that remains an adult treasure - a wedge of ice cold iceberg, a thick slice of tomatoe, blue cheese dressing, blue cheese crumbles and some crumbled crispy bacon. Come on, how isn't that good?? I can't resist ordering it at Mandina's in New Orleans even though they don't add the bacon. Lastly my Mom was a "health food nut" growing up in the 70's and iceberg wasn't allowed in the house. So in the normal perverse way of humans, I craved it more than any other vegetable.

                                                            1. re: nosurndr

                                                              I LOVE romaine in a sandwich- it has such panache when it's in its prime, but it's gross when it's all pale and boggy, but it's better than nothing- I love my basic lettuces..

                                                            2. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                              I only have one use for iceberg lettuce: when I'm jonesing for homemade egg fu yung and there are no fresh, clean bean sprouts to be had. Thinly sliced iceberg lettuce makes an admirable substitute in terms of flavor and texture, but I believe the nutrient profile is different.

                                                              1. re: gentlyferal

                                                                Thats a great Idea Feral! I wonder how it would work in Pho? I'm thinking the crunch with a little chlorophill overtone (like cellery?)...

                                                            3. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                              Only if we get cool tee shirts - or maybe tatoos?!? I grew up in Atlanta in the 50s/60s and I'm sure iceberg was our only choice in lettuce. But just because our mothers (or fathers) used it, doesn't make it bad. Now that canned spinach she served.... :(

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                DO says No to tattoos --- he's considering baseball caps.
                                                                Canned spinach, wow, I haven't thought about that in years. Repulsive! I don't think my mom did that. Or not much. Or I'm blocking ---

                                                                1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                                  After "cooking" the canned spinach, it then went on a plate with sliced hard-boiled egg!!! I think that was 50s gourmet in the south perhaps :)

                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                    Perhaps. Sort of "Fifties Florentine"?
                                                                    In the 50s (and 40s) in the north gourmet spinach was the creamed variety at Horn & Hardart's Automat. In truth, I could still go for that, too bad there are no Automats left. Did you ever know of them, or perhaps even go to one? There's some retro stuff that would still find a welcome today --- mac 'n cheese, baked beans, apple pie. Course it would no longer cost a few nickels ----- (sigh)

                                                                    1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                                      Ooh - the Automat!!!! H & H had a restaurant in Yonkers - Cross County. For special treats my mother would buy their Boston Cream Pie and rice pudding.
                                                                      The Automats were more fun, though.
                                                                      Less work for mother.....

                                                                      1. re: EllenMM

                                                                        Less work for mother.. just lend her a hand...
                                                                        Commercials of yesteryear.
                                                                        And the Automat rice pudding---
                                                                        YES YES YES

                                                                    2. re: c oliver

                                                                      My mother added 1/2 can of water to the canned spinach, ala Campbell's soup. Just inedible.

                                                                    3. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                                      Canned spinach...yuck. I only had it once when I was about eight. My brother and I were big Popeye fans, and begged my mother for months to get some canned spinach so we could be like Popeye.
                                                                      I am thankful that our mom didn't make us clean our plates that night.

                                                                      1. re: dratlover

                                                                        Can't sleep......wondering how a response to a new post will appear on a year old thread.

                                                                        "French salad dressing"

                                                                        http://www.priceninja.com/american-wi...

                                                                        Thinking about how enamored my mom seemed of "London Broil". I was not quite as enamored in college. I looked up recipes, finding one that said "marinate in French dressing", which at the time, meant to me, some orange stuff in a bottle. Still not sure what the recipe had in mind, but I think I used the orange stuff, SEVERAL times, waiting for an epiphany.

                                                                        1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                          London Broil...such fond memories! Can't say my mother ever marinated it before broiling. And, having looked it up (as I never cooked one because hers were so tough, even cut on the diagonal), I discovered you NEVER broil or grill them unless you marinate them a long time first. Ours came labeled as London Broil, but they were likely round cuts of some sort rather than flank steak based on my recall. We always had the oily version of French Dressing instead of the creamy. I wouldn't go near it after I hit my late teens. How about Green Goddess in a bottle or jar??

                                                                          1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                            This is not about what I wouldn't ever have in my kitchen, but you need to marinate top round for at least 3/4 hr to 1 1/2 hrs before broiling/grilling. It can be very tender that way. It needs some sort of acid, like lemon juice, red wine, sushi vinegar,etc. The orange stuff has never done it for me as a marinade or a salad dressing.

                                                                            1. re: DavidA06488

                                                                              Back in the early-to-mid '60s (when I was in elementary and jr. high) I don't know if most home cooks in our area (suburban MA) had ever heard of marinade. So many of those in my age group are products of post-WWII abundance of 'convenience' foods that we didn't learn how to cook from scratch, and with true knowledge of what we were cooking and cooking with, until we were in college or beyond. My late sister-in-law (a decade plus older than I) consistently coated steaks, potatoes and bread with Hidden Valley powdered salad dressing mix to create 'gourmet' flavors...then doused the side salad with the mixed version. I shudder to think of the salts and artificial ingredients we consumed as kids.

                                                                              1. re: DavidA06488

                                                                                Yes, oil and acid is probably what the recipe had in mind. I wonder how that orange stuff came to be called French dressing.

                                                                                And what I had growing up was definitely not flank steak. Don't recall mom marinating it either, but she was a sort of an adventurous and from scratch cook.

                                                                          2. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                                            Canned spinach at my mother's always reminded me of the black, slimy bacteria laden hair that gets caught in the bathtub or sink in the crossbars of the drains. Disgusting!

                                                                            1. re: Nanaverm

                                                                              oh, you are right! drain hair!

                                                                          3. re: c oliver

                                                                            I like canned spinach, just heated through and not swimming in juice, with or without HB egg and/or a dribble of vinegar (Tabasco, nowadays). I don't think of it as SPINACH, but as an item all its own. Canned peas I have little use for, and canned green beans are disgusting unless re-cooked with plenty of bacon and onion. Corn, on the other hand, is to my taste improved by canning.

                                                                            Iceberg lettuce: I think I've mentioned this here before, but I once read a piece by James Beard in which he said that if iceberg lettuce were hard to grow, hard to ship and expensive, then it would be the darling of every gourmet and food snob.

                                                                            1. re: Will Owen

                                                                              Regarding canned vegetables, with a quote from Eleanor Perenyei's awesome old book, "Green Thoughts" : "...I'm sorry to say I like canned beets better than fresh ones...I used to think this a secret vice until the fussiest gastronome I ever knew, who kept a legendary table, tersely told me that of course canned beets were better. Everyone knew THAT."

                                                                              1. re: vjgower

                                                                                that quote needs to be on my canned beets thread. ;-).

                                                                                1. re: vjgower

                                                                                  Oh no! I've converted so many beet-haters with roasted fresh beets, I cant believe a person would not like thgem fresh roasted- INCONCEIVABLE.

                                                                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                    oh go pull that Wally Shawn shtick elsewhere.

                                                                                    roast anything properly and you can even win over toddlers to the cause. this Spring a neighbor dropped off a bag of turnips and I did em up with potatoes, apples, onions, garlic and cheese (I didn't call it a gratin as that would have put some off)

                                                                                    score.

                                                                            2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                              Right, Sam, good iceberg is sweet and crunchy and delightful in its own right.

                                                                              I hate reconstituted frozen OJ, but in its concentrated form it's quite a palate-waker-upper, esecially mixed 50-50 with vodka or tequila. :^)

                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                Iceburg sliced into wedges and served under a pouring of bright orange "french" dressing a Just So Incredibly Tasty.

                                                                                One very nice thing about frozen orange juice concentrate is that you can open the container and leave it in the freezer and make oj one glass at a time over several weeks. Or open oj plus a couple of other flavors and mix-n-match lemon-orange-berry, pineapple-orange, etc.

                                                                                1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                  or the quintessential iceberg wedge salad.... topped with diced tomato, bacon, blue cheese crumbles, and blue cheese dressing. I can't help but love it!

                                                                                  1. re: kubasd

                                                                                    This is my all time favorite, old school "salad"
                                                                                    there's a Morton's near my office and we entertain clients there on occasion. I never hesitate to order the iceburg wedge (center cut iceburg)

                                                                                    I like the name because I hate calling even a salad, because it's so far removed from anything you'd consider healthy and salad is after all Healthy right?

                                                                                2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                  I always buy frozen OJ concentrate. It's easy to make, it takes up little room so you can buy a few cans and it's always available, it's cheaper. I also use non-fat dry milk in hot drinks, as the drinks stay hot and they are not diluted and it's not full of chemicals.

                                                                                3. re: c oliver

                                                                                  I cannot eat braunschweiger without iceberg lettuce, white bread, mayo and onion. Mainly it is the iceberg. Plus there is "lettuce alone" joke.

                                                                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                    Funny - I hated HB eggs when I was a child, unless they were buried in potato salad, and then one day my grandpa Kuntz made me a sandwich of braunschweiger, swiss cheese and sliced egg, dotted with plenty of mayonnaise. He must've known something about my taste that I didn't, but I almost swooned with delight, and to this day it is my perfect sandwich.

                                                                                    1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                      braunschweiger?

                                                                                      1. re: Glencora

                                                                                        Yum! Smoked liverwurst. We have a roll of Nueske's in the fridge that we've been working on, and I must say that it's mighty tasty.

                                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                          Ours was always Oscar Mayer - I didn't know anyone else even made it for many years. Can't have it very often these days, but every so often I'll indulge. Grilled liverwurst and cheese is another guilty pleasure, first discovered at a drugstore lunch counter in Anchorage, Alaska - talk about exotic cuisine!

                                                                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                            My parents still eat Braunschweiger, unashamedly!

                                                                                            1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                                                                              Oh, man, Braunschweiger on french toast w/ Maple syrup for breakfast. Our childhood treat, now my kids love it!

                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                Whoa -- Braunschweiger with maple syrup? It will take a little while to get my head around that, I fear. On the other hand, it's not such a distant journey from my favorites of breakfast sausage with syrup, or bacon with grape jelly on the last piece of toast, so who am I to be critical!

                                                                                                1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                                                                                  Got to try it, although I prefer that combo on waffles!

                                                                                                2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                  Brings to mind a Monte Cristo - I first had it served w/Maple Syrup - and ALWAYS miss the syrup when it's served as a savory dish

                                                                                      2. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                        That is one of my favorite sandwiches! My Mom's too (thus no diff in the pantry area). Most people think I'm odd for liking it though....

                                                                                      3. re: c oliver

                                                                                        I bought the imitation after reading that. I do not think I have all that discerning a palate, but to me the artificial tasted awful - I used it in oatmeal cookies - and although I HATE wasting food, I threw it out.

                                                                                    2. Defintely shortening, coney, just as with your mother, and I'd say, canned soups and bacon.

                                                                                      The only other thing I can think of is ice cream. She always had a couple of flavors in the freezer; we hardly ever buy it for the house. (We solve urges by going out to an ice cream place and treating ourselves to something truly shocking.)

                                                                                      My pantry is definitely better stocked than my mother's, with a wider array of goods from far away places, which I think reflects the difference in our generations and how certain ingredients that weren't available to her peers are now staples for us. Because there's really not a significant difference in the way my mother liked to cook and the way I like to cook. It's more about *what* we're able to apply our methods and food philosophies to--e.g., today's accessibility to ingredients from all over the world, and a wider array at our grocery stores.

                                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Steady Habits

                                                                                        Really? I couldn't live without Crisco. She taught me to bake, and her pie crust with Crisco is the best.

                                                                                        What she had, though? Morton's pies (don't buy them because they have been shrunk), somebody's frozen pot pies (don't buy them because they have been shrunk), Swanson tv dinners and Rice a Roni, just yuk on the last two.

                                                                                        Otherwise, I pretty much follow her branding theme, if the brands haven't shrunk their goods and left the same price or raised it.

                                                                                        1. re: dolores

                                                                                          Shortening pie crusts and I knock heads, dolores. I can't make them worth a fig. (Well, now, every now and then, one might turn out well, but that's by random accident, not due to anything I happened to do right.) This despite everybody's efforts to give me hands-on lessons. But I do pates very well--pate sucree, pate sable, pate brisee and, if you happen to be in the mood for an eclair, yes, pate a choux.

                                                                                          I wish it weren't so, because, if nothing else, I love American pot pies, and I would love to be able to make a decent, shortening based crust for that. But I've accepted that I'm not going to win a blue ribbon, or red, or puce, or any color, for my pie crusts, so I rarely have Crisco here.

                                                                                          1. re: Steady Habits

                                                                                            Turnabout is fair play, Steady Habits. Pate a choux scares me. I can make it, but it never comes as high as I'd like.

                                                                                            And still, I love baking more than cooking.

                                                                                          2. re: dolores

                                                                                            Rice a roni is one of my comfort foods :) 'Course I fix it with some sauteed red onions, capers and cheese at the end on top. But I always have a box on hand.

                                                                                            1. re: dolores

                                                                                              I haven't had or even thought about Rice a Roni in years. I think I may have to have some soon just to remember that crazy processed salty flavour.

                                                                                              1. re: JennaBean

                                                                                                Oy. Now I'm going to be hearing the jingle in my head all day.

                                                                                                1. re: JennaBean

                                                                                                  The Long Grain and Wild Rice variety is actually not too bad. It has less salt than the others and doesn't actually have any pasta in it. I don't make it often because it still has excessive salt and I prefer to cook regular wild rice and mix it with other grains.

                                                                                              2. re: Steady Habits

                                                                                                Slightly off topic - but the ice cream reminded me of the Albert Brooks, Debbie Reynolds movie where the mom (Debbie Reynolds) had the ice cream with the "protective layer of ice crystals" on it.

                                                                                                1. re: nvcook

                                                                                                  "Mother" was the name of the movie

                                                                                                  the frozen salad.

                                                                                                  on trips home I assume the role of cleaning out the rancid, freezer burned and pointless bits from the fridge and cabinet after they're asleep. I leave the old spices as 1. they won't use them and 2. if they do they want them flavorless anyway.

                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                    hill food - do your folks even notice that you have tossed the food-stuff? lol

                                                                                                    1. re: lifespan

                                                                                                      not that I'm aware of, as a test I left the opened pickled herring for a while - that went 3 years and a house move. before I axed it. It was probably still fine (just more pungent), but....

                                                                                                      when a good sized fridge is SO packed that 12 things need to come out in order to reach a small thing wrapped in foil at the back...

                                                                                                      thank god they don't like cats or they'd be a special episode on Animal Planet.

                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                        that's too funny.

                                                                                                    2. re: hill food

                                                                                                      And the frozen hunk of cheese she uses an electric knife to cut!

                                                                                                2. A can or two of fiskeboller (Norwegian fish balls). Definitely, not my thing then or now.
                                                                                                  http://www.nrk.no/contentfile/file/1....

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: grampart

                                                                                                    Fiskeboller er den beste! I used to have cans on hand bought at the fish packing plant until Bumble Bee bought the company and no more fish balls. I wrapped a can once for a high school Christmas grab bag and the kids all knew it was mine. Go figure.

                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                      I was looking at Thai fish balls the other day in my favorite Asian grocery and was wondering how to prepare them. How are fiskeboller prepared and served?

                                                                                                  2. American cheese (or Velveeta - yuck)
                                                                                                    powdered garlic (never had fresh as a kid)

                                                                                                    Here's the big one for me that probably nobody else will mention: FLOUR. I have no interest in baking and flour makes such a mess that I don't keep it around.

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: mojoeater

                                                                                                      No FLOUR!!?? Poor mojo...you'll never know the joy of roux! Or making a "bound breading" (flour, egg and breadcrumbs or panko) for cutlets. Couldn't get by without my happy red sack of King Arthur AP flour. Adam

                                                                                                      1. re: adamshoe

                                                                                                        I can make a roux. I just borrow a tiny bit of flour from a friend. No need for a full bag!

                                                                                                        1. re: mojoeater

                                                                                                          You should keep a canister of Wondra flour in the cabinet. It is "instantized" so it pours neatly and dissolves smoothly, making it perfect for roux and for thickening in liquids and cooked fruit.

                                                                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                            My MIL always kept (still does) a canister of AP above the stove and kept a tea strainer inside for making gravy. Her method: Pull the turkey (or whatever) out of the roasting pan, put the pan across two burners, whisk in the flour, and serve.

                                                                                                            1. re: MissMichal

                                                                                                              And after about a minute of the scrape-scrape of her fork beating the flour smooth, Mom would start humming a little tune she never did any other time. Memories!

                                                                                                    2. The funny thing about my parents is that they were stuck halfway between the post-war love of convenience food and an interest in crunchy, hippie food -- so my list would include Bisquick AND nutritional yeast; garlic salt and onion powder AND granola and wheat germ.

                                                                                                      A few more:
                                                                                                      frozen peas, corn and carrots. (They grew up eating canned.)
                                                                                                      evaporated milk for their instant coffee or postum
                                                                                                      jugs of white wine
                                                                                                      fake pancake syrup and margarine to go on the Bisquick pancakes

                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Glencora

                                                                                                        Lipton Noodle soup with chicken
                                                                                                        Cheez-Whiz with saltines
                                                                                                        canned green beans
                                                                                                        lard
                                                                                                        a jar of cinnamon sugar
                                                                                                        Wonder bread

                                                                                                        I remember the canned beans having a horrible consistency - somewhere between wax and much. The lard was for making donuts. Cinnamon toast and noodle soup were constants.

                                                                                                        1. re: catzen

                                                                                                          Canned green beans in Mom's pantry, but not in mine. Blecch!

                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                            My mom always had the canned green beans too but she also always had a saucer of bacon grease to season them and everything else with. Bacon grease sat on the counter by the stove always.

                                                                                                            1. re: Lewes17266

                                                                                                              Ugh - me too. I hate canned green beans with an unbridled passion. And vegall.

                                                                                                              1. re: gridder

                                                                                                                I hate them too, but the dog loves them. I buy a can of the big fat green beans and chop them up for her. (I call them Mambo Beans, don't ask me why.)

                                                                                                                1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                  the only canned veggies i eat are the delmonte summer crisp corn, asparagus for the relish platter, and the rare can at the bf's that i doctor (when he's not looking) with sriracha

                                                                                                                  1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                    We have to put netting over our bush green beans in the garden or our Choc. Lab will graze on them.
                                                                                                                    I can't eat green beans from a can either.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                      I like cold green beans right out of the can. Call me nuts

                                                                                                                      1. re: marymanchester

                                                                                                                        i can, too -- they squeak. tee hee.

                                                                                                                        sometimes i get a craving for canned tomatoes, and i will open the can and start drinking the juice, then eat a tomato or two. hmmm…maybe i need some now.

                                                                                                              2. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                I think you just brought back a repressed memory. Canned green beans simmering in a little pot on the stove. The only good thing about them is they were slippery enough that I could shove a bunch in my mouth and swallow quickly, so I didn't have to taste them for too long.

                                                                                                          2. -Alfalfa sprouts which she grew in a mason jar covered with a sock
                                                                                                            -shortening
                                                                                                            -International Coffee mixes
                                                                                                            -Shredded Wheat
                                                                                                            -Cream of Wheat
                                                                                                            -canned fruit
                                                                                                            -Mcintosh apples
                                                                                                            -Wine in a jug
                                                                                                            -frozen oj & grape juices
                                                                                                            -evaporated milk

                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                              Oh yes, my mom did sprouts, too.

                                                                                                              1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                Oh yes, International Coffee mixes! I thought those were so glamorous as a kid!

                                                                                                                We always had Jell-O, and Jello-O pudding in the house. The pudding was the kind you cook, not instant. I remember my mom spending a lot of time at the stove stirring pudding.

                                                                                                                1. re: manraysky

                                                                                                                  Oh that is so funny about International Coffee mixes! My friends & I thought we were so "worldly".... I can't even tolerate the sugar level now...but then...well we were hot sh*t.

                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                    Little square cans with the round metal lid like cocoa! I bought a can of International Coffee in a red, white and blue container. Forget what the flavor was called. I tasted okay, but the artificial creamer in it gave me what felt like terminal indigestion! That made the can last about three years before I finally threw it out.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                      haha. i went though this too. as a kid this stuff was the top of the line...i bought a can a few years back for nostalgia and ended up using it as a fake creamer added to my own coffee. wasn't half bad.

                                                                                                                      1. re: lollya

                                                                                                                        This is still what my parents drink! Suisse Mocha all the way!

                                                                                                                        Unless my husband, who works for a coffee company, sends dad a free half-pound of Kona. Then he drinks the real stuff...;)

                                                                                                                    2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                      my friend's mother has a biscotti recipe that uses this, and they are oddly tasty.

                                                                                                                2. Stork margarine
                                                                                                                  Tinned hotdog sausages

                                                                                                                  That's about it. The main difference between my mother's house and mine is that my cupboards and fridge are always filled to bursting, while hers are half empty.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                    Thats the only difference here too.Mine are filled; hers have what seems like nothing yet she can always pull a meal together. She actually told me when she visited last week that I have enough food for a year!...AND i WAS THINKING i NEED TO RUN TO THE STORE.lol!

                                                                                                                  2. I take it you mean besides an extra $20 (or in your case, 20 quid)? She always seem to be able to come through in a pinch.

                                                                                                                    On a food level, She always had some Tang around in case we ran out of Orange juice. You might not be familiar with it as it was something NASA invented for astronauts to drink. Semi healthy powder, somewhat nasty taste. The other thing was a can of pressurized cheese just in case we had unexpected visitors for drinks.

                                                                                                                    20 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                      NASA didn't invent Tang. NASA sent it on some of its Gemini flights. It was created by General Foods. Apart from vitamin C and a bit of calcium, no particularly redeeming nutritional value to speak of. That said, it's always in our house because it helps my wife feel better when she is sick.

                                                                                                                      1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                        it was not General Foods that developed Tang but the home-ech department at Texas Womans University

                                                                                                                        1. re: miss margie

                                                                                                                          While it pre-dates Sputnik, it didn't come from Denton either:
                                                                                                                          http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200411...

                                                                                                                        2. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                          I remember when Tang was first introduced to the public. I bought some. I mixed a glass of it. I tasted it. I poured it down the drain and thought, "Well, if I was way way way up there far from earth, it might taste better, but while I'm here on terra firma, I'll stick with fresh squoze oranges! " And I have. Pretty much. Well.... Is frozen OJ freshly squeezed?" Surely it must be at some point! '-)

                                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                            when i was in college i'd drink "tanq&tang"s how ghetto is that?!? LOL ;-P

                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                              Try mixing it up double strength- tastes much better.

                                                                                                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                LOL! Either twice as good or twice as bad.... '-)

                                                                                                                          2. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                            My dad keeps Diet Tang on hand. He likes to drink a 50/50 mixture of Diet Tang and OJ instead of straight OJ to cut calories

                                                                                                                            1. re: amethiste

                                                                                                                              When I was growing up, for a while we made a kind of instant "tea" out of Tang. There was a recipe floating around; Tang, cinnamon, cloves, etc., and then you mixed it into hot water and drank it. Kind of a Tang hot toddy.

                                                                                                                              1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                                                                                                                We had that. I think we called it Russian Tea....might have had iced tea mix in it? My mom always kept it mixed up in one of her orange Tupperware containers ;-)

                                                                                                                                1. re: jessleigh

                                                                                                                                  The kind my mother made had Lipton's Lemon Iced Tea mix as well as Tang and a bunch of spices. I remember it as being wonderful, although I am sure I would gag if I had it now.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jessleigh

                                                                                                                                    my mom also calls this Russian Tea, must have made the rounds of Better Homes and Good Housekeeping in the early 70's.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                      YES!!! russian tea. remember how one would get it as a holiday "present" and then one wouldn't drink it, and then one would find it a year later hard as a rock, and then one would think "well, maybe i'll want it someday..."?

                                                                                                                                    2. re: jessleigh

                                                                                                                                      Yes! It DID have iced tea mix in it! Thanks -- I couldn't figure out what was missing.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jessleigh

                                                                                                                                        Our Boy Scout version of Russian Tea was half Tang and half sweetened tea mix, served hot. It's amazing we arn't all diabetic!

                                                                                                                                      2. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                                                                                                                        yes! we made this at school when I was little. it was tolerable, but not great.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                          What Tang IS good for: Cleaning your dishwasher. Really. Just fill the detergent cup with Tang and run it through a cycle. Nice shiny un-gunked dishwasher. It also works on toilets, sprinkle it all over the inside of the bowl, after you make sure the bowl is damp all over, let sit overnight and scrub with the brush. It removes the mineral build-up if you have hard water. I wouldn't put it in my body though!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: FibroLady

                                                                                                                                            interesting. anyone told the marketing whizzes at Kraft?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                              citric acid, fine. tang, however, is a little pricey to clean my toilet.

                                                                                                                                              ~~~
                                                                                                                                              ps. good one -- hill food -- on the marketing *whizzes."

                                                                                                                                            2. re: FibroLady

                                                                                                                                              Got an easier version than Tang Fibro; three or four 1500 mg vitamin C Tabs. I think it's the ascorbic acid that does the trick and FYI, that is the main active ingredient in many lime removers, including some of the commercial ones I use for work... Food for thought.

                                                                                                                                    3. Every manner of fruit and vegetable that came in a can. Cool whip, Fluff, pop tarts.
                                                                                                                                      Pot cheese, farmers cheese. Real american cheese - not cheese food. Kraft grated parmesan cheese. Saccharin sprinkled on a half of grapefruit. Chicken fat with rendered onions. Frozen waffles. Frosted flakes.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: GodfatherofLunch

                                                                                                                                        Your mom was way cooler than mine, GFL. At least to my then 11 yr old mind. I used to go to friend's houses and pillage through their pantries in search of junk food. If I found Hawiian Punch I was giddy! My mom wouldn't allow the stuff in the house.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                                          I forgot about Hawaiian Punch. We also always those cool old seltzer bottles.

                                                                                                                                      2. Dried Parsley. Canned mushrooms. Both of which I consider crimes against food.

                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                          Back in the day, it was either canned mushrooms, or no mushrooms.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                            Really? No fresh 'shrooms in Germany in the 70s? Well, perhaps not. Obviously, I wasn't doing the shopping as a kid, so you might be right '-)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                              VERY old thread, but I was referring to the U.S. I suspect that there have always been fresh mushrooms in German markets.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                              Exactly what I was thinking........little cans of "B in B" mushrooms (I think it meant broiled in butter) but generally tasteless

                                                                                                                                          2. My list is much like yours, coney. The margerine, jello, Lipton, and such, but also the tin of ground black pepper, the green can of "sprinkle cheese," perch, cube steak, ground beef, potato chips. And about the green can of "sprinkle cheese"-- I had no idea Parmesan was good until I bought a wedge after I moved out. That was 13 years ago, and I still can't get enough of it.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: beth1

                                                                                                                                              So weird! My mom called this "sprinkle cheese" as well!

                                                                                                                                            2. For some reason Mom had a jones for Strawberry Quik mix..still never got the story on that one.
                                                                                                                                              Kraft yellow American "cheese" singles
                                                                                                                                              Whipped butter
                                                                                                                                              Cadbury chocolate bars (which she "hid" in the back of the frig)

                                                                                                                                              17 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                We always had PDQ chocolate milk mix (Pretty Darn Quick). It was little freeze-dried chocolate flavored crystals. It was the ONLY chocolate milk I would drink and I was obsessed w/ chocolate milk. I used to pour chocolate milk on my blanket and smell it as I drifted off to sleep. I know, it's disgusting and to this day I don't understand why I did it. :)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                                                  lynnlato, I'm sharing your chocolate milk memory with Mom later in the week...maybe it will help coax the Strawberry Quik story out... ;)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                    Ha! Well, please report back on what you manage to get out of her. Inquiring minds wanna know! :)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                                                      Actually my younger sister just cleared up the mystery of Strawberry Quik. Our mom was a 45 year at the same job working mom with little time and a constant to do list in her head. Her idea of a quick lunch was often a milkshake and a banana. Sometimes the banana went into the milkshake. I do remember her bringing a blender to the office....according to my sister, Mom got bored with plain shakes and started adding Strawberry Quik to the mixture. That answers alot for me; especially how she managed to stay so strong her whole life; calcium.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                        Wow! I'm duly impressed. That was actually kind of chowish of her. Yea mom! Who else is whipping up milkshakes in the office? See, many things have a rational explanation. :)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                                                          I forgot to mention that Strawberry Quik by the spoonful was more frugal than Carnation Instant Breakfast by the packful...and that would also be very "MOM" of our mother.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                            I'm dating myself, but I remember when Strawberry Quik was introduced at some national Boy Scout Jamboree in Idaho. It seemed very exciting at the time, even to a Webelo.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: condiment

                                                                                                                                                              That is too funny...and since I have two brothers...who were Scouts....I'm wondering if my Mother was introduced to Strawberry Quik thru some national "leader" speak.....funny.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                Remember Banana Quik?

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                          I had a friend whose mom bought strawberry Quik. To this day my sister and I talk about how gross we thought that was. This same family only put 2 cans of water when they made orange juice from frozen concentrate.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: marymanchester

                                                                                                                                                            When I was in grade school I loved Strawberry Quik. I used to put some into an old prescription bottle and bring it to school to mix into the 1/2 pint milk carton. Apparently, I started a trend that annoyed the teachers and lunch montors because pretty soon so many kids were bringing to school Nestles Quik, either chocolate or strawberry, that it became a problem and was banned. I was pretty proud of starting a trend even though it was banned. (Or maybe because it was banned ; )

                                                                                                                                                        3. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                                                          lynnlato, I can't begin to tell you how funny I'm finding this exchange. You couldn't have known at the time you were talking with my oldest daughter here about me! Hahaha! She's a hoot! Telling tales about her dear ole mum. Hilarious! E. doesn't sign on to this account anymore...but she sure did that day!

                                                                                                                                                          J

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                                                        My God, I had completely forgotten about the existence of PDQ! We had that sometimes too...but with 4 kids and one (enlisted military) income it was a rare treat.

                                                                                                                                                        I'd have to add Kraft Parmesan and sliced cheese food to my original list too!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                          oh! oh! oh! How could I forget my mother's favorite cheese? Kraft Parmesan Cheese in the round green container with the shaker top! She used it on everything. It was her favorite TACO cheese! See? I've told you all I had a thwarted and depraved childhood!

                                                                                                                                                      3. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                        I'd like your mom's story about the Strawberry Quik. As a child, I always had regular Quik. One afternoon, visiting my aunt & uncle, Uncle George said he had somethihng I was going to love. He came back with a juice glass of Strawberry Quik in milk. It was the weirdest thing I'd ever tasted. I could not finish it then; I never wanted to see it again. I was 5 years old. I can never forget the incident.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                          My mother didn't hide chocolate she kept them and coke in the "ice box" for all of us to have when ever we or our friends wanted. She also always had ice cream and chips on hand. She eats like that all the time she is over 90 and it seems to work for her.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: miss margie

                                                                                                                                                            While catching up with my Mom this week we were giggling like crazy over Strawberry Quik, Cadbury chocolate squares and one I complete forgot....her coffee can hording. Mom use to buy cans of Maxwell House coffee. She couldn't resist the sales. She would never have dreamed of buying BEANS...and still believes I could be more frugal in my own coffee drinking...if I would switch to canned coffee. Ha!

                                                                                                                                                        2. That big, cylindrical box of dried Quaker oat meal. When I could smell cookies in the oven, I always hoped for chocolate chip, but usually is was oatmeal cookies with raisins.
                                                                                                                                                          I appreciate them more now.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                            I still make those cookies! Except i add a LOT more spices to them. and sans nuts and raisins. They're so yummy that way. People in my office loved them! Even the guy who hated oatmeal cookies. He said I just call 'em spice cookies.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Margarine and canned white peaches for my father. He was an addict.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Mom was a good cook and as 1st generation American, not a lot of commercial American crap. Two things she frequently had on hand were ring boloney and veal roasts. Ring baloney doesn't exist in Maine and I can't afford veal roasts. We just cleaned out her house and she still had lots of good grub.

                                                                                                                                                              30 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                ring baloney-- is it like kielbasa?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                  Are you from Michigan? That's the only place I've ever seen ring baloney.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lulubelle

                                                                                                                                                                    They have it in Iowa too. Must relate to German immigration patterns?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                      Not just ring baloney, but PICKLED ring baloney! Loved it as a kid and yes, I'm from Michigan. Another related item: Mom used to hook her metal meat grinder to the side of the pull out wooden chopping board to make ground baloney - ground baloney sandwiches anyone?!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PJFla

                                                                                                                                                                        ground baloney, huh? i'm picturing that.....
                                                                                                                                                                        just like paté, i'm sure. ;-)).

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PJFla

                                                                                                                                                                          Nope, that must be MI only. They make pickled ham in the Amanas in Iowa - it's great, (as I make it) just cooked cubed ham with rings of white onion and black pepper to taste soaked in a mixture of 3 parts white vinegar to 1 part water to cover. A tasty way to use up the sempiternal ham leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                            sempiternal. what a beautifully apt word! it's rare that i see a new word to me, but that one is brilliant.

                                                                                                                                                                            wasn't it dorothy parker who quipped that the definition of eternity was two people and a ham? maybe? or "nope", it was irma rombauer in the joy of cooking, http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/n...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                              I love that quote, also "She was a good cook, as good cooks go, and as good cooks go, she went." (Saki, also quoted in JoC.) Do try the pickled ham, it's tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                how is the pickled ham served? on noodles? just plain?

                                                                                                                                                                                my mom used leftover ham by putting a large, 1/3-1/2 inch thick slice in a cast iron skillet, adding grits and water for the grits, covering and simmering till grits are done. sometimes i'll buy a ham slice just for this purpose. that's simple country cookin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                  We first saw it as a cold appetizer before BIG meat and potatoes dinners at restaurants in the Amana Colonies in eastern IA, served family-style, with a big bowl of cottage cheese (they have super cottage cheese in IA) doctored up with some buttermilk, s&p, and chopped green onion. We make the appetizer a meal at our place during warm weather, with homemade biscuits. (The meals at the Amana Colonies restaurants are great, big bowls of delicious sauerkraut, German fried potatoes, smoked pork chops, fried chicken, sausages, the whole nine yards. Favorite restaurant was the Ronneburg, haven't been there in a good long while though. Just off I80 a bit in a beautiful part of IA if you're ever out that way.)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                    pickled ham, cottage cheese with buttermilk, and green onions. that is an interesting combination of ingredients. to learn more about this food combo,i am reading about the amana colonies. quite interesting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amana_Co...

                                                                                                                                                                                    germany/switzerland is the ethnographic origin of that food combo, right? is that still the way food is in germany, anyone? in general, it seems germans like "sour" food. i wonder if they like "sour" more than any other groups.

                                                                                                                                                                                    ~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                    and i'd love to try fresh cottage cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I haven't gotten into the history of the Amanas a lot but there is a lot of German (and Czech) settlement in that part of the Midwest. Btw husb is German-Irish, the classic combo, stubbborn as all get-out (in a good way, of course). Sour does seem to be more valued in German food than a lot of other cuisines.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm sure that is where my love of vinegars and mustards comes from. Just a German / English / Irish / Romanian - American...

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: PJFla

                                                                                                                                                                              I love pickled baloney ring! I'm gonna have to put in an order with my friends when I am home over Christmas.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                          Ring Baloney is definately one of those things from my childhood that I would like to forget. No mom, its not "just like a big hot dog".

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gfcolette

                                                                                                                                                                            I have no idea what ring baloney is, but regular bologna meat IS the same thing as hot dog meat. Same ingredients, different shape. Neither is on my list of favorite things. My Mom's favorite cold cuts that I never even look at now were olive loaf and spiced ham.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                              olive loaf! gotta get me some. i wonder if anyone makes a good quality version?

                                                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                              my mom also got a lunchmeat, something "loaf." sandwich loaf, maybe?

                                                                                                                                                                              ~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                              isn't "loaf" a weird word?
                                                                                                                                                                              even stranger is the aero-weiner. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/35...
                                                                                                                                                                              that is just plain (!) wrong!
                                                                                                                                                                              ummm, wait. it *does* get weirder. http://www.kraftbrands.com/goodmoodmi...
                                                                                                                                                                              i'm lookin' for baloney, and i get kittens floating by in bubbles?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                I prefer Beluga to weiner. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_B....

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                  i used your link, but had to hunt for it. good one!
                                                                                                                                                                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_B...
                                                                                                                                                                                  (sometimes wiki links are strange!).

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                    My bad .... trailing period problem. I wish Chow would remove them. Whilst a trailing period is technically a valid url, it is almost always a user error.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                      the beluga airbus -- wonder what the luggage hold looks like? lots of shiny round pieces of black patent leather louis vuitton luggage? http://caviar-lover.com/beluga-caviar...

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                  Another one we often had was mac and cheese loaf - basically bologna with little cubes of processed cheese and cooked elbow macaroni in it (in the same proprtion of things to meat as pistachios and lardo in mortadella). Who the hell thought that one up? Was quite good in a weird way, however.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                    My brother could have lived on mac and cheese loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                      never seen mac and cheese loaf anywhere!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                        Is it an Ontario thing I wonder? Schneider's out of Kitchener was my mom's standby brand for cold meats.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                          Could be Ontario. We ate a lot of Schneider's as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                      Olive loaf on the kind of white bread that stix to the roof of your mouth, with lots of mayo. Oh, childhood...

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: stuck in Hartford County

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yea, the mayo was to lube the roof of your mouth so you could unstick the bread!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey alkapal, Boar's Head has an Olive Loaf, although I haven't had it in years...

                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.boarshead.com/digicatessen...

                                                                                                                                                                                        Or, Alton Brown can show you how to make your own on the FN website

                                                                                                                                                                                        and last, here's a pic of a poor, lonely loaf looking for someone who cares...

                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                                                                                          oh gosh, cuccs, you really made me laugh with this one!

                                                                                                                                                                                          did you create mr. o. loaf? that's a super job. i saved the image as "cuccubear's lonely olive loaf."

                                                                                                                                                                                          thanks! {;^D.

                                                                                                                                                                                3. jarred minced garlic (though I can see where this would come in handy)
                                                                                                                                                                                  margarine
                                                                                                                                                                                  cream of everything soup
                                                                                                                                                                                  american cheese singles (my siblings love eating them, I hate them!)

                                                                                                                                                                                  She still makes the best gumbo and red beans & rice I've ever had, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Erinmck

                                                                                                                                                                                    would love if you'd share those gumbo and rb&r recipes!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. margarine, butter was pretty much a no go in our house growing up, as margarine was considered much healthier...

                                                                                                                                                                                    Powdered milk: that is all we drank. (Shudder).

                                                                                                                                                                                    And one I actually really like: Peanut butter. There was always peanut butter in the house growing up. I remember living on pbj sandwiches for two weeks when we were making a cross country move. To this day I am not sure if my mother was just trying to keep the cupboards cleaned out, or if money was tight with the costs of the move. (or both).

                                                                                                                                                                                    As I say, I love peanut butter. Unfortunately, hubby has a serious addiction to it, as in once he starts eating it he has a hard time stopping, and he really doesn't need the calories...so I've just stopped buying it. well, officially, anyway. I will admit that I did keep a jar well-hidden in a place I would never admit to on a public forum... :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                    and, for similar reasons, only with this one I am the one who can't stop eating it when it is in the house, so I don't keep it, ice cream. My mother always had ice cream in the freezer.... (well, actually, no, I take that back: she always had ice milk in the freezer; that health thing again).

                                                                                                                                                                                    So of course, what was my favorite dessert as a child? Stir a few tablespoons of maple syrup into peanut butter, spoon the entire thing over vanilla ice cream (or ice milk). Yum! The grownups liked it too, with the addition of a shot of Kahlua.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                      Funny, those two are my addictions too, susancinsf.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I had forgotten about the ice milk -- who the heck thought up that abomination? -- I hated it then, and hate everything 'light' now.

                                                                                                                                                                                      brendastarlet (do you remember Brenda Starr??), that's IT!!!!!!! Whip 'n Chill! THAT'S the product that was like the whipped dessert from a box that is now in the international aisled. That's the one she put in a parfait glass with partially chilled Jello. And if you want it now, it'll cost you $18.95 - how funny. Thanks for the name.

                                                                                                                                                                                      http://tinyurl.com/65s7qn

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. My mom's pantry included:
                                                                                                                                                                                      1) Miracle Whip
                                                                                                                                                                                      2) Cool Whip
                                                                                                                                                                                      3) Whip n Chill
                                                                                                                                                                                      4) Fluff
                                                                                                                                                                                      5) Hershey's unsweetened cocoa (mixed with Fluff for Girl Scout Fudge!)
                                                                                                                                                                                      6) Cocktail sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                      7) Horseradish in a jar
                                                                                                                                                                                      8) Kraft individually wrapped American cheese slices
                                                                                                                                                                                      9) freeze dried coffee

                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't remember having a fresh herb until adulthood.

                                                                                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: brendastarlet

                                                                                                                                                                                        Are Whip N Chill and Dream Whip the same thing?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't remember Whip n Chll--was it a dry product that you turned into "whipped topping"? (or floor wax)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                                                            I think Whip n Chill was a kind of fast pudding and more aerated. You didn't have to 'cook' it. Just used beaters. Then put it in the fridge. Anyone else have Shake a Puddin or Jello 1,2,3? Dream Whip is kind of like Cool Whip from memory. Fake cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cathodetube

                                                                                                                                                                                              Was Jello 1,2,3 the mix which had 3 "parfait" layers?
                                                                                                                                                                                              It was quite the thing at one time!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                                That's the one. So you had to pour it into a see through glass in order to admire the layers. Anyone else remember Shake a Pudding......?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cathodetube

                                                                                                                                                                                                  of course it was a Tupperware detachable-base parfait cup with sealer lid if you were going to do it right..

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cathodetube

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ah, yes. I kind of liked Jello 1,2,3. A long time after I last had that, a Vietnamese friend made me the same thing, only chrysanthemum-flavored. Pretty good, and the layers were impressive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: cathodetube

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, you mixed the Whip 'N Chill packet with cold milk and beat it with an eggbeater or electric mixer until it was fluffy, like an airy mousse. I loved it as a kid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dream Whip was also a packet mixed with milk, that produced a fake whipped cream in the days before Cool Whip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cathodetube

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dream Whip had a unique texture, not like Cool Whip but more gelatinish.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Frozen green beans
                                                                                                                                                                                              Miracle Whip
                                                                                                                                                                                              skim mik
                                                                                                                                                                                              wheaties
                                                                                                                                                                                              margerine
                                                                                                                                                                                              powdered iced tea mix

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cassoulady

                                                                                                                                                                                                I Can't Believe Its Not Butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                Backup jar of Best Foods...I have it but rarely use it so I am always out when I need some
                                                                                                                                                                                                Cream O Soups
                                                                                                                                                                                                Mexican Rice Packs....Lipton maybe
                                                                                                                                                                                                Creamed Corn
                                                                                                                                                                                                Canned Peaches
                                                                                                                                                                                                Jello Pudding Snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                                Wondra
                                                                                                                                                                                                Bisquick...always had those little bugs in it because she never used much so she always bought another one.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Canned Chili
                                                                                                                                                                                                Sweet & Low
                                                                                                                                                                                                Bread Crums
                                                                                                                                                                                                Toothpicks...never have those but I should

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Nestea. Belecht.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Swanson Pot Pies. Double Belecht.
                                                                                                                                                                                                * My mom moves like every other year - she has been carrying around the same tin of celery salt for at least 30 years! It was the one from when I was a child.

                                                                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Small update: talked with my mom this morning. She got miffed when I suggested she is a spice hoarder. Then she went to the cabinet... She said she did indeed have a schilling spice box that has a metal slide top. She thought it was from maybe around the time my brother was born (1959). She also swears her 1970's nutmeg still is very "nutmeggy" and (Ah ha!) the celery seed is Astor and only expired Oct. 20 1987. "It's a seed!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am still trying to understand my mother's logic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  She called me later to tell me she just "discovered" a Libbyland Safari Supper (TV dinner) she bought for 60 cents back from when we were kids (so the 70's).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  She scares me. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL! This is so cute. I love it. Where on Earth did she discover the tv dinner, in the freezer? LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'll admit that I have a small tin of McCormick Ground Cloves. I don't see an expiration date on it but I do know it belonged to my mother who passed away in 1982. It's quite possible it belonged to her mother who passed away in 1979. Although I keep it in with my other spices, I don't use it. It's kind of like a security blanket I suppose. Makes me feel like they are in the kitchen with me. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's a sweet story, lynnlato. My mother has something in her kitchen from her mother too - it's a empty can that was opened at one end and then sharpened around the open edge. She uses it as a little chopping device. I hope it's passed down to me one day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: EastBayShortcake

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now that is ingenious. How did you grandmotrher and how does your mother sharpen the can and keep the "blade" level?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aww. I love that. And I know just what you mean. I have a McCormick's Celery Salt jar that belonged to my great-grandmother. She taught me how to cook when i was a little girl, but she crossed over in 1965.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have a jar of whole cloves, in a big jelly jar, that Mom got from Grandma after she passed on ('60s), and then I got from Mom when I moved out (early 70s). Who knows how old altogether, but still plenty strong. I don't really like cloves, but I open the jar once in awhile just to smell it. I'll have to think who I'm going to leave it to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have a bottle of bitters from my Gran, who shared her love of food with me and anyone else that would sit still long enough :->. I don't recall her ever using this particular bottle, it was always just there. She did use other bitters in her cocktails. Unfortunately she passed unexpectedly, not that I'm sure I would have ever thought to ask. Now it sits in my cabinet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                          My grandparents moved to their current house in 1991. A child of the Depression, grandma doesn't waste anything. Over the holidays I discovered a jar of pumpkin in her freezer--she used half a can of pumpkin circa 1986 and instead of throwing the rest of the pumpkin out she froze the remaining contents in a jar--and confirmed that it was the same frozen jar of pumpkin I remembered from her old house when I was a kid. I say if she hasn't used it by now she ain't gonna. Nothing like 22 year old pumpkin to put you in the holiday spirit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                            You're making me laugh, but I have a box of Diamond Kosher salt that I bought at the Fort Sheridan Army base for $1.69 in December of 1981. I don't know why I haven't finished it, but I seem to buy varieties of salt all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bet you a dollar to a doughnut, she went through the Great Depression... My mom was a packrat, but the real hoarder of the family was her older sister... Paths through the house through stacks of magazines and newspapers because "we just might need that someday"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. jarred olives
                                                                                                                                                                                                            garbanzo beans
                                                                                                                                                                                                            feta cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                            frozen weight watchers meals and weight watchers desserts
                                                                                                                                                                                                            milk (no use for it even before i found out i was allergic)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            jam
                                                                                                                                                                                                            multiple varieties of dijon mustard
                                                                                                                                                                                                            diet coke and iced tea
                                                                                                                                                                                                            coffee

                                                                                                                                                                                                            on the reverse:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            tomatoes (no matter the season)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            bragg's amino acids
                                                                                                                                                                                                            lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                            iceberg lettuce
                                                                                                                                                                                                            TVP

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Mom was a second generation great cook and baker. She studied nutrition, among other fields, at Berkeley before being thrown into the concentration camps. Growing up in the 50s and 60s, I remember her being sarcastic about the hakujin's (you guys) use of canned goods, about their over-cooked vegetables, and about their generally poor nutrition. We had a lot of fruits and vegetables, much that was home grown, had lots of fish, not that much red meat, little to no fried foods, cuisines from around the globe, and all done from scratch. So I was very fortunate and now try to have on hand much of what she used to have. And since I'm as old as many of your moms, maybe you expect me to have all kinds of canned, processed, and junk foods on hand? No way. Our moms passed down good practice to almost all of us cousins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm thinking I can figure the Mom's ages by the lists! (and always worry that some of this stuff is in my cupboard)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. My mom always had frozen Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers frozen dinners in the house
                                                                                                                                                                                                                along with garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, LaChoy soy sauce, a tub of Crisco that was several years old, Diet Coke, and microwave popcorn. The only reason I have the soda in my house right now is because I had a party.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MrsT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In my house, my Dad did the food shopping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Margarine (for cooking)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Whipped Butter (for toast)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - I just buy stick butter to cover both!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rice-A-Roni - I think I ate this ate least once a week while growing up. My Mom's idea of being a "cook" was to put broccoli in it. I don't think I have ever bought it for my own home

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Coffee (both instant and drip) - I have never had coffee probably never will, and SO only drinks it out of the house

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tropicana OJ - both my parents still drink it every day. I bought a small one at the bagel store a few weeks ago, and my boyfriend looked at me oddly, because in four years he had never, ever seen me drink it. But, you know? It was pretty good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Skinless Chicken Breasts - Eaten at least once a week with previously mentioned Rice-A-Roni. Also, in baked chicken parm, and...well, it was pretty much the staple protein. I just don't like those dry, tastless things!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nestle Quick powder OR Fox's U-Bet Syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Canned Fruit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hungry Jack Instant Mashed Potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Frozen Blintzes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bottled Salad Dressing (of which there were always about twenty varieties)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cinnamon Raisin Bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Entenmman's cakes (ok, once in a blue moon I buy the All-butter Loaf to have with strawberries and whipped cream!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Justpaula

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I will add, that while we never kept kosher, the whole margarine thing was because both of my parents had Eastern European Jewish parents (my grandparents), and, they just did not cook with butter. Because, even though the did not keep Kosher, there was still "that thing" about cooking meat with dairy. Which, I think is kind of cool and okay in that heritage kinda way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Justpaula

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      it could be part of the issue for my mother as well, even though she always claimed it was health reasons...we never kept kosher but pork was almost unheard of in our house: I can remember my father begging her for pork chops and her suggesting he should cook them or go out...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Crisco was a no go, but I think that was her perception of health issues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Chicken Fat, of course. (My father was the one who got the jars of Postum). Also can't get No Cal cola or saccarine, probably for the better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Potrezebie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, chicken fat!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My mother was most posters' grandmothers' generation (as I am of the mother generation). So it's a long time remembering back, but I'm pretty sure she had Spry instead of Crisco, because Crisco wasn't kosher. (Of course, maybe I've got it backwards! )
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In any event, I don't Do Shortening. I don't make Southern Fried Chicken either, maybe because it really demands shortening!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Bottled spices on a lazy susan that date back to 1960 something
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cup-o-Soup in packets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cheez-Whiz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Crisco shortening
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fruit Cocktail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jello & jello molds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kraft Dinner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kraft Parmesan Cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Le Seur (sp?) canned peas <---why I hated peas as a kid
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maxwell House Coffee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Minute Rice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Miracle Whip
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mock Chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Red Rose Tea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Velveeta
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wonder Bread

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mock chicken? Foul and sarcastic?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.olymel.com/en/products/our...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mock as in fake - Deli slices that were pinkish in colour and orange on the edges. I'm sure Mom would deny the mock chicken and the KD with hot dogs but I remember them as childhood staples.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. It's appropriate here to mention that McCormick's put out and ad a few years ago that if you have any of their spices in cans or ones that list the company in Baltimore, they are AT LEAST 15 years old (so now it must be 17 or 18). Throwing them out and getting new ones (stocking stuffers?) might not be a bad idea. On the other hand, if they have lasted this long, she may not really need them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Crisco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A jar of bacon drippings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cheez Whiz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dried Beef wafers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bologna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pickle Relish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Coffee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What is a "dried beef wafer?" Sounds nasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They came in a foil pouch. Sliced of dried beef. Then she'd make dried beef gravy with it. Like paper thin slices of dried beef. I didn't like gravy so I'd make a sandwich with it occasionally. Kind of like eating roofing paper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              roll 'em into little tubes stuffed with cream cheese and horseradish-- if you can, let them sit overnight or a couple hours in the fridge, then eat. my fave 1950's cheap-o HD, courtesy of my grandma gladys. delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dried beef and chipped beef were used during WW2 for the soldiers in different parts of the world....it was part of their food 'ration'.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It packed well and was used with a white cream sauce and served on toast.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Many soldiers, like my dad who returned from overseas, were used to it and continued eating eat when they came home. My father referred to it as 'sh*&t on a shingle'.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              However lamb. and my father's disgust of the smell because of his experience during
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the war and how they prepared it, was not allowed in our home.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My mother had one of the most remarkable fruit/vegetable gardens I have ever experienced to this day...but we always had that 'chipped beef on toast' once a week.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I really liked it because my father liked it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                that's interesting... we never had lamb either.... in fact I never even tasted lamb until I was in post grad school. Yet, the dried beef gravy was a regular.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That is very interesting. I didn't know what lamb tasted like until I was in college, on my own, and a friend took me out to dinner. I had broiled lambchops. My mother would sneak them into the house when my father was at work, all of us were at school so I'd never be able to sample her's, and she'd air out the house before my dad came home from work.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But, wow, she'd have in the oven some of the best rib roast I've ever eaten in my life...roasting on low all day with fresh vegetables from that garden of her's.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  She loved to cook and bake on a very low budget but the lack of money didn't seem to matter....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm another one who never tasted lamb until I was probably in my late 20's. My mother never made it. We always had lots of beef and pork, and sometimes chicken. Seafood was fried halibut on Fridays and occasionally shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My dad loved the creamed chipped beef too! Some company did a frozen versions of it and my mom used to keep it for him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cathodetube

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just recently spent a week in San Francisco and stayed at the Marine's Memorial Club & Hotel. (Yes, it really is affiliated with the Marine Corp). It's a very nice hotel and they provide a nice, complimentary breakfast every morning. While the menu varied somewhat from day to day, one constant was a big pot of S.O.S.!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Margarine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Canned Vegetables - frozen vegetables were forbidden and looked down upon, but fresh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                were always available.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Coffee Syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ring Dings and Peanut M&M's by the boatload - my mom had some cravings :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Condensed Tomato Soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cup of Soup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Coffee Syrup - hmmm....were you from Rhode Island or southern Massachusetts?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Cream of tartar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  garam masala
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kitchen Bouquet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And the big one, yeast. My mom could bust out a loaf of bread or pizza dough at the drop of a hat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: charlesbois

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kitchen Bouquet was (and still probably is) in my mom's kitchen! LOL it's probably the same bottle, used one teaspoon every Thanksgiving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: charlesbois

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mmm. Cream of tartar for snickerdoodles!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: charlesbois

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My mom, too. Kitchen Bouquet, and Liquid Smoke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Canned Clams and Bottled Clam Juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gravy Master
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Garlic Powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Iceburg Lettuce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pepsi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Log Cabin Syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wonder Bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Grape Jelly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A jug of Chablis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: CeeBee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Catsup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Tang
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Powdered milk (and I wonder why I don't like to drink milk)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          margarine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          American cheese and bologna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chips - cheetos, doritos...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Budweiser and a box of white.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bisquick
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lipton Noodles & Sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cyberroo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "A box of white?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Only guessing but I think cyberroo is referring to a box of white wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Whole milk by the gallon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maxwell House Instant coffee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cream of Wheat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Margarine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Canned vegetables ~~ peas, spinach, creamed corn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Canned fruit ~~ fruit cocktail, canned peaches
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MInute steaks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cube Steaks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Instant potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Frozen pot pies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TV Dinners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chef Boy ar Dee Spaghetti Dinner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Canned Sardines
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            a can of bacon grease
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Crisco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Artificially flavored maple syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pancake Mix (Aunt Jemimah)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sunbeam Bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Miracle Whip
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            fake cheese in the green can

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. canned chow mein - what an abomination
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              crisco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              cream of X soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              canned fruit cocktail or peaches

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BeaN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I didn't even know there was such a thing as canned chow mein -_-

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alissers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Talk about good luck! Count your blessings. '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. margarine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                half a beef in the freezer...each piece wrapped in butcher paper .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                chipped beef in those little bags...do they still make that stuff?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                hamburger patties, formed by her, stacked in between waxed paper and placed in freezer 'ready to go'.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                cans of clams for clamchowder...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                canned tuna packed in oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wonder bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                lunchmeat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                folger's coffee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Parece que soy tu mama: "hamburger patties, formed by her, stacked in between waxed paper and placed in freezer 'ready to go'." Y por que no hagas lo mismo?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    'half a beef in the freezer...each piece wrapped in butcher paper '

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ditto here, along with an entire pig cut up into chops & roasts and whatever else you do with a pig.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Almost forgot (this is a fabulous thread by the way....I'll be talking to friends about this for days)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ovaltine...we had to drink it everyday
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tang

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I make a smoothie out of frozen bananas, vanilla yogurt and Ovaltine almost every morning for breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Canned:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Asparagus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Creamed Corn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Peas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      String beans

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Miracle whip
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Frozen Donald Duck OJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Frozen Stouffer's spinach souffle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sugary cereals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sunbeam bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Carnation instant breakfast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pop tarts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      American cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Canned Chinese meals/mixes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Canned pastas (Chef boy-r-dee, etc)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Grape jelly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      imitation maple syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      beef bacon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Five Alive juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        saltine crackers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        big can of crisco ( i used to eat it with a spoon, straight out of the can. *shudder*)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        condiments galore: 5 kinds of mustard, 24 salad dressings, 8 types of pickles, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        bisquick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm always laughing at her because she has 2 fridges (w/ 2 freezers), plus an additional deep freezer stuffed FULL of food. And a huge pantry bursting with items. And it is only her and my dad living at home now, so they don't need that much food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dexters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          >>big can of crisco ( i used to eat it with a spoon, straight out of the can. *shudder*)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nooooo, really? Wow!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dexters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I kid you not, I'm convinced my parents are food hoarders. They have a refridgerator/freezer in the kitchen, two in the attached garage and one in the detached garage (my dad's haven/beer fridge) and a full size deep freeze. Really, do two people need all that refrigeration capacity? Last year my dad cleaned out the freezer and found pork chops from 2001.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: amy_rc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              are your parents a product of the depression era? I often wonder if that's why my parents are food hoarders....if Mom finds something on sale, she'll buy loads of it, including bread and eggs. at one point last year, they were boiling eggs every time I called home !

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They are two in a small bungalow....and have a full fridge and cupboard, deep freeze and pantry...plus stashes around the house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No--my mom's parents were products of the Depression, though, and instilled those values. My dad is from a family of nine children, so I think they always had enough food..but just enough and one one morsel more.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mom will go anywhere for a sale. I live in a city 20 minutes away and last week I bumped into my parents at my local grocery store. She came over because milk, eggs and bread were on sale. So she saved $4 or $5 but what did she spend in gas and time to get to the store? But, if it makes her happy I'm not going to burst her "saving" bubble.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: amy_rc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My mom gets the sale ads together every week and goes to each store to stock up on the sale items that she needs. When I would come home to visit in my early 20s (and sometimes now), she would pack up the items from her pantry to send home with me. Shopping at Mom's stretched more than a few paychecks for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: EastBayShortcake

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That is really lovely! Please give your Mom a hug from me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: amy_rc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My parents were born in '33 & '34, so products of the depression. It is just the two of them, and my father is in ill health, yet they still buy like they are feeding an army every night. I last visited them in August 2010 and they had food piled up all over the place. The refrigerators and freezers were all full and they still buy Costco/Sam's Club quantities of everything!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: dexters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have to laugh at your last comment. I am also guilty of having two large refrigerator/freezers (one in the garage) plus an additional large upright freezer (also in the garage) and LOTS of pantry items in the house. It is only my husband and myself living here and I'm always worried that we are short on some kind of food. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't buy more food until I cleared a lot of this stuff out but it seems that there is always something that I want that I don't have. So it is not only your Mom and Dad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: msgenie516

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  New show! Food Hoarders on Cooking Channel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Do these people really have all their food sitting on the counter like that? If it was all put away it wouldn't be so weird, at least to me. Good to know I only have one of the food hoarder characteristics...I like to acquire food, but I also like to organize, keep lists and use it up! And I do occasionally throw something out, even though it annoys me. Whew!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      coll, meet my mom. mom this is coll. the two of you have nothing in common whatsoever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      but a cool show even though it hits close to home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Think I'll have to watch it sometime, even just as a cautionary tale. Luckily (?) we are both not working right now and I have been working through my stock on a daily basis. I knew there was a reason I had a little bit of everything! So weird to be able to reach in the freezer and get to the back without anything falling out on my foot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Coll, you are an inspiration! Maybe I'll be able to say the same this summer (can't just rush into these things...).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MaineCook

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you make it into a game, it's lots of fun to see what you can whip up without going shopping. Like Stone Soup, but on a bigger scale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When I have company coming, I always plan my meal around what's on hand; hope that doesn't make me too much of a cheapskate. Just yesterday I had friends over for Mardi Gras and all I had to buy was some fresh produce and heavy cream. I made baked grits with shrimp on top, seafood gumbo with shrimp and lobster, plus dirty rice and jumbalaya with chorizo (I did pick the sausage up at Trader Joes a few weeks ago knowing I'd need it), chicken cutlets and shredded ham saved from the ham bone I used in my last Split Pea Soup. All the meat was bought when the price was rock bottom, as usual, so I can afford to be generous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I sent them home with most of the leftovers too, since I've turned over a new leaf. Funny but she brought a delicious strawberry bundt cake and refused to take the rest home, claims she made a second one for themselves. Well I guess two can play at this game! Any way it's now in my freezer for some future use. My freezer will never be totally empty. As a matter of fact, it's been over 6 months and I am just to the point I mentioned above, I can reach in without anything falling out, that's about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My refrigerator needs to be put on a use or discard diet, but my freezer is actually getting leaner. Thanks for the inspiration.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DavidA06488

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Besides use/discard, I am big on freezing small quantities of leftovers after a few days when it becomes obvious it's not on a soon to be menu; whatever it is you can always add it to something at some point. Maybe why my freezer remains forever full? A lot of it gets tossed into the next pot of soup, or an omelette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DavidA06488

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My late in-laws used to have a one-day rule for their fridge...anything that had been there for 24 hours was tossed. Now, they also didn't believe in letting things get even one second past that deadline so allowed themselves to terminate items before bed, before going out for a few hours, etc. if that would run past the 24th hour. Great for them, but I lost a wonderful meal of meatballs and linguine with vodka sauce that I had saved from lunch out the day before and planned to eat for dinner 36 hours later. No asking first, just open the fridge door and toss.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MaineCook

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's the downside of a rule that some of us could use .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: msgenie516

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hahahahahahahaha! Just two of us and we have a large Amana side-by-side and a 1952 GE fridge/freezer (we are the second home it has lived in) in the main house, and a 5 cuft freezer in the barn. We'd have more, but don't have the floor/wall space. AND we have a second home where I add to our 'needs'. Aren't we just the funniest people? We didn't grow up in the Big Depression, but it trickled down to us through our parents. (Nice to know we aren't alone.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Cadbury's milk chocolate bars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pickled beets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Spam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Canned salmon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Potato Buds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Instant coffee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Instant creamer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Those peppermint candies with the red/white swirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Spatini

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ns538bmk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No tinned salmon? That is part of my Great Ice Storm pantry. If you buy the red kind (when it is on sale) it is actually rather good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Canned Kraft cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Inexplicably brown coconut jam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Potted Meat Food Product
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ovaltine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Banana ketchup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Holland House cooking wine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Potted meat, potted meat, potted meat, potted meat, potted meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My god. So much disgust.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: speakhandsforme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          too funny. what was in that stuff?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            seriously? nobody really knows. lips, cartilage etc. low-tech pink slime

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was told it was tits, lips and eyeballs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't think anyone really knows. It tasted a little bit like liverwurst once you got passed the idea that it was a "food product." Much better than the name implies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                potted meat & vienna sausages remind me of our summer vacations, when those were the take-along foods for lunch on the road --- pre-interstate days! potted meat is sort of like liverwurst. but i wouldn't eat it today…and i'm not sure i ate much even then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. mine would be same as many others', but i'll add malt o' meal, i don't think i've seen it yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, great...snowed in, and now I want Malt 'o Meal. My mom, when I was younger, always had Crisco, Cool Whip and Coffee Rich. She was extremely sensitive to milk, so I grew up knowing exactly which products were non-dairy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. alum was the one I never understood. is it really used for anything but practical jokes in old WB cartoons?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your mom must have made her own pickles. An alum soak makes the pickles crispy. It's also an important ingredient in baking powder, so if you ever make your own biscuits or cakes or anything else you use baking powder for, you're using alum. Toxic in large amounts, safe is small. Not recommended as a gargle. '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                that's the funny part C, she's been reminiscing about home-made pickles lately from her childhood, but never made them as far as I'm aware, maybe just thought it was something required for a kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ahhh... Sounds like the alum is a security blanket that links her to her childhood. My guess is she's still looking for cucumbers that match her childhood. Me too! And NOT just cucumbers! '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. asparagus in a can
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Heinz chile sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              clover honey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              colby cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My mother used the above very regularly.I don't like any on the list,then or now.Clueless
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              to what they could be good for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Clover honey and colby cheese are for eating. The rest I don't know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: vtnewbie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But so very bland,in need of a supporting cast unlike cheddar and wild flower honey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Asparagus in a can because it was probably either impossible or impossibly expensive to get fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I wish you were right.My mom was French but had some odd salty,slimy and mushy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    personal foods.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    None of us would touch any of the above.(children/siblings) She would not eat fresh or frozen peas,asparagus or mushrooms.My father was the keeper of the kitchen,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    garden and meat.His tastes and teachings were very different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    when I was a kid I would only eat canned asparagus. what did I know?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Heinz chili sauce -- mix with equal ratio of Welch's grape jelly and melt. Stir in frozen (prepackaged) meatballs. Cook until meatballs are heated through. Refrigerate overnight (sauce is absorbed by meatballs) and reheat to serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My problem with Heinz Chili Sauce is a "salty" taste.I realy don't like salt or salty food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Welch's grape jelly is completely unknown to me.The juice never took hold here either.My kids did not sweet stuff even when little,nor do the grand children.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Welch's grape jelly is lovely. I got on that sauce as a litle kid... i want no other grape jellies but that

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Meatballs or little cocktail franks in that sauce - we always had that during the holidays

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I actually made a soup from canned asparagus at my Dad's place. Canned asparagus, can of cream of mushroom soup, and chicken stock, and maybe some milk too. All pureed together. It was actually quite tasty!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          there are a few recipes out there for an asparagus dip that's made from canned asparagus, and it's surprisingly good !

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chile sauce with a big spoonful of horseradish and a bunch of fresh lemon juice is what you dip the shrimp in when you have an American-style shrimp cocktail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, I think it's good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll bet it is.I doubt my mom made any,she was shellfish fussy.Ate crawfish and other hard shell bugs,but not shrimp,oysters and mussles not clams and scallops.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh yeah! The Heinz chili sauce was a must in our house. I remember my mom making a "salad" that consisted of iceberg lettuce leaves, a big dollop of homemade Thousand Island dressing which was really Miracle Whip mixed with chili sauce - yech! There was a nother version of salad that was iceberg lettuce with cottage cheese and either sliced peaches from a can or pineapple with the ever present dollop of Miracle Whip and I'm just about gagging thinking of it. Another item I haven't seen mentioned yet: Kraft (I think) pimento cheese in a small glass jar. The empty glass jars ended up being our stock of juice glasses for many years. And one more: Chicken A'la King (in those frozen bags that you thawed in boiling water) on top of toasted Bays English Muffins, an all time favorite!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. canned crepe suzettes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: emilief

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Margarine for cooking "it doesn't burn like butter", but always butter for eating, because it was some point of pride during the Depression (that FIRST one) that you were too poor to afford butter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Canned veggies--I hate 'em.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Libby's Fruit Cocktail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Carl Buddig Chicken, yuck, yuck, yuck
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                50/50 Pop. Do they still make this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Garlic salt, onion salt, seasoned salt...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Green tubes of parmesan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tins of spices from Holland--circa 1965 or so? Plus other tins from trips, some decades old
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MSG of all sorts--tubes, bags, whatever
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Non-dairy creamer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tofu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Canned fruit in heavy syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Frozen orange juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A freezer so over stuffed with food that you had no idea what was what, or how long it had been there (and had to step back when pulling something out and were barefoot)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cream cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Coffee nips candy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Durian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caralien

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One of the recipe cards I inherited from my grandmother actually says 1 tsp of monosodium glutamate...written out like that. I couldn't believe it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: 16crab

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    there's a restaurant in Daly City, CA that has the unspoken reputation and following precisely because they use un-godly amounts of MSG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyone else remember "mom" having a jar of Accent? Pure MSG.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Canned green and wax beans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Canned cranberry sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lays potato chips
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wonder bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Vanilla ice cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Unidentifiable frozen meat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Canned fruit, canned vegetables, and spam.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Potato flakes to make "mashed potatoes"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Scalloped potato and au gratin mixes in the rattly little box
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Giant can of Crisco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Giant jar of Tang
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chow mein in the two-part can with canned crunchy noodles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Peanut butter (my dad's recourse after one of Mom's really bad meals)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dried beef in a jar - always for "creamed dried beef" - my ex-Marine dad taught me to call it 'sh*t on a shingle', which seems much more appropriate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Postum...every afternoon with her favorite soap opera
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Canned vegetables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A whole drawer of little spice tins that she never ever put in the food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A sugar bowl on the kitchen table
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Velveeta
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Miracle Whip
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tons of junky kids' cereal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Minute Rice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      instant coffee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oscar Mayer braunschweiger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Kinnexa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        'Potato flakes to make "mashed potatoes"' You mean Potato Buds?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Oh my....what memories this post has brought back. I can remember the following items in our house when I was a kid... it's amazing what I used to eat and actually like!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Olive loaf lunch meat (square shaped slices of lunch meat with olives and pimentos)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Puffed wheat in a bag (unsweetened)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PDQ Chocolate Milk Crystals (mamma also bought the eggnog flavor)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Space Food Sticks (chocolate and peanut butter flavor, mmmmm)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Instant milk (mamma said she always mixed this up after we went to bed, or otherwise we girls wouldn't drink it if we knew it wasn't the "real" thing)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Potted meat food product (oooo, enough said, but my sister still loves this stuff)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Vienna Sausages
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Watkins Pudding Mix in a can (for pudding and pies)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dream Whip (Little packettes of powder you mixed with vanilla and milk, whipped up and ended up with something like Cool Whip)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kitchen Bouquet Browning Seasoning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fizzie Soft Drink Tablets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Choo Choo Cherry Soft Drink Mix (Similar to Pre- Sweetened Kool Aid)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Otter Pops
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sandwich Spread (pink mayo with sweet pickle relish mixed in ??)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maypo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Deviled Ham
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Circus Peanuts (orange "marshmallows"?? shaped like peanuts....a special treat)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SPAM and Treet (YUCK) canned meat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Canned Roast Beef in Gravy and Canned Corn Beef (mamma shredded/smashed the meat up and made gravy out of these and we ate them over slices of bread we had pulled apart into pieces. I also liked to watch mamma open the corned beef with the key as she rolled up the tin strip at the top of the can)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Canned Corn/Roast Beef Hash
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Canned Tamales in Chili Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Blue Dutch??, Royal Dutch??, Dutch Girl?? (Dutch something) Ice Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Velveeta Cheese for Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Morton House brand Brown Horseradish Mustard (we never had the regular yellow stuff 'cause daddy like this kind)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Canned Sardines
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Canned Oysters and Salmon for soups
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tuna packed in oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pot Pies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Boil In" bags of sliced turkey, salisbury steak, bbq beef, and chipped beef to serve on toast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shredded Wheat (The big ones, not the bite size ones)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Appian Way Pizza Kit in a box (the crust was WAY hard to spread out on the cookie sheet and it always stuck. Mamma never bought mozzerella cheese. She always sprinkled the parmesan cheese in the green can liberally over it)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ragu Spaghetti Sauce (glorified tomato sauce)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Little Frozen Tubs of Chicken Livers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dixie Fry and Shake n' Bake Chicken Coating

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Boy, we ate some unusual stuff, but then again, what I wouldn't do to be able to sit down for one more meal with my daddy. Even if meant I had to eat canned corn beef gravy over white bread pieces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: califhsmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I rather like some of yours. Good mustard for one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And you don't like tinned sardines? Some can be very good indeed. Your parents sounded as if they had elements of interest in good food, for the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: califhsmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Space food sticks and Fizzies? You must be over 50 or so. I remember both of those, and Maypo too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chowpatty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fizzies! I made myself totally sick eating Fizzies straight from the package! And does anyone remember Chipos potato chips, in a box?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: califhsmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OMG! I forgot about those "boilin' bags"--guess they weren't that memorable. Those were always on hand for "emergencies". Chicken Ala King!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That was also way before microwaves in homes. I don't know if they still make that stuff, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: califhsmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Deviled Ham!!! Thank you califhsmom - I read this far down and was surprised no one had mentioned it yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It was my grandma who always had it -- horrible, horrifying stuff, that. I think she mixed it with mayo and slathered it on white sandwich bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I went home for Christmas to my parents and while Mom was cooking christmas dinner in the kitchen I told her about this thread. ... and that I suddenly noticed that she no longer had a can of Crisco by the stove. Apparently "Pam" has replaced Crisco on my mom's shelves. We also talked about the packets of dried beef..... and yes..... there was some in the refrigerator and she had just made dried beef gravy earlier in the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BTW mom made a 15 pound rolled rump roast for dinner and it was magnificent. You couldn't slice it.... it just fell apart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I can remember my mother telling me to make sure I bought Kitchen Bouquet to make gravy with ( I think that is all she used it for). Although our refrigerator had Velveeta, and Miracle Whip (she hated butter and mayonnaise) and other items I see posted, the best meals came out that kitchen. I adored her dressing, and French Apple pies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ha! I forgot about Kitchen Bouquet! The first "real meal" I learned to cook was beef stew. My mom would make it with whatever wine she had open (or bought for that meal - they only drank a few times a year) and Kitchen Bouquet. As a kid, I was loathe to cook with something I wasn't allowed to drink so I made it with Cherry Coke - my secret recipe. I don't keep either in my house now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. This was tough because I still buy and use many of the things my mother had in the cupboard, but here are a few things I never have around:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kitchen Bouquet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Instant Coffee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Powdered Lemonade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cool Whip or the like
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cans of Deviled Ham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now, I’m sure I do have half a bag of the cheapest hot dog buns on the market stuffed in the back of the freezer, just like mom always did. But I, instead of serving them toasted with butter and garlic salt as dinner rolls, will turn them into bread crumbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. margerine - vile
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      butter beans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      lima beans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Accent - MSG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ubiquitous "Italian Seasoning"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Garlic powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Onion powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Canned pitted California olives (blech)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tomato trifecta (paste, sauce and whole)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sweet sliced pickles (she uses the pickle juice in tuna salad)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hellman's Mayonnaise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yellow mustard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Corn Oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Matzo ball soup mix
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Goodman's Onion Soup Mix
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Manischewitz Soup mixes (they come in sausage-shaped packages)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Microwave popcorn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Canned soups
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Raspberry jam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Margarine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Matzah (year-round)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Canned parm cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shredded Wheat (for my dad)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Diet Coke/Pepsi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Coffee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cream (10%)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think we were raised in the same house....I never heard of someone else with the sauce trifecta!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TampaAurora

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was raised with a slightly different trifecta - paste, diced and whole. I still keep diced and whole on hand and use them all the time in soups and such.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Antithesisofpop

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hahaha, I just picked up a can of diced tomatoes at the store along with canellini beans for a soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I forgot one... Velveeta...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Once again I'm going to step back up to the plate to give tribute to, rather than express loving bemusement at, my Mom, my aunts, and their generation. Mom cooked all Japanese, including sushi. She also did very good Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Armenian, some Filipino, and some German. On top of that, Mom was famous for her cakes, tortes, cream puffs, cookies and more. She and the aunties all did perfect “American” including full holiday meals. All from scratch all of the time. She canned peaches, apricots, and nectarines. She made fruit leathers. We all had home made umeboshi and tsukemono and kim chee and more. The back yard produced oranges, grapefruit, kumquats, Japanese pears and apples, pecans, walnuts, grape leaves, mint, tons of avocados, pomegranates, and – get this – lots of fresh, young asparagus year after year. The folks gathered watercress from the foothills of the Sierras, took clams from Pismo, and abalone from Cayucos. Meals were sit-down, with all four of us at dinner. Mom didn’t have and wouldn’t allow the stuff that many of you have listed. We ate out at independent good and varied types of restaurants. It was the age before chains. We never had fast or prepared foods. Although our ingredients (Mom’s then, mine now) are now remarkably similar, I wish I had her skills and culinary sense. Of course, my dad provides a good lesson: I always thought him a bit out of it for his really short-cropped hair and for his funny hats. Now I’m the one with the short-cropped hair and funny hats (Mexican Stetson-styled in my case for fishing and trail riding).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sam, if your mother ever comes around again, tell her I'd marry her in a second and make her very happy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            On the other hand, I'm sure your father was more than wonderful to her, so i don't stand a chance!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But....those descriptions have my mouth watering

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sam, what a loving tribute to your mother - and father!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It is also making my mouth water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In general, my mum was also a cook of "real" food, with Italian, Québécois/French, Irish and generic North American influences but a bit of weird 1950s/1960s food product inevitably slipped in there. We didn't have access to your cornucopia all year long, and we didn't have much money to put it mildly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had no idea there was anything but a sit-down meal with the family, even after my dad died when I was 15 (often I was the one cooking it as I got back from school before mum got back from work). I'm sure my mum endured some rather painful experiments, but I did learn to cook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There is some even stranger food out there now. When I go to the (small) supermarket near me rather than the farmers' market (usually because I need non-food staples) there are always people waiting at the cash with something called "bowls" - a frozen pre-packaged mix of cooked pasta or rice, veg and a protein. The kind of stuff I'd whip up from leftovers or deliberately prepared chicken etc - and the aforementioned "bowls" are not cheap at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As a lad, were you ever jealous of classmates who had more weird pre-packaged food and junk?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                FCF, and they fried those Pismos (and made chowder and pounded and did abalone sashimi).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                lagatta, we grew up poor; and that probably helped. Being Japanese American after WWII [during the advent of TV and war movies in which one GI killed 3000 bandy-legged bucked toothed bespecktacled "Japs" all waving Nambus, katanas, and shooting Arisakas yelling "Tonight you die"] gave me enough issues to have to deal with besides food. I did have my first BigMac at the age of 40 in the Philippines; and now have come to appreciate gas station corn dogs, Chef Boy- r- Dee ravioli, Whoppers, and BigMacs - albeit now and then when I go work in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We are nicer and more civilized now. We are getting better, aren't we? We only know what we know until we know better. I was so happy and proud with this election and how far we have come as a country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am reminded of my grandmother and mother and aunts every time I see Paula Deen and hear her butchering the English language and hooting and hollering. I cringe even though I love her but I hope I don't sound like that. Her food is what I was raised on in South Carolina.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sam, could you either adopt me or marry me? :)) Your mom sounds like an amazing woman. As for your hats.....I'm pretty picky about the crease on a hat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sam died a while ago. He is very much missed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cathodetube

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was thinking about Sam today as I leafed through my new copy of the "Eleven Madison Park" cookbook. Have to think that he would have given this tome a big raspberry. CH needs another strong voice to drag us back from the precipice of preciousness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am NOT that voice (big shoes, big shoes, well likely met6aphysically...) but collectively we can all give a "pffffht" ish Bronx cheer that might speak as clearly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. What a walk down memory lane reading all of those was! My mother always had:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Miracle Whip (learned to like real mayonnaise from my grandmother)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                American cheese slices
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Vienna sausages
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                frozen orange juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kool-Aid packets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                grape and apple jellies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Spam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Peanut butter (not because I don't like it - because I like it too much!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Saccharin tablets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                evaporated milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                canned veggies (agree with whoever said spinach is the worst)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Braunschweiger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                iceberg lettuce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                white bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                margarine (I only use real butter in sticks)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Canned fruit - peaches, pears and fruit cocktail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PDeveaux

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't think I've bought a head of iceberg lettuce in about 15 years, but I do remember getting a slice of iceberg with some Russian Dressing drizzled over it when my mother was alive

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Iceberg lettuce.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bacon grease

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: smr33

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Miracle whip
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Iceberg Lettuce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jar of bacon grease
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chips, chips, chips and crackers (An assortment but ALWAYS Doritos so my dad could snack on Doritos with Old El Paso HOT taco sauce while she prepared dinner)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Old El Paso Hot taco sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sour Cream dip for chips
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ice cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Soda (my grandpa worked for Pepsi)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hershey's Chocolate Syrup (she starts every morning with chocolate milk)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mrs. Dash
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oscar Meyer chopped ham
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hot dogs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Whipping Cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2% milk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Different brands of tea probably over ex. date
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    White Castle Sliders in the freezer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jars of pickled peppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anchovy Paste
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cheetos, tons of cheetos and even the other "lesser" brands from Trader Joe's and generic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Diet Squirt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. None of your moms had instant Sanka? I love these lists -- though we could chalk it up to the generation it seems like we are related. The frequent mention of "jugs" of wine is really funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How about Nescafe? And here's a perfect chance to mix in a little food history along with talking about food! Maybe the mods will let this one float.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Instant coffee -- at least passable instant coffee -- was introduced to the world in 1939 by the Nestle Company, just as World War II was beginning to "rock and roll" in Europe. The U.S. didn't enter the war until December of 1941 (practically 1942!) Letters from family were flying between our home in California, and close family members who lived in many parts of England. And someone mentioned food shortages, so my mother and grandmother began sending food packages to Cousin George, in Manchester, for him and his wife to redistribute to the sprawling family as they saw fit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lots of things were rationed in both England and the U.S. during WWII, but my mother was wily and managed to skirt a lot of issues by buying beef, coffee, sugar, shoes and other rationed goods in Mexico, which was about six miles away. And that enabled her and my grandmother to buy a small can of Nescafe instant coffee in a round tin with their ration stamps and send it along to Cousin George. Along about 1943, this was the equivalent of sending someone the crown jewels!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So now skip forward from 1943 to 1957. At age 23, I accompany my elderly grandmother back to England, to visit family one last time. First stop, Cousin George's. And about three days into our stay, Lina, George's wife, asks me (after dinner) if I would care for a cup of "American coffee" instead of "all this English tea?" I wasn't really a coffee devotee at the time, but Lina offered it with such excitement I couldn't bring myself to say no. So she popped into the kitchen and proudly brought forth the unopened can of Nescafe instant coffee my mother and grandmother had sent in 1943, explaining they'd "set it aside" for a very special occasion!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        She then popped back into the kitchen and proceeded to empty the entire can into a saucepan, added double the amount of sugar and about a pint of milk, which she then boiled for two or three minutes before presenting it to me in a truly lovely porcelain cup and saucer. Well, the bottom line is that it really doesn't matter what sort of container you pack fecal matter into, it remains fecal matter. And that was the worst coffee I have ever suffered in my entire life! But I did manage to down the full cup of it and compliment her on her kindness and good taste. She was sooooooo pleased with serving it to me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So no Sanka memories from my mom's kitchen, but wow, do I ever remember Nescafe!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great story!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks! As I say in my profile page, it's the yucky stuff that stays with you longest. '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nescafe is still very popular in Europe and other parts of the world, and I keep a can on hand for making strong iced coffee or flavouring drinks and baked goods (the US version tastes more like Sanka than the type from Mexican, European, or Middle Eastern markets, which has more of a dark chocolate flavour).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caralien
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                l