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Jun 29, 2012 11:47 AM

food items that were NOT in your kitchen as a kid?!?

I KNOW we NEVER had olive oil... just vegetable oil.

Pretty sure it was never mayo... M-whip.

Never had hot sauce around.

These three items come to mind as something I knew nothing about. Once I was exposed to them, hadda have 'em!

How about you?

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  1. NO olive oil, real maple syrup, Parmesan that didn't come from a green can, any cheese other than American (does that even count?) or colby, myriads of vegetables, including no fresh cauliflower (never ate it till I was in my 20s) or spinach (canned only) no filet mignon, no shellfish (still not a fan). Good heavens, could probably go on for pages and pages, now that I think about it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pine time

      Like pine time, if I started to write a list it could go on for pages.....think back to all the foods that were not even known in the US in the 1950s, let alone readily available, and they would all be on my list.

    2. No real maple syrup or butter. I still give my mom shit about the appalling conditions we were forced to endure as children. ;)

      Then again, we also didn't have frozen dinners or Hamburger Helper - my mom cooked from scratch every night, and did a pretty good job of it.

      10 Replies
      1. re: biondanonima

        REAL maple syrup!! We always had Log Cabin. Didn't KNOW what I was missing untill well into adult hood. Ad for its price, would NEVER allow kids to pour on their own!?!

        1. re: kseiverd

          Weird - I only had real maple syrup growing up.

          We never had store bought bread. All of our bread was homemade. We never had tortillas, hot sauce, or milk from the store (only bought fresh from the cow). Never had store bought butter either. . . .or ice cream. We made our own (from the whole cow's milk.

          1. re: kseiverd

            I wish I had a no self-pouring rule for my husband, who puts real maple syrup (yes, the $17.99 a quart stuff) on his cereal every single morning!

            1. re: kseiverd

              Log Cabin! OMG, what a treat that would have been!

              My mom made her own 'syrup' from sugar, water and maple syrup extract.

              She did always buy real butter but had a reserve stash of oleo for when guests visited. Yes, she put away the real butter and put out the oleo for guests and I was coached to not talk about the real butter hidden away.

              LIke someone else said, I could make a very long list of what was never in our house. The best description was no name brands, ever. As a child of the 70s, I was taunted by the commercials on tv and was desperate for Trix, Cookie Crisp, real Kool-aid, you name it. Instead, she bought generic shredded wheat and no-name drink mix at the local Mennonite bulk food store.

              My BFFs mom, on the other hand, never saw a name brand or new product she didn't like and it was like a dream when I would stay at their house. All the Cookie Crisp we could eat!

              My mom remarried when I was in middle school and our life style completely changed, overnight the kitchen was stuffed to the point of bursting with all manner of packed and convenience food. I remember eating myself sick on swiss miss rolls, a treat I first encounter at 13 yo.

              1. re: cleobeach

                cleo, for the past several years, I've made my own syrup exactly the way your mom did. I love that stuff! There's always been a weird burning sensation in the back of my throat from bottled pancake syrups, and when I finally made my own from demerara or other raw sugars, I was so happy to have syrup that didn't burn. Believe me, you got the good stuff!

                1. re: cleobeach

                  Cleobeach--your longing for brand names is why I buy only brand-names when giving to food pantries. Figure maybe the family would like to try some instead of the cheapest possible they may usually buy. Not always better than store brand, but I know I wanted the "real" thing as a kid.

                  1. re: pine time

                    In my current life, I generally buy house brands but when it comes to the occasional treat for our son, I let him get the Oreos.

                    For valid reasons stemming from their childhood, my parents were very frugal but took it to the extreme fault. They rather buy $10 worth of past due generic junk (that was expected to be consumed) than a $3 package of a name brand desired treat. I bristle against buying in bulk to this day.

                    1. re: pine time

                      When I buy for a food pantry, I ALWAYS buy baby food and formula. Because hardly anybody else ever does. If I have extra funds leftover, I'll buy the better brands of stuff that takes as little cooking as possible - because folks who need food banks often don't have access to refrigeration or a stove. There's no law anywhere I've ever lived that says a house or apartment has to be furnished with either, and most of the cheapest rentals aren't. And then there are the folks living out of their cars ... if they're lucky ...

                      I know that's sorta off topic, but seeing your post kind of struck a note with me. I get so tired of people griping about "welfare hogs" spending their money at convenience stores on stuff in cans and stuff like beef jerky - a lot of those folks don't have much choice in the matter. Half the time a convenience store is the only thing in walking distance, and, like I said - often they have no functioning fridge or stove.

                    2. re: cleobeach

                      And now, 30+ years later, I bet you miss that Mennonite store! I finally live near (20 minute drive) to Mennonites/Amish now, and all summer long, I go to them for as much produce as I can cook in a week. They're incredible people--and so far behind the times, they're ahead of them, with their organic vegetables and fruit.

                  2. re: biondanonima

                    We made our own butter from the milk our own cows produced. As a kid I thought it was disgusting (eeewwww, so yellow!) but now realize what a treasure that was.

                    We never had any mixes, Kraft dinner, Hamburger Helper, etc. either - scratch cooked using produce from our garden, our chickens, pigs and so on. But the weird thing is she was never a good cook and even now absolutely detests cooking. She is really missing out on something wonderful!

                  3. I'm pretty sure we had no olive oil or hot sauce in the house growing up. No steak sauce either.

                    No butter except at holidays.

                    Bread meant sliced white.

                    No non-fat milk, no "diet" or sugar free products,

                    My recollection, although this could be wrong, no chicken breasts - you wanted chicken you cooked a chicken. Espec ially no skinless boneless chicken breasts.

                    Sign of the times, no pre-packaged ice-cream. You wanted ice-cream, you walked to the corner store and bought a quart fresh dipped.

                    Hardly any frozen food in fact - my recollection is that the freezer was a 'drop-down' in the center of the fridge, like 12-14" by 12-14".

                    1. Pretty much everything. My family moved from Idaho to California when I was about five. Gourmet where we came from meant sharing the latest jello salad recipe. Needless to say, I have a much more adventurous palate now.

                      1. For my first few years, sugar was still being rationed after World War 2 so there were many sweet things that were simply unavailable that we'd think were commonplace today.

                        And, it's really only since the mid 1960s when folks started to travel overseas for holidays that tastes widened. So, I'm sure if I looked in the cupboards now there would be sauces, condiments, spices, herbs that, again, are in regular use for what are now commonplace dishes but would have ben unknown to my mother.