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Favorite party/holiday dish as a child

I always HAD to have a round fresh raspberry+cool-whip Jello-mold ring at my birthday party.. I don't think I ever even ate much of it, and I wouldn't probably eat it today, but it was definitely my favorite request for my Birthday party and holidays.

What was your ultimate request for birthdays/holidays as child?

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  1. Manicotti. I loved it and my mom would only make it on rare occasions, like my birthday. It was too labor intensive for my Mother who hated to be in the kitchen for any length of time.

    1. Hamburgers and french fries or hamburgers, Lipton onion soup dip and Ruffles.

      At age 52 I still love them. Hardly ever eat the dip anymore though. I could kill off a pint at one sitting and my waistline can't take it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kengk

        +1 on the Lipton onion soup dip
        the spinach dip served in a hollowed out pumpernickel bread
        Swedish meatballs

        1. re: kengk

          another fan of the lipton onion soup.

          i just recently recreated this by using fage yogurt and just adding a ton of granulated onion, garlic, dill, s&p. didn't have the crunchy onion bits, but those were never my favorite - believe it or not, i hated onions as a kid, but LOVED that dip.

          1. re: mariacarmen

            Ah haha, that just reminds me how much I loved (and still love) the crunchy onions that go on the very, very generic Green Bean Casserole--which we often had at parties.

            --And GREAT idea to use fage yogurt. I wonder if I could make modified Spinach Dip (another big-Party winner) with Fage.. thanks Mariacarmen!

        2. Had forgotten all about this one, but I used to LOVE the lobster roe / tomalley spread served by one of my aunties. As a kid, I never understood why Mom wouldn't prepare it for me. . .turns out she's allergic to lobster!

          1. I think when we were kids it was probably stewed oxtails in peanut sauce. The combination of creamy peanut butter and rich, super tender oxtails was and still is addictive. I'd go pretty crazy for leche flan while we're at it, too.

            1. I requested the same dinner every year for my birthday: steak, corn on the cob, cucumber salad and a chocolate chip pound cake from Hesh's Bakery. I know, boring, but I was a kid. Good thing my birthday falls in the local corn and cucumber season.

              1. Never mattered to me, as long as there was lamb neck and my mom's ricotta cheesecake.

                1. May sound snooty, but -- Napoleons! No cake for me, thanks. Puff pastry, rum cream, and hard (royal?) beautifully striated icing on top. They were from a near-by Italian bakery, so I thought "everyone" knew about them. I just loved them, even a stale and soggy leftover the next day.

                  1. Steak, twice-baked potatoes, and chocolate chip cake with whipped cream frosting.

                    1. Probably my favorite and most common birthday meal was barbecued spare ribs - pure heaven. But the one I remember best was the year when I was about 10 or 11 and I said I wanted tacos. I grew up in a small town in upstate NY, and my family saw this as the height of exotic food. My Mom bought some Old El Paso taco shells and did her best with the rest - I loved it, the family tolerated it (since it was my birthday after all). The next year, when I asked again, Mom saved the family by turning it into a special trip for the two of us to the nearest small city (about 1 hour away) to go to a Mexican restaurant.

                      Epilogue: my job now involves Mexico, so my 10 year old self must have intuitively known my future...

                      1. Hamburgers or steaks cooked on the grill. My birthday is in December, and we lived in New England. But my very sweet dad would bundle himself up, drag the grill out of the garage into the often snowy driveway, and cook me what I wanted.

                        1. On New Year's Eve it was my mom's scallops and linguine with white clam sauce

                          1. I always liked having tri-tip. When I was a kid it was a special occasion meal... usually Easter and Christmas, it was special ordered from the local meat market and my dad would cook on the charcoal grill. Nowadays I have it at least once a month since I can buy it at Costco and grill it myself. Also on Christmas Eve we would always have Gallo dried salami, cheese (cheddar and jack), crackers (Club and Ritz), and slices of apples. I still like eating that as a meal... something about the salami and apples especially that I like. Christmas morning we usually had "honey rolls" which actually didn't have honey in them, but were cinnamon rolls made with a potato dough, baked in cake pans with brown sugar and syrup on the bottom, making them nice and gooey. I make them once or twice a year myself now. For my birthday I always liked to go eat at a local restaurant that was in an old house, and each room had a different theme with murals on the walls. Not as cheesy as it sounds :) It's still there but it has changed owners and was rather terrible the last time I went. I also liked having box mix chocolate cake with funfetti frosting. I still like it, and my mom made me cupcakes of it last year for my 29th birthday :)

                            1. Even though I'm a big chocolate fan, I usually requested angel food cake. I think I knew that it involved special effort. My Mom is a wise one, though. She discovered the mix and also had me convinced that I had to be VERY QUIET while it was baking or it would fall.

                              1. For me it was always either peel 'n eat shrimp by the bushel (whoo-ee could I put em away as a child and still do to this day) or as many Dungeness crabs as I could eat throughout the day. My youngest son (15 YO) is similar in his "special day" request - Dungeness crab, seared salmon steaks on the grill and a garlic/white wine/butter dish I make with clams/mussels/shrimp that he can never get enough of. Cake? Who needs cake? We've got seafood!

                                1. Prime rib carved on the spot with horseradish sauce, followed by Baked Alaska. Both at the American Embassy Club in Bonn. Ah, childhood memories.

                                  1. Today is my birthday, and when I was a kid I'd always request a yule log for my birthday cake. Yes, the chocolate roll with mocha flavoured whipped cream filling and chocolate icing. It was my mom's Christmas specialty, and I wanted it in the heat of July. I didn't make things easy on her!