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Sep 14, 2012 12:49 PM

Foods from your childhood that you still love and/or prepare

As a flipside to a thread I recently started,"Foods from your childhood that seem laughable now", I thought it would be fun to also talk about the foods we liked as kids and still like now. You know, what our parents actually did right, what tastes have stuck with us through the years, well into adulthood, etc.
I, for one, still use the same "old stand-by" Betty Crocker recipes for biscuits and for peach cobbler that we used when I was growing up.
I still love oatmeal- and oatmeal cookies(but I prefer them with cranberries now), beans and cornbread, buckwheat pancakes, homemade cream of broccoli soup, natural peanut butter, pot pie, apple crisp...  My Dad made good fried potatoes(you know, with onions, for breakfast). I make those sometimes.
We had Mexican neighbors, ate at the local Mexican restaurants, and usually had some(store-bought, albeit) Mexican food around the house.  That has surely been a major influence.  It was my Dad that got me hooked on jalapeños en escabeche.  (Our favorite brand was the glass jar "La Victoria" but sadly it mysteriously disappeared from the shelves several years back...)
My Mom had a Middle-Eastern cookbook that had a few recipes she'd make from time to time, and I still love M.E. food to this day.
Candy-wise, I still like to eat from time to time: Skor bars, those little cube caramels wrapped in cellophane, butter mints, mint melt-aways, turtles, smarties(mmm...citric acid and sugar) and sour patch kids(more citric acid and sugar!)...
I'll also admit that sometimes I still go back and eat a box of Kraft mac and cheese, just for old time's sake(European hubby just affectionately laughs at me at such times, and lets me have it all to myself!)
And believe it or not, I liked then, and still like now, those baby green lima beans you can buy in the freezer section in US supermarkets!
How about you guys?

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  1. I still make my mom's brisket recipe, her Passover Bagels, her Cabbage Borscht. She always made her Thanksgiving turkey in a covered roasting pan and I still make it that way as well. She also made this "Mexican Gazpacho", with yogurt and cumin that I still love to make.

    And this week for the first time, I finally made her favorite Ice Cream recipe which she made often when I was a kid. It's called Cafe Diable, and it's got rum and brandy and orange oil, cloves, cinnamon, coffee in it. Very yummy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mwk

      Mmm, sounds like your Mom was a good cook!
      And that ice cream sounds like it's to die for.
      There was only one time we had homemade ice cream when I was growing up-we made a gigantic batch of vanilla and it turned out awful, coated your mouth something terrible. However, due to Mom and Dad's disdain for throwing out any food unless it was actually rotten we did finally choke it all down over a period of weeks(or was it months?)...
      An experience after which the prevailing sentiment in our household was, "Leave ice cream to the professionals!"
      Happily, sounds like things were different in your family!

    2. Could someone please make a credible version of "Johnny Marzetti" (sp?), that staple of US public schools from coast-to-coast? Trader Joe's, I'm lookin' at you...!

      1 Reply
      1. re: annagranfors

        It was never a "market" dish, but a home or maybe school-cafeteria dish, and unlike mac'n'cheese not widely popular enough to make a frozen or refrigerated version. I learned about it from a whole lot of the regional cookbooks, mostly from women's clubs or church groups, that I can't stop buying when I see them. I'm a tad too busy to go dig out a recipe, but I bet Google could find a few - you have the name exactly right, and as I recall it's a pretty typical and uncomplicated thing to make, kind of like my school's (and family's) Marietta.

      2. It might be easier to say what don't I make like my mother did. I use all her baking recipes especially since she was taught by a fabulous pastry chef and her sister, a home economist. So, definitely all my Christmas recipes, including the stuffing and the plum pudding sauce comes from my great grandmother. I've never eaten anyone else's pumpkin pie since hers is so perfect and all the other ones seem so- well, -orange. Her chicken pot pie, my great aunts potato salad, my grandfather's stuffed mushroom caps. I roast the way she did and do potatoes and other veggies her way in general. She is a very simple cook, but everything is perfect.I often had friends that were converted to foods they thought they hated after eating at our house. It was always done right, with the pure flavour of the food shining through.

        3 Replies
        1. re: dianne0712

          We love all things pumpkin. Can you share your Greatgrandmother's pumpkin pie recipe? TIA.

          1. re: pine time

            My mom's, not grandma. She got it from a 1955 magazine article on prize winning fair recipes. You'll love this.

            Spicy pumpkin pie

            2 Tbsp butter
            1 1/2 cups pumpkin (I only use Stokely's )
            1 tsp ginger
            1 tsp cinnamon
            1/4 tsp mace
            1/4 tsp cloves
            1/2 tsp salt
            2 eggs
            1/2 cup white sugar
            1/2 cup brown sugar
            2 Tbsp flour
            1 cup milk
            9" unbaked pie shell
            Start oven at 450.
            Melt butter and stir into pumpkin along with spices.In separate bowl beat eggs until frothy. Stir in eggs, flour, both sugars, salt and milk. Mix with a gentle hand. Pour into shell, bake 10 minutes at 450 then reduce to 375 for 45 minutes.

            1. re: dianne0712

              thanks to you and your mom! Going shopping today--have everything on hand except for the mace (well, there is some, but heaven only knows how old it is). Pumpkin pie tonight!

        2. My mother's dishes that I make:

          Stuffed cabbages
          Beef Stroganoff
          Tuna casserole
          Lasagna with Bechamel
          Mustard pork chops
          Scrambled eggs with Polish sausage
          Apricot Icebox cheesecake
          Sour cream apple pie
          Frosted Mocha cookies
          English Matrimonials
          Marinated bean salad
          Home - corned beef
          Coffee sugar cookies (but I can't get them right)
          Million Calorie Cake (not often enough!)
          Paprika potatoes

          I had no idea that I made so many of my mother's recipes! How do I have time to make anything else?

          7 Replies
          1. re: jmcarthur8

            Mmm...paprikás krumpli- Hungarian food!
            My brother has lived in Italy for a bunch of years and I was surprised when he taught me how to make lasagna with bechamel(yum!). I had never come across it in my American upbringing, but he says it's probably just as common as the tomato sauce varieties, at least in his part of Italy.
            What are English matrimonials?? They sound interesting!

            1. re: Gracemama

              Gracemama, here's the thread about the English Matrimonials.


              My mother's lasagna had a red sauce, too. The bechamel was in the layers and had parmesan and eggs in it. I still love that recipe.

              1. re: jmcarthur8

                Thanks for sharing!!!
                This morning I made a double recipe with homemade apricot jam. So quick and so good!
                My toddler, hubby, and the crew of men presently working on our house were all highly appreciative. It's going in my recipe notebook!

                That lasagna sounds wonderful.

                1. re: Gracemama

                  Glad you liked the English Matrimonials! When I make them, I'll do half the pan with homemade strawberry jam, and half with homemade Georgia peach. I still can't decide which I like best.
                  Before I started canning my own jam, I'd use commercial apricot jam - loved it. But I don't know if I can get good tasting apricots here in Georgia.

                  1. re: jmcarthur8

                    Laugh! Guess you can't have it all. I live in Hungary-an apricot country. In fact the jam I used yesterday was made soley with apricots from my mother-in-law's own garden. But although we do have peaches here to some degree, my chances of getting really good, juicy Georgia style peaches here are probably about as good as your chances of getting really good fresh apricots there. And I did salivate when I read about your peach version.
                    Anyways, thanks again for a great recipe. As I write this, my toddler is contentedly stuffing his face with one of yesterday's (few) remaining bars.

                    1. re: jmcarthur8

                      Guess I'm lucky--we grow our own apricots & peaches here in So. Cal.! Will be making your Matrimonials, Jmcarthur8, since you liked my WW Amaretto Cheesecake!

            2. I grew up in Erfurt/Thüringen and one of the local seasonal specialties was (/probably still is ) fresh Fava beans/Broad beans.
              My mother prepared/served them in a sauce/roux made from nicely smoked chopped bacon, flavored with lots of Summer Savory ( Bohnenkraut). I always loved this dish and I certainly make it every so often when I see those beans fresh at my farmer's market.