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Foods you grew up eating but don't fix for yourself or your family

'Round about November my grandmother & family members would butcher a hog & all manner of taste treats would result, but as time went on no one killed a hog anymore & now those recipes are gone forever. I do remember eating a dish that was a cross between head cheese & scrapple - bits of pork meat cooked & chopped real fine & grits were added to the meat broth along with some minced garlic. It was placed in a shallow baking dish & left in the smoke house until jelled & then we just sliced it & put it on crackers with maybe some Koch Kase (cooked cheese). If anyone has a recipe similar to the pork dish, please post here. Peach jam made from canned peaches come to mind also.

Also, when meat was too expensive, we had a lot of vegetables, one recipe in particular was okra gumbo. Also pan fried apples in a little bacon grease to round out the meatless meal. A lot of jello recipes popped up with veggies in them.

What were the delicious foods of your youth you remember eating, but are not seen on the table anymore? Perhaps we should make a couple of these dishes just to bring back memories. Share with us the simple meals of yesterday. Yes, they are probably loaded with bad things like lard & butter, but once in a while won't hurt anybody.

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  1. If only it was that cool.

    The only things that don't repopulate my table now was because they are gross to my adult pallet. Such as: Beanie-Weenies, corn dogs, garbage soup, chicken tonight sauces, or Lipton/Rice-a-roni noodle mixes. Bleck!

    Then again, I did not like sauerkraut, 'good mustard', dark chocolate, or many other things as a kid that I love now.

    23 Replies
    1. re: Crockett67

      ...garbage soup...
      I gots to know! What's in it?

      Corn dogs wouldn't be too bad if they were made with good hot dogs, not those cheap mushy ones.

      1. re: al b. darned

        A.k.a Left over soup. All left over vegetables and meat (usually hamburger) from the week cooked in canned stewed tomatoes (not strained) to make a 'soup'. Turns my stomach just thinking about it. If there as not enough left over vegetables, mom would bulk it up with canned corn &/or canned green beans.

        To this day I will not stock stewed tomatoes, canned corn, or canned green beans.

        1. re: Crockett67

          Oh my. My mom made a version of that I eventually named international heartburn. Did not matter what it was it went in a pot on Friday and was added to water. I can feel your pain Crockett67. Shudder and an extra eeww. At least your mom used tomatoes. Lucky you

          1. re: suzigirl

            My grandparents made a version of this too, with hamburger and canned peas boiled in canned tomatoes to make a stew. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Also, Tuna Helper, my mom's favorite weeknight time saver. For good foods I miss, my grandparents also liked to make egg and potato frittatas, which were delicious.

            1. re: suzigirl

              Ack...this is what my Dad used to call his "goulash". Whatever was left in the fridge at the end of the week, he dumped into a pot on the stove. Leftover spaghetti. Leftover canned veggies. Hamburger patties. Chinese take-out. Chili. Pizza (cut up the leftover slices and in the pot they went). Leftover pancakes. Fried chicken cut off the bone. Anything was game. He'd throw it all in a pot, add a can of tomato sauce and declare it "goulash". None of us kids would eat it for fear of getting sick - which he would as the only one to ingest it, yet he never seemed to make the connection.

              1. re: Mutch2Do

                This is a whole new level of nasty! Going to bed hungry never looked so good eh?

                1. re: Mutch2Do

                  You know what I'm talking about exactly!!! My mom als didn't use Saran wrap. It was a nightmare. Oh the scars... :-)

                2. re: suzigirl

                  Yeah suzigirl, I know I was luckier than most, but still not a joy to eat. I would equate it to the level of disgust some would have for their mother's meatloaf. Yeah it's meatloaf but if given the chance, you would pass on it.

                  1. re: Crockett67

                    So your moms meatloaf sucked too? Where are you from? You sure my family isn't related to yours?

                    1. re: suzigirl

                      OH, gee, my Mom's meatloaf is/was TERRIBLE. Dry, flavorless, falling apart. Shudder. I'm sure she probably still thinks her recipe is great! It's hard to avoid dinner invites from her.

                      1. re: sandylc

                        Sounds like my moms. And way to much french onion soup mix. Yuk

                      2. re: suzigirl

                        lol! No it was 'that' bad. But she didn't make it that often either. It's just a common complaint I hear from coworkers and friend about how they hate their mother's meatloaf and refuse to eat any meatloaf because of it.

                        Maybe it's just a Midwest thing.

                        1. re: Crockett67

                          That's exactly why I don't eat or ever make meatloaf

                          1. re: suzigirl

                            This is funny, my mom's meatloaf was the only savory recipe I called her to get! My Dad was the cook, my Mom did the baking. Her meatloaf though.... amazing!!

                            1. re: kubasd

                              Would you share the amazing meatloaf recipe? I would love to add another recipe into the mix. And being an affordable meat will make it a plus

                              1. re: kubasd

                                Can I have the amazing meatloaf recipe? I would like to add another budget friendly dinner to my list.

                                1. re: suzigirl

                                  Some recipes recommend cooking the onions first claiming they will never cook enough in the meatloaf, but my mom never did and I've never noticed them being raw...

                                  My Mom's Meatloaf

                                  1 lb ground beef
                                  1/2 lb pork
                                  (alternatively 1/2 lb each of beef, pork, and veal)
                                  1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
                                  1 cup milk
                                  1 egg (beaten)
                                  1/2 cup diced onion
                                  1/4 tsp each of pepper, celery salt, garlic powder, dried mustard, and ground sage
                                  1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce.

                                  Mix it all up (taking care not to overwork it) Hands work best.
                                  Dived mixture into two ungreased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pans and back at 350 degrees for 90 minutes. There will be some grease in the pan around the loaves, but I just pour it off.

                                  I was skeptical with the dried spices, but the combo of them works :)

                                  1. re: kubasd

                                    I think it also depends on how fine you chop the onions. I actually puree raw onions before adding them to my meatball mixture. My daughter hates the texture of onions, but onions give such enormous flavor, so the puree does the trick. I think if you also finely dice, that helps as well. I made larger diced onions in my turkey burgers, and she could taste them, and she didn't like them.

                                    1. re: Tudor_rose

                                      haha I have an onion hater in my house, too, but I had to make him a separate meatloaf with no onion or else he wouldn't touch it! I minced onions so finely one time in a thanksgiving stuffing. He took one bite and freaked out that I'd lied about onions and wouldn't eat it.... ah well, his loss!

                                    2. re: kubasd

                                      Thank you so much. Very nice of you. Next time you make it put stale bread under the meatloaf in the pan and it soaks up the fat.I use regular white bread slices. Will post back when I try it. :-)

                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                        Ya know, I was going to suggest that in my post as I'd heard about it, but haven't made meatloaf since I read the tip. :P

                                          1. re: melpy

                                            You can use fresh or leave some sit on the counter while your prepping all the ingredienrs.

                  2. Meat loaf
                    Baked ham

                    Not seen on my table for a long time.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: AdamD

                      My mother usually had christmas dinner and for several years she made lasagna and it was ALWAYS burned. MIL's lasagna wasn't but she got the Costco size stouffer's lasagna, so I've clearly been traumatized by homemade lasagna and have never tried to make it. Which is a shame because I love lasagna done right.

                    2. Frozen French fries or compressed potato scrap food product. (Think "Tater Tots") Mom used to do the in the oven. I don't eat them often enough for them to earn a space in my freezer. If I crave French fries I go down to the local fish joint and get an order of his.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: al b. darned

                        Ah, now I have a small place in my heart for Tater Tots. I haven't had them in a very long time but I remember liking them as a kid.

                        1. re: Crockett67

                          We had some last weekend - they are really good, in the way that so many foods with no redeeming nutritional qualities are. I'll take them over french fries any day.

                      2. Rice a Roni
                        Canned veggies
                        Meat loaf

                        Once in a blue moon I'll fix myself some canned yams, but I much prefer cooking fresh ones.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: iluvcookies

                          Rice a Roni, "the San Francisco treat", was one of my mom's favorites too.

                          1. re: Kat

                            My parents too. I can't stand the stuff.

                            1. re: tzurriz

                              It's so so so salty! If it came with twice the amount of rice and half the seasoning, maybe it would be palatable.

                        2. Super topic, cstout!! Love it!!
                          Let's see: some things I grew up eating that I never even attempted to serve my family were sweetbreads and fresh-caught abalone. I know the 'breads would have gone bust, and the abalone isn't even really an option, because we lived over the beach, my dad dove and caught the abs, and I don't live there or know any divers anymore. :) I'm not sure they'd have eaten it if they had (as I did) seen it cleaned and prepared, though years later all are fans of Scalone. In these here modderun times :), something that I don't serve is chicken livers, as in I don't give 'em to my now-grown kids, and my husband would prefer to lose his sense of sight and smell (temporarily) rather than look at them, smell them, or think about them. So it's a private kinda thang. :)

                          1. I always liked liver and onions pan fried in cast iron. Grandparents raised a cow/pig etc. and butchered. Parents bought a half cow (from a farmer). So. there was liver. I don't often see it at the grocery store, and my family now think they don't like it, so I don't buy it and cook it.

                            1. Most of the things that my Mom made that I don't make are because they aren't safe for my allergies - everything else I seem to get nostalgic for every once in a while and make it - even creamed chipped beef on toast.

                              The one thing that I never make that my Mom made frequently is ground beef tacos. They were good, but I have this texture aversion with ground meat. I make tacos, but always use chicken or steak, either cut into pieces or shredded.

                              1. I don't actually cook anything that I ate growing up: when I left home I realised my mother was not really that great a cook and my beloved grandmother wasn't great either. But there are a couple of things that I do miss.

                                My mother made (and still makes) the best lasagne I have ever had. Including all the amazing Italian restaurants I've been too and all my Italian friends Nonna's houses I've been to. Not a bad achievement for a Welsh woman. There is some kind of magic my mother has when it comes to lasagne and I just don't make it for my family as I know it will never come to the same standard as my mothers.

                                My grandmother used to make a dish called faggots and peas. Sounds terrible, yes, but it was utterly delicious. It was basically minced liver fashioned into a meatball/patty type thing served with this excellent gravy and obviously served with peas. I never learned how to make it and now I wish I had.

                                On the bright side, though, I mentioned on Chow sometime ago about how I wished I had learned how to make my Grandmothers Welsh Cakes. She had left me a handwritten recipe from wartime which contained all manner of ingredients (including dried eggs) that over the years she had substituted for the real deal and never amended the recipe. Anyway earlier in the year my son had "Harmony Day" at school and people were encouraged to bring something to school that signified their cultural heritage (my son has a massively multicultural school, it's awesome). So I decided to make Welsh Cakes for him to take. We made them together and rolled out the dough - I didn't have the required Welsh Cake pan, but we made do with what we had and dredged them in caster sugar as is mandatory :) They were a massive hit with everyone, especially my boy, and I now have a recipe that is similar to my Grandmothers, I just need to make a few tweaks. That was a very happy kitchen moment for me this year.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: TheHuntress

                                  TH....very nice story....I hope your son takes this forward and one day with your grandkids!

                                  My mother made "fried rice" with Minute Rice...it was dry, mush that she loved...it was awful, made with I think, canned chicken broth and a small can of Green Giant LeSur peas.

                                    1. re: sandylc

                                      Mind you, visually they don't look very different from Breen.**

                                      [** http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Breen ] :-D

                                      1. re: sandylc

                                        Cheers for that Sandy! They are fantastic, the gravy is just to die for :) I'm going to have to take the recipe for gospel as my nan never showed me how to make them (I think she thought I would freak out if I knew there was liver in them). I'll have a crack at them soon, methinks and report back on the results.

                                    2. Pound cake. Made in baking tins lined with buttered brown paper. Some plain, some with color swirls (using food coloring, cochineal, etc), some with cocoa swirls. The whole house filled with the fragrance of the baking cakes.

                                      Black Pomfret.** Steamed w/ ginger & scallions & soy sauce; or deep fried (yum!) - largely because I can't get fresh black pomfret in this part of the world. Nope, not the same as "Pompano".†† Yep, I can get white/silver Pomfret¶¶ but I don't like that one.

                                      Oh, there are others...

                                      **Parastromateus niger. http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Paras...
                                      †† Trachinotus species. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompano
                                      ¶¶ Pampus argenteus. http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Pampu...

                                      1. Moussaka. Mum's was very good but I've never learned to like that kind of eggplant so it's kinda wasted on me.

                                        Bread. Too lazy.

                                        Pie. Can't compete with Mum's crust, alas.

                                        1. Canned cream corn & Ranch Style beans (canned). Seems like Mama would plop some creamed style corn in anything that she wanted to be creamy, & I do mean anything!!! I have not eaten a can of Ranch beans in 30 years & hope I never come across them either.

                                          On the plus side, my German grandmother would make Kolaches (Kolackys) with all kinds of wonderful fillings - always on the sweet side. So soft & pillowy & yeasty. I have never made them myself & sometimes dig out the recipe & when I see all the steps involved, I just put it back & wait for when I "have time".

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: cstout

                                            I love beans in general and cook them (either fresh or dried) often. But I LOVE the Ranch Style canned beans. They aren't available in Maryland, and that drives me nuts. I'm temporarily in Oklahoma for family reasons and doing most of the cooking, and I'd make chili with Ranch Style beans every day if anyone would stand for it.

                                            1. re: JonParker

                                              No wonder I never know what ranch beans are, I grew up in MD!

                                              1. re: melpy

                                                Actually, I wasn't quite truthful. I've seen them once in a while at the Locust Point Harris Teeter.

                                          2. I was a poor child of the 70's, and back then, frozen processed food was the new meal of choice. I was fed Armor brand veal parmesean (which was like eating a processed shoe sole covered in breading and thick sauce), and fish sticks, and other garbage. It's a wonder I love to cook so much today. I must have been traumatized as a kid. LOL! I would not EAT anything I ate as a kid, except maybe for an apple or something like that. I was also fed coca cola by the boat load, and noodles swimming in bottled ragu. Just gross. It's always good for my diet to remember what I was fed as a kid. My mother hated cooking and for her, it was always too much work to make a proper meal. Frozen tv dinners were the norm.

                                            10 Replies
                                            1. re: Tudor_rose

                                              Also a poor child of the 70s and had the same experiences as Tudor_rose. My mom's two most frequent "meals" were Swanson meat pies and minute rice topped with boil-in-bag turkey rounds in gravy.

                                              Later she did agree to cook my dad goose and potato dumplings twice a year. I do miss those meals.

                                              1. re: cleobeach

                                                When I was little, most of my friends were Korean, and their mothers cooked. My love of Korean and other Asian food began then. I must have been a gourmet in the making. I always wished my mom could cook, but she hated it. I remember first eating sushi when I was in college, it was like a rebirth. We ate out of our toaster oven (where all the frozen dinners and fish sticks went). The good thing is that you never realize how bad you eat until you eat something great, and we never ate great as kids. We even went out to eat at very bad restaurants and junk food. My parents still eat poorly today, lots of frozen meals and eating out at the worst restaurants. They're stuck in that rut, but once my mom did eat some sushi (not raw, but like California roll) and she loved it. Unfortunately, my father refuses to do anything but boring bland typical American food. I kind of feel bad for them because they missed out on decent food all these years.

                                                1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                  There was absolutely no food diversity where I grew up. Some moms cooked from scratch but even then it wasn't very good. For the most part, it was an agricultural community so the farmer moms didn't have time or energy to do anything more than to get food, and a lot of it, on the table. The moms that worked, like mine, also didn't have the time or desire to cook well.

                                                  My best friends mom did have a FryDaddy and turned out all sorts of delicious treats like homemade french fries from that wonderous invention.

                                                  My dad liked to eat well and always had good cheeses and cured meats in the house that he would get from an importer but for "good" meals, we would go out of eat. We travelled a lot and he had a friend that owned a restaurant so my exposure to the better end of eating came from those experiences.

                                                  I was married before I tried sushi and I could eat it every single day.

                                                  1. re: cleobeach

                                                    My MIL is like that, she cooks from scratch, but she isn't a very good cook. At least my husband didn't have to suffer through frozen Swanson dinners as a kid, but she dries out meat, never seasons anything, and her food is super bland. She has no idea what an herb or a spice is, and forget about salt.

                                                    1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                      Once in a while, I will see posters on the Pennsylvania board ask about getting real PA Dutch food and I think "don't bother"

                                                      1. re: cleobeach

                                                        Lol, I moved to Central PA at 18 for college and have not found the appeal. There are a few things that are interesting enough to try but why bother is my general reaction. The amount of sweetness in most of this food is unreal!

                                                        1. re: melpy

                                                          There are a few things that I do enjoy, homemade ham pot pie being one of the dishes, but there isn't much else.

                                                          Good lord, the sugar! I remember "chili" (which bears no resemblance to real chili) and spagetti being served with a sugar bowel. People would put tablespoons of sugar on both.

                                                          My father never got over how all pizza shops put lots of sugar in their pizza sauce.

                                                          1. re: cleobeach

                                                            We do beef pot pie and I will concede it is pretty darn good.

                                                            Keeping trying to replicate some things for my PA native SO and just don't have the right technique.

                                                        2. re: cleobeach

                                                          Oh.......but when it's done correctly? I love the seven sweets and sours. Yeah, it's sort of heavy food......but I'm a big eater. :)

                                                  2. re: cleobeach

                                                    Wow, its been years but I do remember the Swanson TV dinners. The Salisbury steak had to be the worst and the vegetables that came with it were just as bad.

                                                2. Dinuguan. I started eating "chocolate meat" over rice at the tender age of 3. I loved the chewy bits, the vinegary taste and would always have seconds. As a teen, it didn't bother me to learn it was made with blood and parts of the pig that don't see the sun. I always looked forward to eating it during holidays and other family gatherings.

                                                  My parents and grandparents passed without handing down the recipe for that particular dish, so no one in the family who is stateside makes it. I get a craving maybe once a year, so I'll go to a local Filipino restaurant where I can buy a pint or so to indulge. My husband will eat some with me to be polite, but he's not too keen on it. It's okay, just means more for me.

                                                  1. Every so often my mother would serve chow mein from a can. I don't know the brand or what was in it other than celery but I absolutely loved it.

                                                    As an adult I've checked canned versions in my supermarket and the sodium content is off the charts. Looks as though it will only be a pleasant memory.

                                                    Of course if someone has a recipe.......

                                                    22 Replies
                                                    1. re: connecticut_lady

                                                      If it came in two cans; one for veg and one for meat? I'm pretty sure that was Chun King. Don't think they make it anymore, but damn I loved that stuff.

                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                        Two cans sounds right...veggies for sure and maybe chicken? Chun King also sounds right to me. I've seen La Choy in my market. Must be one can salt, one can veggies. My memory says the one I had as a child was better than the chow mein I can get from the local Chinese take-out.

                                                        1. re: connecticut_lady

                                                          Yep; a can of msg and salt-loaded chickeny type business. And oh, it tasted so good. Yep, way better than local take-out, to this day. (at least, that's what I recall.) I wonder if it was because the whole concept: ethnic food, canned food - was so unusual? But gosh I loved it. I'd buy a can today if I could, just to check it out and see if it's the same. I'm sure it wouldn't be, but what a nostalgia hit!

                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                            MC...you have re-instilled my faith in you, your admittance to LaChoy Chow Mein , / Chun King signifies that you have really sampled some of the best cuisine that this country offers.

                                                            1. re: PHREDDY

                                                              Hee hee, PHREDDY. I didn't know you'd lost the faith, but yes, indeedy: I ate ALL manner of weird processed stuff, and loved it. Such things were anathema to my mom, who didn't much like cooking anyway (which dislike shone through loud and clear), but (for many reasons, some political) who really didn't like canned foods of any sort. So these were delights I discovered when babysitting, and yep: the memory is that they were sooooo tasty and wonderful. I loved those effed-up Chun King chicken egg rolls, too; the little square ones with the teensy grease bubbles into them that you baked, and I swan I'd like them today!
                                                              Like I always say: I'm a Chowhound; not a food snob, baby. :)

                                                                1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                  Heh. HEH.

                                                                  "Would it hurt anyone of us to try a little chow mein tonight; right, the American food habit; probably some TASTY CANNED chow mein you can pick up at your grocers..."

                                                                  Those were some confused looking people that spiel was delivered at. :-)

                                                                  No La Choy love? :-)
                                                                  ...and to zing your ears with a tune bug again... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN-9XU... **

                                                                  ** This was posted recently by someone in another thread but I don't remember which one now...

                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                    Thanks for the earworms, people! I really appreciate it!! :)

                                                        2. re: mamachef

                                                          In the wilds of suburban east Columbus, Ohio in the 60's, Chun King in the two cans was the only 'Chinese' food I'd ever been exposed to. I couldn't understand why Chinese people liked it poured on top of those cardboard noodles.

                                                          1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                            Oh......I love those crunchy salty bits of noodle type stuff. It's the only way to fly, jmarthur8.

                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                              Ahhh...may I have mine with rice, please?

                                                              1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                Certainly you can!! My guests are the priority. You want rice, than rice there shall be.

                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                  You guys mean Minute Rice with your canned Chow Mein...sounds perfect!

                                                                  1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                    OK, that crosses the line into "mind-boggling". :-D

                                                                    1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                      My mother didn't cook Chinese, but she knew her rice! Never, ever Minute Rice in our family.
                                                                      I am sure I've tasted it somewhere, but I don't think I've actually ever had a serving of Minute Rice.

                                                                      1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                        JM .... My parents did not like rice, so until I was about 18 I thought rice was Minuite or white rice from the Chinese take out.... This is back in the 1960's... One day at a friends house we had some left Over turkey with some wild rice.... It was spectacular. This my adventures with rice began..... I eat some sort of rice at least twice a week....and it is not Rice-a-roni !!!!

                                                                        1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                          We usually have a half dozen types of rice in the pantry at any given time. My new fave is Carolina Gold, boiled and baked. DH has had to cut the carbs these days, so we don't get to have rice as often as we would like.

                                                                          1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                            And in the case of wild rice, it's not even rice!! (delicious, though). ;-)

                                                                  1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                    (runs screaming from the room)

                                                                    That's the one, PHREDDY!

                                                                    1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                      I found this in a local supermarket, (Pathmark).....they were on the bottom shelf in the "ethnic" food aisle....cost...$4.59....remembering the taste ....PRICELESS!!!!

                                                              2. With left over bone in pork, mom made pork, sauerkraut & dumplings. Leftover ham w/bone became ham & cabbage w/potatoes. Growing up these were usually cold weather dishes and after being outside in the freezing weather all day I thought the pungent smell that filled the house during the cooking was warm and inviting. I tried making them and each time the wife and kids found the smell revolting and refused to eat it. Just the smell from reheating the leftovers brought bitching and moaning.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                  My condolences.

                                                                  But - why not purposely make it on days when you want the house to yourself? Make it even more pungent so they flee to a mall or the cinema or wherever and you can put up your feet for the rest of the night. =) ;-P

                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                    I make something very similar, Tom34; in the crockpot. Dunno if you use one, but it's shredded green cabbage, sliced onion, chopped carrots, ham or kielbasa (browned first); cooked in chicken broth and a tad of white wine for at least five and up to seven hours, on the low setting. When you get home, just boil some broad egg noodles, butter them, and serve up the deliciousness on the noodles. This is so incredibly yum, and so easy. I remember my cousin making the casserole you mentioned..loved it; never saw it again. :) Gotta look for a recipe now.

                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                      Sounds good. The crockpot on the deck could be the answer to keeping the peace with the smell.

                                                                  2. Creamed tuna on crispy Chinese noodles from the can
                                                                    Lasagna using cottage cheese and Jack cheese
                                                                    Ground beef vegetable soup
                                                                    Creamed chipped beef on toast
                                                                    Welsh Rarebit
                                                                    Meat and rice balls, called Porcupines
                                                                    Stuffed green peppers
                                                                    Baked ham
                                                                    Fish sticks (which I loved as a kid)
                                                                    Canned soups and vegetables

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: escondido123

                                                                      Could be my list with the exceptions of the Blintzes and Welsh Rarebit. Too exotic.

                                                                      1. re: escondido123

                                                                        Welsh rarebit/rabbit is on my list too, Other things that were routine when I was a child but that I’ve not eaten since leaving my teens include: Chicken Mornay, Chicken a la King, Bubble and Squeak, Toad in the Hole (British-style with sausage in batter, not American-style with egg in bread).

                                                                        1. re: drongo

                                                                          I remember Velveeta growing up so I have the feeling that was what the cheese sauce was made of. Obviously no concern over fat or cholesterol then, what golden years!

                                                                        2. re: escondido123

                                                                          Ohhhhh.......Welsh rarebit? So delicious and so retro. There was a pub in Santa Rosa that served the basic U. K. foods, and that was one of them. I know they made it with some Guiness, and my favorite way to order it was on brown toast with fried tomato and fried egg, rarebit on the toast, bacon on the side. (Irish bacon at that! :) and it was done correctly; not too saucy, and broiled before the goodies go on top. That and a pint of something or other was a faboo lunch/dinner/snack. I have to remember this, what a good dinner idea. Thanks!

                                                                        3. Sloppy joe sandwiches. I was never a fan of them, even though my mom always made them homemade (not the canned meat/sauce stuff.) I think it was a texture thing with ground beef, because the only way I liked sloppy joe meat was if I could eat it as a dip with tortilla chips; and likewise, the only thing I really use ground beef for these days is quick tacos, which I always eat with something with a crunch, like lettuce.
                                                                          Fresh-caught lake fish. Partly because I live in a different part of the country now that doesn't have a lot of fishing options (grew up in rural Wisconsin where lakes are everywhere; live in central, urban Texas now.) But also because, honestly, I hate lake fish like blue gills, perch, walleye, etc. I would much rather pay to have a nice piece of salmon or tuna.
                                                                          Hot dishes. There were a lot of them and most of them did not impress.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Maggiethecat

                                                                            Sloppy joes and ground beef tacos were childhood staples for me too. Don't make either one anymore though always happy to go to my sister's house for tacos fried with the ground beef inside.

                                                                            1. re: Maggiethecat

                                                                              Ha. Hot dish. Translation: Casserole. Couldn't understand that one for a while after moving to the great white north.

                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                Yeah, I had no idea it was a regional thing until I moved to Texas. I said something about hotdish to my husband (boyfriend at the time) and he was like "what the heck is a hotdish??" No one who is native to Texas has ever heard of it.

                                                                                1. re: Maggiethecat

                                                                                  After I moved north from Indiana, I was invited to a potluck - I asked what I should bring, and someone told me to just bring a "hotdish". Well, never having heard that term, I heard "hot dish". I thought, how odd, that must be how they get a variety of dishes at potlucks here; they tell some people to bring hot food and some people to bring cold food - ! I think it was many more months before I encountered it again and discovered that it meant casserole!!!!

                                                                            2. My mom would serve pan fried scrapple, boiled pork neck bones, vienna sausages, potted meat with crackers, and blackeyed peas. I used to like that stuff before I learned how to read. Ignorance is bliss.

                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                              1. re: fantasyjoker

                                                                                For me, it's not so much the food as the techniques. My mother thought the microwave was the most amazing invention ever. Eggs? Brownies? Nuke 'em! I thought I hated fish, because I never had it cooked any way except in the microwave with some bottled lemon juice and sliced almonds. Didn't know I liked broccoli until I realized it came fresh as opposed to minced and frozen (and heated in the microwave).

                                                                                1. re: Allieroseww

                                                                                  Ugh. She must have taken home ec with my mom.

                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                    I remember our first microwave. It was so loved that when we moved to a bigger house, my dad bought another microwave so we could heat two tv dinners at once. Later, after an upgrade, the oldest was moved to the garage and we had three, often all put into service at once. "From scratch" cooking in those was just so, so bad.

                                                                                    The funny thing about those early microwaves is they were SO EXPENSIVE! My family was very frugal and I am still amazed that they spent several hundred dollars on the first and second generation home models. It is interesting to look back and see how a hatred of cooking trumped frugality.

                                                                                    We will do a kitchen remodel project in the coming months and I don't plan on having a microwave at all.

                                                                                    1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                      A microwave in this day and age is a glorified reheater. I wouldn't do any proper cooking with it. It's good for melting chocolate though for my baking recipes. :-)

                                                                                      1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                        A microwave is FANTASTIC for making things like pastry cream, scratch puddings, homemade caramels and brittles, etc. Just off the top of my head.

                                                                                      2. re: cleobeach

                                                                                        I threw out the nuker about 2 months ago, and the only thing I miss is not having to boil water on the stove. Dah!

                                                                                  2. re: fantasyjoker

                                                                                    I was the same way. Thought those things were wonderful til I read the ingredients. Blech.

                                                                                  3. Weirdly, when I look back on my childhood there are very, very, very few dishes that I remember fondly. Dad's vegetarian lasagne was one, and the other was probably Saturday morning pancakes. We ate a lot of chicken breasts with peas and carrots, and Lipton Sidekicks. I acknowledge that I was a really, really, really picky eater (didn't have salad until two years after I moved out, when I was twenty!), but I think that my parents were much too lenient with me. I don't know how much of the "chicken breast, peas, carrots and Lipton Sidekicks" was because I was picky, and how much was because that was what it easy easiest for my (stay-at-home) mom to cook.

                                                                                    Today I don't really eat ANY food from my childhood. I went vegetarian as soon as I moved out (yes, even before I started eating salad!) and I pretty much cook everything myself. I've never, ever bought Lipton Sidekicks and I just made Kraft Mac and Cheese (Kraft Dinner) for the first time this year when I was really sick with the flu.

                                                                                    1. In the 50s, my family bought veggies from the Farmer's Market on Alemany in San Francisco and then brought them home and cooked them until they were mush. Such a waste

                                                                                      1. My mom is a wonderful cook, but for some reason I don't make anything she made. Pastichio, rouladen, lasagne, roast beef, Yorkshire puddings, green bean soup, smelts, meatloaf, pancakes, muffins... I love it all but I never feel like cooking like my mom.

                                                                                        I should learn the rouladen, though.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: plasticanimal

                                                                                          Was she European? I wonder how many people who had parents that cooked really well, and from scratch were European, or non-American vs. American.

                                                                                        2. Tuna noodle casserole. Garnished with smashed up potato chips. It was so bad it would make my little brother cry. Yep, "toona-noona" in our house made the kid sob :( In fact, I don't make any sort of casserole type dinners at all.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: alliegator

                                                                                            Pickled neck ribs with boiled vegetables - I loved the delicious tender morsels of meat until I realized the thick white cord-like piece was the spinal cord. Other regular dishes that I've never cooked -salt cod and bacon drippings, fried blood pudding, canned spaghetti with fried ground beef, whole cod with bread stuffing, fried smelts.

                                                                                          2. Pistacio pudding...yuck yuck yuck!

                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                              I remember that stuff. It was yuck yuck yuck

                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                Ah, yes. The chief ingredient in that vile, vile watergate salad. I hear it's all-but-impossible to find except in the more Southern regions of the United States - though there might also be a market for it in the midwest region.

                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                  I haven't seen it in years but i can't say that there is any love loss.

                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                    My dear friend calls Watergate salad "Grasshopper". Boy did I get tricked into that one!. She wanted to bring dessert & asked if I liked Grasshopper, "well, yeah, I guess it would be good since I had never eaten it". There it was, that putrid goop, just making me ill. She now brings a big bowl everytime she visits..no way stopping that gal. Don't ever get tricked like I did. If they say it is a "green" dessert, just run away & pretend you got suddenly ill, which is the truth.

                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                      I had totally blocked out watergate salad until this very moment.

                                                                                                2. The stuff of my childhood ( this video gives me nightmares )


                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                                    The brownie part of the meal was always my favorite.

                                                                                                    1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                      Glad you liked SOMETHING about it!! LOL! I think that was mine too. We always ate it before the rest of the meal.

                                                                                                      1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                                        Before the rest of the meal?!?!?! No way I would have been allowed to do that. I was forced to finish every last drop and crumb of the meat/veg/starch before I could have the brownie.

                                                                                                        The worst TV dinners were the ones with fruit cobbler type of desserts. I hated (and still do) cooked fruit. I would scrap all the goo off the biscuit thingy and eat that, leaving the fruit behind.

                                                                                                        1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                          OMG, you're bringing back nightmares. LOL!

                                                                                                  2. When my mother was just a few years older than me she balanced a career with raising two children and still found time to make stuffed crabs. And not just any stuffed crabs, but blue crabs steamed, picked by hand and then reformed into delicately spiced meals of eye-catching quality (http://blog.junbelen.com/2012/04/18/r... ). With only my career to occupy my time, I am hard-pressed to fit dinner into my day, let alone anything resembling her culinary works of art.

                                                                                                    1. Shake and bake pork chops, fried flounder, bisquick,

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: melpy

                                                                                                        OMG, Shake and Bake. The TV commercial. "An' Ah Hay-olped!"

                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                          LOL, I remember that commercial!

                                                                                                      2. This thread was perfect timing! I'm trying to think of a birthday gift for my mother and suddenly thought that a cookbook of these recipes would be GREAT. Would bring back memories for all of us! Question - anybody have some recommendations for a cookbook of recipes from the late 60's and 70's? I looked at the "White Trash Cooking" one, but it seems a little more geared to southern fried foods. I'm looking for your east coast / casserole / roast / potato / jello molds / etc. kind of stuff.

                                                                                                        Apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere (or should be discussed elsewhere)...


                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. Gorp. That's what my bro' and I called it and we loved it. Basically, mom fried up the onions in butter, added ground beef, a little flour and water to make a roux and Kitchen Bouquet (remember that?). It was simmered until done and served over rice or mashed potatoes.( At summer camp, it was called "monkey meat" but that included canned peas and chopped canned potatoes.)
                                                                                                          Both me and my bro' are "off the hoof" and have been for 30+ years but we still talk about Gorp with fondness, especially for its creator.

                                                                                                          1. Beef Stroganoff (after a fashion), scalloped oysters, scalloped tomatos, swiss steak, chipped beef on toast, creamed chicken to name a few. I enjoyed all these dishes then and would now. But my husband is a very plain eater and cooking them for myself would be wasteful since they don't lend themselves well to single servings (except maybe the chipped beef).

                                                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: chowmel

                                                                                                              "Beef Stroganoff" .....Wow, forgot about that one.....years ago my mom used to make it from scratch.....what a warm, rich. delicious meal that was!

                                                                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                I'm laid up and my mom is cooking for us. She made stroghanoff Wednesday night. I think the plan for Sunday is stuffed cabbage. :)

                                                                                                                1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                  Your lucky. My mom did not like olive oil & I bet she used a full pound of butter in the stroghanoff. I know it was rich creamy stuff. She also made stuffed cabbage but us kids never really got into that.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                    I am very lucky, and she's making all the old favorites.

                                                                                                                    1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                      What a sweet mom. Lucky you. Twinging in jealousy over here-

                                                                                                                  2. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                    Please tell us about the stuffed cabbage......

                                                                                                                    1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                      Its been postponed slightly, but she makes, IMHO the best stuffed cabbage. Rice, ground beef, garlic, a1 sauce, and oregano all rolled into cabbage leaves. Simmered in a tomato sauce with more of the same seasonings until cooked through. Always served with mashed potatoes. I drool just thinking of it.

                                                                                                                        1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                          You know, I'm not a mashed potato fanatic, but you're right - that's what I have had with stuffed cabbage all my life. My mother used boxed, but I make them homemade. And it has to be the kind I put through the ricer so it's smooth and creamy. This is not the time to have garlicky lumpy cheesy semi mashed potatoes (which I really love!)

                                                                                                                          1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                                            Do you make a potato volcano with the gravy too? :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                              I do! I didn't know it had a name!

                                                                                                                              1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                                I didn't know you were allowed to eat mashed potatoes any other way.

                                                                                                                              2. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                                                JM...actually made them last night with oven roasted pork ribs. Nice and smooth, plenty of butter and hot milk, then the old hand mixer....

                                                                                                                                Of course anyother food on the plate that runs into the taters are in play....no foul calls here!

                                                                                                                  3. Whole beef tongue. Rice a Roni, canned veggies (til she discovered frozen and banished cans), sloppy joe mix and Spatini spaghetti sauce packets. My mom was a very good cook, but some crud slipped in, especially since she insisted on using her meager food budget to buy home delivery of delicious, but pricey, restaurant quality meats, like baby rib lamb chops, sirloin steaks, even our ham slices and chickens came from him. I never once had a supermarket piece of meat at home growing up.

                                                                                                                    1. Beef Stroganoff
                                                                                                                      Pork or meat anything
                                                                                                                      Hamburger Pie
                                                                                                                      Tuna casserole
                                                                                                                      Frozen nuggets