Reading this post from Sam today reminded me of one of my fonder food memories. While growing up, because of my Dad’s job, we lived all over, and though a lot of my memories are quite hazy, I do remember bits and pieces. We lived in Woking for about two years (about 45 minutes outside of London), and I remember the fish and chips served on newspapers with a splash of malt vinegar. Really good stuff. And Nutella. It was during our time in England that I first discovered, and fell in love with, Nutella.When I was 7, we lived in Italy, and I remember the huge chocolate Easter eggs that we’d get for the holiday. Hollow inside, and filled with all sorts of treats, they were wrapped in giant pieces of bright pink and purple shiny paper. I’ve since discovered a local Italian gourmet shop that sells them, and we’ve been able to relive that tradition with Nicholas. Some of the best chocolate I’ve ever had.
Fruit Pizza (similar to this one). My grandmother had a long list of things that she was allergic to (or thought she was). The list of what she could eat was way shorter. Every time we’d visit her, we’d have plain chicken breasts for dinner with steamed vegetables, toast and rice cakes for breakfast and a few other similarly unflavored “treasures.” It made for a wonderful diet, and much happiness was had when a McDonalds opened up across the street from her house years later. We’d make quick sprints across the street under the guise of nightfall to get some food … any food … into our bodies. But, one of my more fonder memories of my grandmother was her Fruit Pizza. Allergies be damned, every time we arrived in the blistering heat of Texas, we could count on another thing besides the ultra-bland food … Fruit Pizza. She always had one waiting for us, and every time I make one, I think of her.
Cheese Delights and Spinach Cheese Squares. Growing up, my parents had frequent dinner parties. My sister and I would dutifully stay upstairs, quiet and out of the way. As soon as the guests moved from the living room to the dining room for dinner, my mom would whisper up the stairs, beckoning us down. She’d have all the leftover appetizers in the kitchen for us, and we’d feast to our heart’s content. I don’t know about my sister (maybe she’ll pipe in), but my favorites were the Cheese Delights and Spinach Cheese Squares, which I now make on my own and share at my own dinner parties. And to this day, the Spinach Cheese Squares are one of the few ways I can get Nicholas to eat spinach.
Melrose Parties. It wasn’t until I moved out on my own, and had my first apartment that I really started getting interested in cooking. I was very definitely the only 20-year-old I knew getting a subscription to Woman’s Day and Family Circle magazines for the recipes. We’d have Melrose Place parties every week and have a full-on potluck buffet, with me turning out a multitude of dishes from my tiny 5×5 galley style kitchen. We’d crowd around the tv together on the floor, vying for a little two foot space of real estate on the carpet, indulging in guilt-ridden food and even guiltier tv.
Tuna Fish. Completely silly, I know, but still a fond food memory. When The Husband and I first started dating, he came by my apartment for lunch one day. I had planned out the ridiculously casual offerings the night before, figuring I’d keep it simple with tuna fish sandwiches (luckily despite the lack of haute cuisine, he stuck with me all these years later!). I was determined to impress him, even with something like tuna fish. The night before our lunch date, I made the tuna fish salad, carefully mixing it and mixing it and mixing it again, taking every assurance that it would be lump free and have the completely perfect ratio of mayo to tuna. What was I thinking? Honestly. He wouldn’t like me if there was a lump or two in the tuna fish? Crazy, I know, but hey, love will do that to you.
So there are a few of mine … I’d love to hear some of your favorite food memories. Have at it.
P.S. And dinner tonight? The Husband took care of it, whipping up a plate of pasta with meat sauce. I’m a lucky girl.