Food Memory (and a little ask)

Having grown up in a family of cooks, most of my memories are tied up in what we were eating at the time.  I have a distinct memory of driving up to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in my first car.  I was on my way home from college, it was a hot, hot day, I didn’t have A/C and was pretty gross feeling by the time I finished the 2 hour trip.  I got to grandma’s and was welcomed with a hug.  She called Grandpa up from the basement and we sat down for lunch.  A nice steaming bowl of bean soup.  It’s one of those things that would’ve been unremarkable except for that simple thing.  A bowl of bean soup on a hot day.

I have memories of bowls of sweet pickles, and pickled watermelon rind (those posts will be coming later).  Memories of candy sticks in jars waiting for grandkids to dig in and suck those things down to sharp points, cuts on the tongue as the candy split where the stripes used to be.  Bowls of nuts and nutcrackers set out for snacks while watching TV.  Kringla, of course.  Chocolate chip cookies.

From my mom, I remember family dinners.  Bowls of salad while we waited for the main course to finish cooking.  Fantastic meals.  Grilled steak, omelets made to order, pancakes, sweet potato rolls, crock pots full of the best mashed potatoes.  I remember a single meal of lasagna that probably would’ve been forgotten if it hadn’t been for a little incident involving a fork and my elbow.

Then there are the not so good food memories. The terrible hot dish eaten for dinner in southern Minnesota at a boyfriend’s dad’s house before seeing his dad in his underwear.  I just didn’t know anyone could ruin a simple macaroni, ground beef, and tomato casserole.  The time I took a big portion of what I thought was chocolate pudding off a salad bar, only to discover that it was liver pate.  So many more.

Ok, so here’s the ask.  Knowing that I have some of great-grandma’s recipes, is there a recipe in particular that I should be sure to make sooner instead of later?  Do you have a specific food memory that I need to revisit for you?  Please comment and let me know.  I may not have the recipe you are thinking of, but I want to try.

10 thoughts on “Food Memory (and a little ask)”

  1. here’s my food memory, but it doesn’t come from grandma’s side: I remember stopping along the road in country nowhere with our dad to pick wild elderberries, then taking them home to make elderberry syrup. And when you ate it on pancakes, any pockets of unmixed baking powder would turn the purple syrup green.

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    1. I found elderberries a few years ago and made syrup for the kids. I thought of that exact thing. I also remember those being great pancakes, but I had a copy of the recipe that I wrote down and they were terrible.

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  2. I remember Grandma Funk’s candy. She made fudge, peanut brittle, and divinity for Christmas. I don’t recall her making it any other time of the year.

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  3. Daron has always asked me to make his Grandma’s Slovakian nutroll. I have never found just the right recipe though. It’s never quite the way he remembers it. Maybe you’ll have better luck!
    It’s rolled jelly roll style. The crust is slightly flaky and crisp but more like a thin bread in the inner part. The filling is crushed walnuts and sugar (and other ingredirects lol).

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  4. I mostly remember my Grandma Frye saying to us kids “just shut up and eat it” after we asked, “what dinner was?”. Then she’d laugh and walk away. After she passed, I made up a little book of her recipes and it is called “Shut Up & Eat It”. I’ll have to show it to you when you come over. I also have my great grandmother’s recipe box. Some interesting finds in there as well!!

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