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Food Memories

11 years ago

Everybody eats thus everybody has a food history. I want to see if I can coax you to divulge some of your food memories. They could be wonderfully nostalgic (Grandma's from-scratch -- including breaking open the coconut with a hammer and chisel -- coconut-layer cake) or simply awful (Good grief, what were we thinking? Why did we eat that way?). In the spirit of Yoyobon's 'Old Ways' thread...

What gave me this idea was a rereading of Nella Last's Peace, the diary of an English housewife that she kept both during and after World War II for the Mass Observation organisation. In some ways I find the peace-time entries more interesting than those of the war years (Nella Last's War) because Nella was obsessed with providing her husband Will with good meals although food (and other) rationing continued until 1954 in the UK. Evidently Will was appreciative of his wife's efforts, to a degree, because he said that he 'hardly knew there was rationing and food shortages'. If he had been my husband, I would've felt like clobbering him occasionally with my rolling pin!

I am amused that Nella described herself as a 'finicky eater and pernickety cook' yet some of the dishes she was most proud of and claimed 'good' sound terrible to me; e.g., a kidney casserole. Nella admitted that she was tired of casseroles and stews, that sometimes she dreamed of 'solid joints' and 'butter that wouldn't go off so soon'. I think Nella would have been aghast at some of the things my family ate!

I am interested in food from any era or decade. For instance, what did your family eat for Monday dinner/supper -- Sunday leftovers? Red beans 'n' rice because Monday was washday? Meatless, if your family were meat-eaters?

Do you remember having your first slice of pizza? your first burrito? your first sushi?

Do you recall reading descriptions of food in books -- diaries and novels, in particular -- that made your mouth water or you thought were particularly strange?

What about food fads that have faded, mourned or unmourned, or the fads that became 'classics'? An example of the latter is 'ranch' dressing. Salad dressings seem especially prone to faddishness, for some reason, but they also have peculiar lasting power; e.g. Thousand Island dressing.

Or anything else about food that comes to your mind!

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