When We Were Kids We Liked To……

Oct 14


When we were kids we like to EAT! If you are reading this , I’d like to hear some of your memories about those days when you would like to eat . Maybe your Grandma made the best potato salad ; or Mom fixed the family wonderful home made pizza . When you got enough money you went to the soda fountain at the local corner pharmacy and bought so many Green Rivers or Cherry Phosphates you got sick to your stomach ?

ROOT BEER FLOATS! We went to A&W to get freshly made root beer…they gave it to us in different sized ,  wax covered paper cones (just like milk cartons ) in the shape of a megaphone with a snap –  in paper round lid .  When we got home ,  we would put 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream into a big giant tumbler ( no one could remember how we got them), pour in some soda, add more ice cream and alternate until full .  The top was super foamy and you always took a sip and added more root beer . You needed a long spoon and straws to enjoy this “kids treat” ….except the grown ups seemed to enjoy them as much as we did . Drink  two and you might get a little woozy in the tummy ; three and you were in trouble with your Mom for sure !

Matt Miller has fond memories when his Mom and Grandma would make Scalloped Potatoes . The top had to be brown and bubbly – the edge of the Pyrex dish had the chewy darkest and tastiest bits . It’s kind of like a type of ” grilled cheese potato sandwich ! ” I think we all can picture exactly what Matt remembers….and I’m sure his mom still makes the dish when he visits .  Carter Case used to peel a fresh banana , then roll it in sugar and enjoy …that is a real kids treat . Belinda smiles when she remembers Minnesota summers in the back yard . Her family would get a farm fresh watermelon , cut it into manageable pieces for kids hands and then retreat to a blanket on the lawn to enjoy . What was so much fun for her and her brother and sister  was you got to spit the seeds right onto the lawn ! So eating something sweet and juicy became a fun game ( I know I remember having distance contests doing the same thing in Texas ) too . Julia Kudla ( we canned fresh peaches and she wrote about it! ) remembers when her Mom would make “Chinese Food ” . She would add fresh chicken , canned sliced water chestnuts (love ’em ) , chunks of bell peppers , celery , with a sauce of soy sauce , a bit of garlic , ground ginger , chicken bouillon , and corn starch . This was served over Julia’s favorite as a little girl…La Choy canned chow mien noodles ! I remember them as a kid too , they were wonderful (until they got too soggy ) .

PET CORNER : I am 4 years old . It’s summer time in El Cajon , California ….hot and dry- but our house on Peach Street had lots of pepper trees that gave us plenty of shade .  That made the house fairly cool .  It is lunch time and Mom calls me in from outside ,  where I was playing with my Springer Spaniel-SPOTTY . She had been working all morning at her mahogany Singer Sewing Machine, doing some work for a lady to make extra money . In 1947 ,  the world was still adjusting to not having a war to pay for ;  but every day needs were still a struggle for average folks .

” Here is a sandwich for your lunch . Wash your hands because you have been playing with the dog . I’ll bring it to the back steps and you can sit with Spotty ; but don’t give him any…he gets his own food – she instructed . ” The back porch had been screened in by my Dad and the old tub electric washing machine was there , plus some utility shelves against the house  and a screen door opening to the  outside , then 5 or 6 steps to the back yard . We had to watch Spotty that he didn’t chase the chickens (he never killed one…after all he was a bird dog , he just wanted to chase them ) . ” Spotty, you sit with me and don’t chase them , I said .” I proceeded to eat my sandwich ; which of course ,  I shared with a very patient black and white spotted companion . Only in later years did my Mom tell me that she was standing behind me , beyond the screen door . She said that I carried on a running conversation with the dog , alternately giving him a bite of my sandwich . She observed that Spotty was being very patient and only took a small bites , then waited patiently and quietly for his turn for the next piece . The thing that gave him away was that tail going a mile a minute! She stood there and it was all she could do to not break out in a chuckle . After all, he was my best friend.


SALT TIP: Sprinkle table salt on your breakfast plates with cold egg yolk before washing ; let sit for a few minutes . Rinse and wash- the egg will come off easy . No scrubbing or scouring !

Best Sandwich Ever (age 4 ) : Take two pieces of Wonder Bread (not the skinny sandwich slices ) ; spread with Best Foods Mayonnaise (whoa! hold that Miracle Whip- other people like that , not me ) ; add two slices of Bologna ( Mom bought it in a big chunk at the butcher so the slices were kinda wobbly ) add a slice of Kraft American Cheese . Cut into triangles so they fit your hand . Pour a glass of milk into the jelly glass with Daffy Duck on the outside ! Don’t add yellow mustard , that’s only for hot dogs !

MY FAVORITE VEGETABLE  : Trim and wash 2 cups of fresh from the garden green beans . Blanch in boiling salted water for 3 minutes , then plunge into ice water to set the green color . Dry well . Mince  two shallots – about 3 tablespoons . Chop flat Italian parsley – about 2 tablespoons or so . Heat a wok or a 9-10 ” saute pan , add 1/4 stick unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil (Extra virgin is wasted here…..you are heating it over high heat !) . Add shallots and stir until opaque and aromatic . A little color is good, but do not brown . Toss in green beans and stir ; cook for 2-3 minutes . Add salt and pepper to taste , stir . Add parsley and stir . Squeeze 1/4 small lemon juice ; taste and serve . I like them with any fresh fish , Roast Chicken or with a baked yam drenched in butter and a bit of fresh grated nutmeg…no meat ! Drink a good dry Riesling or a wonderful Gewurztraminer from M. Hubert Trimbach !

COMING SOON: Julia and I will do a feature on  “The Chocolate Cake “ ;  plus it’s fall in the Northwest – time for APPLES!


  1. Pet memory:

    My dog, Abby, loves fruit. Any kind, just about. Raspberries, cherries, bananas, figs, strawberries, persimmons, melon, paw paws, cooked apples and on and on.

    When I share cherries, I’ll put one in my mouth and bite it in half then give her the half without the pit in it.

    My favorite memory is watching my dad do this with her. He and Abby were sitting on the patio. Abby waiting by his side for her share, my Dad keeping an eye out for me because I always get on him not to give her too many treats. Of course, Abby’s body language always gives him away. That look of expectation and the gently wagging tail along with the knowing look in her eyes that she’s found a sucker!

    • Yes , I know. Abby is a champ ! She gives you those big brown eyes and you’re done for ! I could see her living on a farm with fruit trees or an orchard…you would have to watch her or she would vacuum up all the dropped fruit .

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