Childhood Defining Foods

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Childhood Defining Foods

Postby blankspaces » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:21 pm UTC

What foods defined your childhood/adolescence?

I'll post mine first:
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This stuff right here brings back so many memories. Pocky was basically currency in my school. I remember trading a box for some Pokemon cards in the 2nd grade.

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Lazar » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:37 pm UTC

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Red Baron deep dish pizzas: my favorite lunch as a child.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Telchar » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:08 pm UTC

Really simple beef stroganoff my mom used to make. I still crave it a lot.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Anonymously Famous » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:41 pm UTC

My mom's sourdough waffles with bacon inside them.
Also, her chocolate chip cookies and her lasagna.

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby blankspaces » Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:41 pm UTC

I forgot to mention bulgogi in my post. I'm Korean so bulgogi was at every gathering and summer outing. Oh, bulgogi....so many memories forged in the warm, embracing scent of bulgogi.

Lazar wrote:[snip]
Red Baron deep dish pizzas: my favorite lunch as a child.

Dude. High five.

Telchar wrote:Really simple beef stroganoff my mom used to make. I still crave it a lot.

I've never had beef stroganoff. How's it taste?

Anonymously Famous wrote:My mom's sourdough waffles with bacon inside them.
Also, her chocolate chip cookies and her lasagna.

I miss my Mom a lot now that I'm in college. My cooking never seems to turn out quite like hers did.

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:01 pm UTC

When my mother was growing up, her mother had a recipe for sour cream coffee cakes that she made during the holidays. When my mother was married, she wanted to make the coffee cakes for herself and my dad. She did not, however, have the angel food cake pans that the recipe called for. So, she went down to the exchange to buy some. However, she was in grad school at the time and my dad was a junior enlisted sailor in the Navy. In other words, they were dirt poor. She couldn't afford the angel food cakes pans, so instead she bought a couple of pans that were almost, but not quite entirely unlike angel food cakes pans. They had the virtue of being cheap.

The coffee cakes she made in those pans were the best she ever had. Every year for, oh, over fifty years now, we've broken out those pans and made coffee cakes with them. She looked for replacements for decades, in case something ever happened to them. I suppose I've been looking for replacements for decades now as well. The one major accomplishment I had was finding out what they *were*. Asking some professionals, I was told that they were very old-fashioned aluminum pudding basins. Which, I suppose, explains why neither my mom nor I were ever able to find truly similar pans in the stores.

Anyways, the cakes are pretty much the pure, concentrated essence of nostalgia for me and the epitome of a childhood defining food.

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby merelydicta » Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:56 pm UTC

I have to say soft-boiled eggs with soy sauce. It's a thing here in Singapore.

Also that and spagbol. I've spent 5 years perfecting my recipe to the way I always liked it. Achievement unlocked.

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby AntonGarou » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:10 pm UTC

my father's boiled beef tongue, as well as his horseradish.Also, my mother's curried chicken gizzards. Last but definitely not least are my grandmother's gefilte-fish: my father has been making them from her recipe for more then a decade, but they're still Grandma's in my mind.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Evengeduld » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:33 am UTC

My grandmothers weekend menu:
We used to go to the sea where my grandparents lived and they always make the same menu when we go there for the weekend (they still do) :)

- Roasted beef with Carrots and Croquettes
- Chicken with fries and Apple sauce.

I still get hungry just thinking about it :)
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Anonymously Famous » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:20 pm UTC

Again with my mom's cooking:
After Thanksgiving she would make turkey croquettes.

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:39 pm UTC

Kid Cuisines motherfucker. Half of my childhood was spent staring into a microwave waiting for that delicious goodness to come out (yes, I suppose that explains some things).

Also, Kraft Mac and Cheese, Bacchino's Pizzaria, Athenian Room Gyros, and McDonalds. I ate McDonalds probably twice a week growing up.

Oh, geez, how could I forget the weird cereal that was Hidden Treasures? A kind of blind, gooier Fruit Loops.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Decker » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:23 pm UTC

Pepperoni and cheddar cheese was my favorite childhood snack
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:28 pm UTC

The following is a study in raising multicultural children: a diptych.

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby PictureSarah » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:57 am UTC

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Sourdough bread.
Orange juice.
Kraft Mac'n'Cheese - but only the "deluxe" kind with the pouch of squeezy cheese. I still think the kind with the powdery cheese tastes funky. I could always tell which parent had prepared the mac'n'cheese, because if it was my mom, it would have peas or broccoli chunks, but if it was my dad, it would have hotdog slices.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:52 am UTC

PictureSarah wrote:if it was my dad, it would have hotdog slices.

Nuh uh, my dad invented that.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby podbaydoor » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:15 pm UTC

Nuh-uh! It was my babysitter who invented that.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby AvatarIII » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:20 pm UTC

snacks - Peperami, Nik-Naks, Hula Hoops, Choc Dips. kids have the coolest snacks

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Drumheller769 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:45 pm UTC

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The drink of childhood champions..at least in my neck of the woods.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Sandry » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:04 pm UTC

Homemade macaroni & cheese and lasagna were the *good* version of mom's home cooking I remember as a kidlet. Ground turkey everything was the bad bit.

Also pb&j sandwiches made ahead of time and put in the lunch bag were terrible and sad and looked like they had some grape disease. Grape jelly saturated bread is just not aesthetically pleasing.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Decker » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:39 pm UTC

Sandry wrote:Also pb&j sandwiches made ahead of time and put in the lunch bag were terrible and sad and looked like they had some grape disease. Grape jelly saturated bread is just not aesthetically pleasing.

A way I learned to prevent this! Peanut butter both pieces of bread and put the jelly in the middle. The peanut butter acted as a jelly proof barrier.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby merelydicta » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:24 am UTC

capri-sun anyone?

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby blankspaces » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:07 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:The following is a study in raising multicultural children: a diptych.
snip
snip


Oh my god those dumplings...

They're called mandu (만두) in Korean. Every Korean New Year my family would spend a couple hours making hundreds of them.
I had some legendary stomachaches after those days...

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby podbaydoor » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:27 am UTC

Oh yeah, my family would have dumpling parties and invite other Chinese families over, toting their own secret recipe fillings, and we'd turn out hundreds of dumplings. Most of them were frozen, they freeze surprisingly well. I still make them every so often.

You might like the CGNU Dumples thread. :)
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby grythyttan » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:50 am UTC

Well I know what my next food project is gonna be. Dumplings and more dumplings!

As for childhood defining food, my number one is definitely stewed macaroni with meatballs. Not far behind comes swedish cheesecake (ostkaka). Which is not anything like cheesecake at all, the name is just similar enough to be confusing.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Sandry » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:40 pm UTC

Decker wrote:
Sandry wrote:Also pb&j sandwiches made ahead of time and put in the lunch bag were terrible and sad and looked like they had some grape disease. Grape jelly saturated bread is just not aesthetically pleasing.

A way I learned to prevent this! Peanut butter both pieces of bread and put the jelly in the middle. The peanut butter acted as a jelly proof barrier.

Huh. Good idea. I guess if I start packing that sort of simple lunch in the future, I will keep this in mind!
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby semicharmed » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:54 pm UTC

My dad's chicken cutlets.
Shells, ham & peas - macaroni shells, sliced deli ham and peas (the frozen kind) in a cream sauce.
Spaghetti with broccoli and pine nuts.
Crispy potatoes - potatoes baked/microwaved briefly to soften them up, and then mashed into a frying pan with the skin still on. Add frozen veggies - usually green beans, peas and corn for me, just corn for my sister - and cover in a layer of extra sharp cheddar. My sister also liked 'farms' it, which was what she called the pepperidge farms kielbasa my dad liked.

Packaged stuff is Annie's shells and cheese, and Amy's broccoli & cheddar pot pies. Also, Lipton noodle soup.

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Bakemaster » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:50 pm UTC

Grilled cheese sandwiches served with cheap supermarket ramen. Haven't had that in years. Kind of sad, not sure how much I can enjoy it any more after having enjoyed quality Japanese noodle soups.

And I see the mysical dumple has been invoked. I also see that I never delivered on my promise of pictures of dousha bao. GUESS I HAVE TO MAKE THEM AGAIN! They turned out really, really, really well the first time and I live right down the street from a million asian supermarkets now so full steam ahead I say! (wink wink nudge nudge)
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby podbaydoor » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:56 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:full steam ahead I say! (wink wink nudge nudge)

I see what you did there :D

Dousha bao and mantou are two other things I ate in childhood. I kind of miss them.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Tomlidich » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:32 am UTC

my dad makes this fried okra stuff that is awesome. definitely good memories there.

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby RollingHead » Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:42 pm UTC

I grew up basically in the middle of nowhere, so chinese food was a treat because the nearest place to get any was 30 km away. Now between living above a chinese restaurant and having one across the street from my (former) school it isn't such a big deal.
Also, my mom used to make delicious gnocchi out of spinach on special occaions such as christmas eve, which by now we haven't really celebrated in years.

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:48 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
PictureSarah wrote:if it was my dad, it would have hotdog slices.

Nuh uh, my dad invented that.


podbaydoor wrote:Nuh-uh! It was my babysitter who invented that.


Nuh-uh! My dad filed the patents for that, so he'll sue your babysitter, and the other two dads!

Earliest childhood memory dealing with food would have to be baked macaroni and cheese that was brought to a potluck dinner at the church my great-grandparents went to. I remember sitting in a folding chair with my great-grandparents on either side of me, the preacher coming up to us, talking to us, and me saying something about not getting some parts of the Bible.

Other childhood food memories include:

Deviled eggs - these little beauties pop up most predominantly in a cookout one of my mom's professors always threw at his farm. Someone brought a large tray of deviled eggs, and I, personally, probably ate a fourth of said tray.

Grilled cheese sandwiches - the Holy Grail of kids' sandwiches. My dad always made them with the honey grain bread we always bought; my babysitter did 'em right with white bread.

Fla-Vor-Ice Ice Pops - what Summer would be complete without one of these babies? The green ones were always the best.

Van Camp's Beenie-Weenies - I can still sing the jingle to this day, which was to the tune of "Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini". My granddad in Alabama got me hooked on those things at the time. I was staying home alone during the Summer months, so I'd just open up a can, pour the contents into a bowl, and microwave for a minute or two.

Pimento cheese sandwiches - my great-granddad introduced me to this fine delicacy. Take shredded cheddar cheese, add a little mayonnaise, mustard, and chopped pimentos, mix well, spread on bread, and enjoy.

Applesauce - my great-granddad had two Stayman-Winesap apple trees on the farm. He would get some of those apples, peel them, boil them, and make an applesauce that rivaled all of the big brands. Serve with eggs for breakfast, and I was set.

Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches - whenever I'd hear the ice cream truck roll by, this is what I always got.

Krystal hamburgers - we very rarely got fast food to go. If we did, it was usually Krystals or have Domino's delivered (more about that down the list). Once in a while Taco Bell or some other restaurant came through the door, but 50% of the time it was Krystal. There is an old family tale that is still debatable about the conditions therein. One night, when I was about 4 years old, one of our cats came in from outside (we lived in a ground floor apartment, and would sometimes let the cats out onto the patio), and after having eaten some grass, decided to regurge it all over the kitchen floor. The kitchen floor was a puke-green linoleum from the 1970s. To this day my mom and I will argue about what was being consumed by us. She insists it was Krystals; I keep seeing Burger King. Where's The Doctor when you need him?

Domino's Pizza - any time we wanted pizza, it was usually Domino's. For a while we went with Pizza Hut, only because Domino's didn't deliver to our apartment. I remember my mom ordering Domino's on two recurring occasions: When my dad worked the late shift as a security guard at Oglethorpe State University, and later when he would have to spray when he worked for a landscaping company. My mom didn't feel confident about her cooking abilities for the majority of my childhood; my dad did all the cooking. On one particular night, in the rental house we lived in when I was 5 or 6, she had ordered Domino's, and it being a Summer night, we watched the fireflies blink outside. We turned off all the lights in the house, and watched as they flickered in the trees, making them look like Christmas trees.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby fanofbangelthor » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:29 am UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:Deviled eggs - these little beauties pop up most predominantly in a cookout one of my mom's professors always threw at his farm. Someone brought a large tray of deviled eggs, and I, personally, probably ate a fourth of said tray.

Grilled cheese sandwiches - the Holy Grail of kids' sandwiches. My dad always made them with the honey grain bread we always bought; my babysitter did 'em right with white bread.

I gotta agree with you on those two - my mother made deviled eggs, and my father made grilled cheese.

Mom also always made spaghetti carbonara, it still is my favorite food, and it's one of the first things I learned to make. Yum, bacon!

Dad and I liked gardening together, and wood sorrel grew wild in our area, and I associate the taste of those heart-shaped leaves with summer and the outdoors. It's funny, because my friends always look at me like I'm nuts when I find some, pick it, and eat it. Most people don't know what it is.

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Cathy » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:24 am UTC

Ground beef cooked in a frying pan + steamed broccoli + Uncle Ben's Rice.

Mix with Ketsup

Eat repeatedly for months on end.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:35 am UTC

Spaghetti-O's - I remember my parents serving these up for my lunch all the time. I thought they (and other Franco-American canned pastas) were better than the Chef Boyardee canned pastas my babysitter always served.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Whitekiboko » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:23 am UTC

Grilled Cheese, Stuffed Cabbage and Gummy coke bottles and/or bears. Old Bay and Kikkoman soy sauce get honorary mentions.

Obviously I now longer use American cheese, having found out long ago that non-smoked provolone it a superior cheese for the sandwich. Still make it for lunch when I have a day off or late at night after a few beverages.

After college, I made stuffed cabbage at my folks house one weekend. My mom admitted it was far better than any batch she ever made. I was ecstatic for about 1.5 seconds until it dawned on me that I had just made look bad by comparison. After she passed away, I got all her cookbooks and boxes of recipes, and finally found a recipe I've been looking for for at least 20 years - my grandma's kiffle recipe. I might have to make them for Xmas.

Haven't seen gummy coke bottles since I moved south of MD, but still keep a jar of gummy bears sitting around. If I get the cheap kind, I leave them between paper towels for a couple days to wick away the excess oil. I prefer the Black Forest brand, but still leave them out for a day or two to dry out before putting them in the jar. The yellow/orange ones I usually eat without drying since it's only the red, green and clear ones that are good.

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:11 am UTC

Whitekiboko wrote:Haven't seen gummy coke bottles since I moved south of MD, but still keep a jar of gummy bears sitting around. If I get the cheap kind, I leave them between paper towels for a couple days to wick away the excess oil. I prefer the Black Forest brand, but still leave them out for a day or two to dry out before putting them in the jar. The yellow/orange ones I usually eat without drying since it's only the red, green and clear ones that are good.


I've found the Black Forest brand to be very good, has more fruit flavor than others. Have you tried the Haribo brand? Not too oily last time I had them.
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Ser Pounce-a-lot » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:53 am UTC

Grilled cheese sandwiches, Twice baked potatoes, Chicken Kiev, Goulash.

Also, I fondly remember getting food from the fast food chain Hot N' Now when I still lived in Michigan. Doubt anyone here knows about them, they are extremely regional. They had a 'Trojan Burger' on the menu, which was always good for a laugh.

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby Gear » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:19 am UTC

Decker wrote:
Sandry wrote:Also pb&j sandwiches made ahead of time and put in the lunch bag were terrible and sad and looked like they had some grape disease. Grape jelly saturated bread is just not aesthetically pleasing.

A way I learned to prevent this! Peanut butter both pieces of bread and put the jelly in the middle. The peanut butter acted as a jelly proof barrier.


Oh, man, I needed this, like, half a decade ago. I always made my own lunches so it came down to: 10 extra minutes of sleep vs. good lunch (the option of making the lunch the night before never occurred to me, apparently). Sleep always won out, so my lunch was consistently made of a pb&j sandwich hammered completely flat with the jelly making a break for it by route of the bread and a rather dented apple.

As for childhood defining foods, I would have to go for crepes topped with powdered sugar and raspberry preserves. Mmm, they were fantastic. *Wanders off into the kitchen to pit laziness against nostalgia in an epic battle of wills*
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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby humectant » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:17 am UTC

Nothing brings back summer memories like grilled burgers with barbeque sauce.

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Re: Childhood Defining Foods

Postby ConMan » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:37 am UTC

Vanilla slices. Yellow vanilla custard between two pieces of flaky pastry, topped with passionfruit icing. I used to get these from a bakery near our house.

These days, it's not impossible to find vanilla slices (or napoleons, which seem to fall in the same category of pastries), but finding ones that get it right is nearly impossible. Either the custard is the wrong consistency (it needs to hold itself together just enough that you have to nibble at the bits that keep squeezing out the sides as you eat), or the pastry is no good, or the icing is just completely wrong (napoleons in particular seem to go for some kind of plain icing with chocolate streaks in it which is all fine and well but isn't what I want). Only once in the last few years have I had a vanilla slice that was *exactly* right, and that was at an event in a small town far away from me where the locals provided supper so I don't even know who brought them or whether they were home-made or store bought *cries*.
pollywog wrote:
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