It is time once again for Flashback Friday with Linda of Mocha With Linda. This is the meme that takes us back in time. In Linda’s own words:
This meme’s purpose is to have us take a look back and share about a specific time or event in our lives. It will be fun to see how similar – or different – our experiences have been!.
Participating in this meme and reading everyone’s answers is one of my weekly highlights. Grab the button and the link and come play along. Linda’s theme this week is:
What is food to one man may be fierce poison to others.
Lucretius (1st century BC)
What were meals like when you were growing up? Did your mom (or dad) cook (and was it from scratch or from a box?) or did your family eat out much of the time? Did you eat together as a family or was everyone on a different schedule? What did you call meals? (Dinner vs. supper, lunch, etc.) What were some of your favorite things that your parent fixed? What did you dislike and vow never to fix once you grew up? Did your family have any food traditions, things that were a must on certain occasions (such as Sunday dinners or holiday meals)? Did your parent teach you to cook or did you wing it once you were grown? How similar or different are your family’s eating habits today than when you grew up?
My grandmother was many wonderful things but “cook” wasn’t one of them! For one thing, my Gram was a saver and she never bought what she could make herself. Shortening was something she could make. Whenever she cooked bacon or ham she poured the grease through a strainer and into a can. Gram then used that grease in anything that called for shortening. That’s why I was 17 years old before I discovered that Snickerdoodles shouldn’t taste like bacon.
Gram and I ate all of our meals together. Even if lunch was just a sandwich we sat down at the table and ate it from a real plate. Every meal included a fruit or a vegetable. Every morning for breakfast I was given 4 ounces of juice. Amoeba was raised the same way so that is what we do with each other. Rarely do we eat in separate rooms, and no matter how his music and performance schedules change our meal times, I still try to prepare an evening meal we can eat together.
In town our meals were called breakfast, lunch and dinner. On my uncle’s farm we had breakfast, dinner and supper. Mostly it didn’t matter what they called it, as long as they called me when they were serving it.
Most family meals were eaten at my aunt’s home. She wasn’t a wonderful cook, either, but she had a few set holiday dishes that were wonderful. She made a shrimp salad that I loved. I was thrilled to later learn that the salad was my mother’s own recipe.
On my birthday I was always allowed to set the menu. What I chose will probably baffle most of you. I loved Tuna Gravy (our name for it, other’s folks call it tuna in white sauce). I would ask for Tuna Gravy over homemade biscuits with peas. To make Tuna Gravy just make a pan of white sauce and stir a large can of tuna in. I know it doesn’t sound good, but really it is. I still make it on rare occasions — not often because we try to avoid the white sauce.
When I was a kid Gram taught me to make cookies and cakes and I was baking by myself by the time I was 10 or 11. Other than that, I didn’t cook. Then, when I was 17, my step mom had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. My dad told me I was in charge of cleaning the house and cooking the meals. I told him I didn’t know how to cook and he showed me a whole shelf of cook books above the refrigerator.
I learned to cook. My dad very patiently ate some horrid meals. I made baking powder biscuits three times in a row and they simply would not raise. Every time dad was kind and ate the flat weird little things. The 4th time I made them dad said if I was going to keep making crackers maybe I should serve stew.
The 5th time I made them I risked getting in trouble and made a long distance phone call to ask my sister for help. She had me read her the recipe I was following with religious precision. It called for only one teaspoon of baking powder. My sister said she was certain that was wrong and suggested a recipe in a different cookbook. I tried it and got big, beautiful, fluffy biscuits — and of course I had made stew.