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Friday, September 23, 2005

Childhood Food Memories Meme

I was tagged for this by my friend Caryn from Delicious! Delicious! in retaliation for a previous tag. :) The idea is to give 5 childhood food memories, so here goes:

1. My Mom's Thanksgiving dinner. The Thanksgiving meal is the one holiday meal that no one in the family wants messed with, all of the old standards are there, expertly cooked by Mom. The flavors are nostalgia; A little sadness, because they make you think of those who are no longer at the dinner table, and warmth because you know how much love went into the preparation of the meal. I'm fortunate enough to be able to build on this wonderful food memory once a year.

2. Sitting at my Grandmother and Grandfather's kitchen table after a trip to the Italian grocery with my Grandfather. Oldani Salami, Capicola and Provolone on Fresh Crusty Bread, Fontinella Cheese, Marinated Artichoke Hearts, the works. This meal is still my favorite comfort food. Although my Grandfather's Italian store is long closed, I have a great one a mile from my house with all of the same ingredients.

3. Oma's (Dutch for Grandmother) Beef Croquettes. Slow braised beef, shredded, a thick Veloute style sauce made with the cooking liquid, nutmeg. Shaped into little oblongs, dipped in egg whites, bread crumbs, egg whites bread crumbs. Fried. I can remember the smell in her kitchen, and her laugh. She would pull me aside as if it were the world's biggest secret and shove some money in my hand, closing my hand tightly around it, "That's for you". When I make Croquettes for the holidays it smells like Oma's house, more nostaligia. The beauty of sharing family recipes is passing on a piece of the family, through smell and taste.

4. Good old ballpark Hot Dogs at Tiger's Stadium with my Dad and Brother. The main memory from Baseball games as a kid were the Hot Dogs. I always remember us sitting down to the game and Dad ordering up some dogs, Mustard, the smell of the field and good company. My Dad and I still enjoy one game a year, but now it's a Hot Dog and a Beer and at a new stadium.

5. Standing at Mom's knee with a face full of chocolate cake batter, or cookie dough. I can still remember standing there, holding a big mixing bowl and scraping away with a big spoon, trying to get every last bit out of the bowl, making a huge mess. Then going to work on the beaters, you know the kind from the old hand held mixers. I always had a rough time reaching that center post.

I'm not going to tag anyone, for fear of more retaliation. ;)