Sunday, July 24, 2005

5 Childhood Food Memories - not another Meme?!

This meme, sent to me by farmgirl, asks for five food-related things you miss from your childhood. I am not sure I really miss all these things, but thinking about each one of them brings back some amusing memories all the same:

photograph picture of a box of Barilla spaghetti and a potato
1: Spaghetti Bolognese and Chips
For a while, my mother was a single parent and so she had to go out to work. She was a nurse and she worked some strange shifts. Luckily we had lots of great neighbours and one family or another would always volunteer to look after us at those times. I liked going to Mrs Snowdon's house not only because she had two great daughters, Debbie and Kate, the same age as my sister and me, but because she used to make us spaghetti bolagnese with chips. (For chips read 'fries'.) Yes it really is true, Mrs Snowdon would first cover each plate (she had some fancy oval ones, I think) with the chips (fries) and then hide them under the spaghetti. On top of that she would put the sauce. The chips would just peek out from under the pasta whilst getting all soggy from the damp heat. I loved the double carbohydrate combination. Of course, we would go home and beg for a repeat of this dish, but mum would always put her foot down, refuse and insist that pasta and poatotes just don't mix.

photograph picture of tea with milk and sugar
2: Milk & Sugar in my Tea
In a very un-English manner, I have been drinking my tea unsweetened and black for almost 20 years now. It was not always so. As I child I preferred it with milk and sugar with the emphasis on sweet. I remember, when I was about eleven, I went away for the weekend with the Girl Guides. I'll never forget, over breakfast one morning, competing with the other girls, to see which of us could put the most sugar in our tea and still drink it. I think I got up to eleven spoonfuls. Oh dear.

photograph picture of a Bassets sherbet dip dab
3: Make Your Own Sherbet
Talking of sugar - it seems kids have an infinite capacity for it. When we were kids, we loved our Sherbet Dip Dabs and our Sherbet Fountains (excluding the licquorice part), just fine. But the packets were small and they didn't last long enough. We needed a better price/performance ratio. What could we do? Well, instead of spending our precious pocket money on sweets, we would go to the Chemist Shop (Pharmacy) and buy a box of citric acid instead. Back at home we would help ourselves to as much icing (powdered) sugar as we could get away with borrowing from the pantry, and mix it with the acid to make our own giant-sized bags of sherbet. No wonder the British have a reputation for bad teeth.

photograph picture of a bottle of sherry
4: Tipsy Packed Lunches
It's true that the Brits have a reputation for liking a little drink now and then too. But I don't think my mother quite knew, when I asked her if I could make some little individual-sized sherry trifles to take to (high) school as part of my packed lunch, quite how much sherry I used to soak my Boudoir Biscuits in. In fact she would have been absolutely horrified. Looking back, it probably wasn't really that much sherry, not enough to make me in the slightest bit tipsy, but it made me feel a little bit cheeky taking it to school, nevertheless.

photograph picture of some Ready Brek
5: Skin on the Hot Milk - Eww!
From something I hid from my mother to something I used to like her to hide from me. I loved Ready Brek when I was a kid. For those who don't know - it is a highly processed version of porridge, a hot breakfast cereal that provides kids all over Britain with a warm orange glow as they travel to school on grey, miserable winter mornings. These days you can make it in one go in the microwave without having to worry about hot milk skin. But back in the old days, when I was a young'un, we had to heat the milk in a pan. Not only did I detest the smell, the skin that formed on the top of the milk almost made me physically sick. Thank goodness that my mother dealt with that ugly part of process, delivering me a steaming hot, delicious skin-free bowl of cereal at the breakfast table. Thanks mum!

How this meme works. First I get to tag four more people (none of whom are obligated to take part):

  • Culinary Fool

  • Monkey Gland at Jam Faced

  • Claire at Clea Cuisine (Maybe the meme will go Francais?)

  • Deccanheffalump at The Cook's Cottage

  • If you are tagged, here's what you do: Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place; add your blog’s name in the #5 spot; link to each of the other blogs for the desired cross-pollination effect.
    1. Secrets & Lies
    2. Do or Do Not
    3. BeautyJoyFood
    4. Farmgirl Fare
    5. Becks & Posh
    Next: select new friends to tag and add to the pollen count.
    Then create a post listing your own five food memories.
    posted in and and and
    5 Childhood Food Memories - not another Meme?!


    • At 24/7/05 08:09, Anonymous Melissa said…

      my god, my teeth hurt just reading about some of the things you used to eat! then again, I remember swiping a box of powdered sugar from my parents' cupboard and keeping it under my bed - my insurance against nights when my parents wouldn't let me have dessert! sometimes it amazes me that we all survived childhood...

    • At 24/7/05 11:26, Anonymous kudzu said…

      Your sardines yesterday were swimalious and I love your childhood memories -- some of them as gross as my own! My favorite sandwich was sliced (canned) pineapple on white bread with mayo!

    • At 24/7/05 11:27, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      PS Of course I meant "swimalicious". Not enough Peet's yet, this morning.

    • At 24/7/05 14:02, Anonymous mum said…

      Sam I remember one you forgot what about Frys choc cream sandwiches !!!!

    • At 24/7/05 14:30, Blogger farmgirl said…

      Hi Sam,
      Neat post. I hope you had some fun doing this. Great photos! And your answers were really, um, sweet. So do you have any teeth left? : )

      P.S. Re traveling to France: I know the meme has made it over to David Lebovitz, but I don't think he's posted his answers yet. And it's in Australia with Clare at Eat Stuff--hers went up last week.

    • At 24/7/05 17:14, Anonymous Cellounge Admin said…

      To be honest all of those things you mentioned did not seem very appetizing.

    • At 24/7/05 17:19, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

      Citric acid from the chemist? Wow... how come we never thought of that!

    • At 24/7/05 23:32, Anonymous David said…

      Spaghetti and chips?, thank goodness as in 'chips' you mean 'French fries'. First Pim makes a Spanish tortilla with potato chips and then this comes along. I thought the food world was going mad! Glad to know you weren't mixing potato chips with your pasta. (On the other hand, French fries with spaghetti?)

      (Farmgirl; Will post soon. I don't want to scare anyone just yet...)

    • At 25/7/05 06:51, Blogger Sam said…

      melissa - i guess htere are a lot of things we did as kids that these days parents would not dream of allowing. We survived - perhaps it made us tougher?

      Kudzu that sandwich sounds almost as bad as the pne my mum mentions just below...

      mummum - I hadn't forgotten about that - I thought that deserved a post of its own one day. I think the terror of that memory, of chocolate and bread together. has put me off chocolate croissants for life.

      Farmgirl - it was fun - I though of many, many things but in the end based my five on things I could create photos for. I am sure the others will pop up in future posts.

      cellounge to be honest you are right - they all sound pretty gross. Apart from the spahgetti - I think I could still eat chips(fries) with pasta if someone put a gun to my head.

      Augustus Gloop - I have no idea where we got that idea - but it sure was a good one. I remember we had a sherbet craze at school when we were about 10.

      david I absolutely am not going to do admit what i did with potato chips. It is too disgusting for words. Looking forward to your answers...

    • At 1/8/05 08:00, Anonymous Culinary Fool said…

      Finally I have my post up! Thanks for the tag - it was fun to think back a bit. :-)

      ~ B

    • At 4/8/05 13:28, Blogger ejm said…

      I'm loving reading these childhood memories! I too have a horror of skin on heated milk. And it reminded me of the egg my mother used to insist on quickly whisking into chocolate milk on the rare occasion that she would let us have chocolate milk. We always carefully inspected the glass for any signs of unbeaten yolk.


    • At 5/8/05 02:34, Anonymous deccanheffalump said…

      Thanks, sam, for that tag! I really enjoyed doing this. The meme brought out so many memories, they could've been compiled into a book! Here's my link to the weblog:


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