Childhood Favorites

By dietcherry Latest Reply 2011-11-04 18:44:26 -0500
Started 2011-06-24 21:01:27 -0500

My reply in another Discussion got me thinking about the processed foods I loved as a child and still do, and the foods I ate too much of and never want to see again.
I dissed Kraft macaroni and cheese and canned Chef Boyardee (sorry to the fans), but then my mind tripped down memory lane and remembered my favorites.
Please share the ones you love, the ones you loved once but no more, and the ones you would halt production on to save future generations the agony.

361 replies

Mickey/CCHT 2011-11-02 14:40:27 -0500 Report

This is an older discussion, but i just seen it and had to pipe in. We didn't have a lot of processed foods growing up, my mom was raising 3 kids alone with no help from my dad. So everything was made, it was cheaper. I do miss her fried macaroni it was cheap and filling and went a long way! Also when she made chili she would make shell noodles for the chili to go over, so it would fill us up and last longer! All that pasta, not good! But it kept us going! Since D i think i miss frozen pizza the most! Just cuz it was quick and easy!

Caroltoo 2011-11-02 15:07:10 -0500 Report

Thanks, Mickey. I had missed this discussion also. My experience is more like yours: we just didn't use processed foods. Much of our food came from the garden and my mom devoted much time and energy to preparing healthy meals. As I look back, I'm really amazed at how well she did with the little we had.

My recollections are of homemade macaroni and cheese rich in cheddar not american cheese, Spanish rice, spaghetti with meat and vegetable sauce. Way to many carbs, but not a processed food in sight! This is what she had learned in rural MI on her parents farm which was complete with a root celery for cold preservation of the vegetables from the farm.

I did love sharing a bottle of Coca-cola with my mother occasionally during a summer lunch. Also, helping her set up a card table in our front yard so she could feed a homeless person who wandered in off of Route 66 in So. CA where we lived.

Mickey/CCHT 2011-11-04 18:18:07 -0500 Report

That's way cool! Ya, growing up it was all about homemade dinners not packaged stuff! I know what you mean about looking back, i don't know how my mom did it either! By the Grace of God!
Where in MI was your mom from? Just curious cuz i'm a Michigander!

jayabee52 2011-11-04 15:40:45 -0500 Report

I grew up on a grain and dairy farm in Nw OH and that was very much like my childhood.

My Dad & his brother & their father went together and butchered our own beef spring and fall.

In the winter between christmas and new years a larger part of my extended family got together and butchered 5 or 6 hogs for pork. I remember those times around the cutting table with fondness.

Grandma had laying hens and we got eggs from her, and occasionally we would get chickens to butcher from her too. (normally just my family would do that).

Mom also had a vegetable garden every year and canned a lot of the produce from that to have during the winter months.

Dad & his bro had several hives of honey bees from which we extracted honey. For the longest time I did not know what sugar on breakfast cereal or oatmeal tasted like. We used honey to sweeten things.

We also drank the milk from the cows, without pasturization or homoginization. It took me quite a while to get used to store bought milk. It tasted strange to me, since I was used to full fat, raw milk.

Occasionally dad would bring home some wild game, squrrel, rabbits, pheasant, squab and venison.

Some precious memories.

My 1st wife (the mother of my sons) was a city girl, but she joined with me and we gardened together and canned the produce. We also liked to bake a honey whole wheat bread and I had bought a hand cranked stone grinder and brought some wheat from the farm and we baked it. It was really good. Between the 2 of us we would eat the whole loaf within a short time. It was sooooo gooood.

Once she started having babies, she didn't bake bread so much anymore, but we kept up with the gardening, till about 18 years ago when we moved to Las Vegas. Things were never the same between us again.

Mickey/CCHT 2011-11-04 18:21:25 -0500 Report

That sounds like an amazing childhood! I grew up in Detroit, but when my parents divorced we moved to Lapeer. She took us from the east side of Detriot (was getting bad even then) and moved us onto a working pig farm! We just rented the house, but the farm was fully functional! Talk about culture shock! But we took right to it! I was 10 and my brothers were 5 and 3! They went crazy and used to ride the big sows in the pen! What memories!

jayabee52 2011-11-04 18:44:26 -0500 Report

I wanted to send my sons back to the farm to experience what I experienced, but by that time the farm had changed so much (no more dairy for one thing) that it was not the same. They did like it, but there was not so many chores for them to do, and it was ALMOST like life in the city. My oldest spent more time on the Nintendo than he did outside.

What they say is true, you really can't go home again.

I had some friends who operated a confinement hog farm. (almost a pig factory) I remember the smell of the waste lagoon. The pigs on my uncle's farm didn't smell anywhere NEAR that bad! That smell clung to you for days! and I didn't fall into the lagoon, honest! LoL! it permeated their whole house.

Caroltoo 2011-11-04 17:51:06 -0500 Report

Breadmaking used to be hard work, jayabee. It got easier when the heavy duty mixers with bread hooks were developed. Oh, love the smell of homebaked bread fresh out of the oven. Makes my mouth water to think about it.

I'm so glad you and Jem shared some years together after your 1st marriage ended. You sound like you too were very, very happy and she was a really lovely lady. We are so blessed when we have relationships of that quality!

jayabee52 2011-11-04 18:09:17 -0500 Report

my ex didn't want the breadmakers, which were just coming in vogue at the time. She liked to get her hands into the dough and knead. We would make 5 loaves at a time. We were both in our 20s when we started that so we could do the heavy kneading.

Yes I was happy with both of my wives for the most part. I think I disappointed my ex, and so she cut me loose as soon as she could do so financially. After the divorce I got in touch with some of the ways she treated me and saw that she was emotionally abusive to me. I felt it while married to her, but wouldn't admit it. I didn't WANT to be divorced, so I stuffed it.

Jem was a fantastic lady. We were together almost 24/7 for about 18 months. She was a quality lady, quite a bit different than my ex in personality. Yes she was definitely a blessing to me. We were blessings to each other. God put us in a win/win situation. Too bad it was so short lived.

roshy 2011-06-30 17:42:55 -0500 Report

digestive bisciuts!! they were delightful until i turned celiac!! i really do iss the good aul jammy dodgers iswell!! i loved a kitkat and twix !! ah but had plenty in my childhood to last me a life time!! ill move on with a smile on my face i think!!

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-06-29 17:30:47 -0500 Report

I got to thinking, my parents, Mom is now 82, probably had NO processed foods growing up. Born in 1929, she was the cause of the stock market crash!

2011-06-29 19:27:42 -0500 Report

Now Jim, behave you silly man you!! I pretty much lived on processed & fast foods. That's how I ballooned up to 250lbs+. And now, I can't stand looking at the stuff. And that's how I was able to loose the weight.

dietcherry 2011-06-29 16:02:10 -0500 Report

Does anyone know if Mr. Pibb is still around? It was Dr. Peppers brother but without the college degree-wonder what happened to it

Type1Lou 2011-11-04 18:29:40 -0500 Report

I've never heard of Mr Pibb…probably because of where I've lived in the US…I bet not too many people have drunk Moxie…I think you can still buy it in New England. It, too, is a soft drink with a uniquely bitterish flavor…a bit of an acquired taste. Some city in Maine has a Moxie festival every year.

2011-06-29 19:21:47 -0500 Report

The college drop-out is still available. I just wish it came in the diet variety. If any one has seen a diet version of the college drop-out please let me know. Thanx.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-06-29 15:55:32 -0500 Report

Can't say I loved it, but Mom use to make "tuna fish" for sandwiches. Now Mom says she used 2 cans of tuna, I only remember one can. she would make 8 sandwiches. 6 for the kids and 2 for Dad. Now, I don't remember the proportions of everything, or even if they mattered, but it was something like this.
One can of tuna, 2 cups of crushed corn Flakes (if we were out, we used rice Krispies), 2 carrots, shredded, 3 tablespoons or so of relish, 1 cup of mayo and a few other things I can't remember! When my first wife made me a tuna fish sandwich, I asked her what it was! All she used was tuna fish and a little mayo!
Ok, Jralphs, this part is for you. After "something like this" my typing does not appear.

2011-06-29 19:31:09 -0500 Report

I remember when my Mom would tell me that 1 can of tuna would feed 5 people. My Grandmother had to of put something in that tuna to stretch it to make it feed a family of 5.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-06-29 16:04:30 -0500 Report

Mom also said it was a recipe from the newspaper. It was called a Coney Island Cone. Its purpose was you could eat the tuna fish salad in an ice cream cone, while you walked. I reminded Mom recently that her mixture would have never stood up in a cone! She laughed and laughed, then said, "We did what we needed to do to keep you fed." She then remind me of all the stuff she added to meatloaf and meatballs to make it stretch! Some other childhood memories about food. when we had company over, Mom would say, "FHB on the milk" or "FHB on the meat, or FHB on XXX" That was our clue. It meant she was cutting it close and that the Family was to Hold Back!

Copperchef 2011-06-29 14:34:33 -0500 Report

When I was a kid growing up, we had a bakery right around the corner from us. I would use my allowance to go to the bakery and buy chocolate eclairs for 25 cents each. They were monsters, in my mind's eye I saw them as big as a loaf of bread, drizzled in chocolate and filled with the most decadent pastry cream I ever remember eating.
When the bakery closed, I found my way to Hostess fruit pies, but it wasn't the same. I did this through most of my preteen years. When I got older and was able to drive, I discovered pizza, French fries, ketchup and girls. And not necessarily in that order.
There was not much I would not eat. I have always been adventurous when it came to food. I used to have a saying, "If it doesn't bite me first or is not marked poison, I'll try it." I think that's what led me to become a chef.
Unfortunately, I now have to be mindful of everything I eat, as do we all. I watch my calories and my carbohydrates but I still enjoy the exotic. It is all about moderation and monitoring.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-06-29 15:35:25 -0500 Report

I remember the bakery in Philadelphia. We use to get cinnamon buns, crumb cakes, and eclairs. The first 2 were .05 each, the eclair was .10. Of course, we usually had to sneak to the store. Mom was not one to allow money to be spent that way!

Armourer 2011-06-28 20:59:55 -0500 Report

I'm a potato chip addict, and add to that french fries! Oh how I miss those! Also love any pastry, miss those too!

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-06-29 23:20:19 -0500 Report

An open bag is an empty bag - my potato chip motto. So I must only buy the very small bags when I can no longer resist the call of their crunch.

Deaconess Jane
Deaconess Jane 2011-06-29 07:04:28 -0500 Report

Yep, that's me as well. Potatoes in almost any form: add cheese to them and I'm in heaven!!! Too, I try to stay away from breads, but oh do I miss the smell of fresh-baked homemade bread. I have a passion for baking, but seldom indulge as can't eat the finished product.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-06-29 15:37:16 -0500 Report

I can pass on the potatoes if I need too, but if you add cheese, I hope there is no one else around! Remember DJ, you can still enjoy the smell of fresh baked bread, you just can't eat the whole loaf!

Deaconess Jane
Deaconess Jane 2011-06-29 16:07:20 -0500 Report

And, there, JE is my problem. I wanna eat the whole loaf. lol. I've learned when I get the urge to bake, to do so when we've a potluck at church or bake and take it to work. That way, I get a bit, but don't overdo it.

jayabee52 2011-07-02 03:46:42 -0500 Report

When we were first married, my ex and I ate home made stone ground honey whole wheat bread. OH that stuff was KILLER! We'd make it up in 10 loaf batches and would freeze most of it because it was just the two of us, and then 3 of us with our son. We would devour 1 loaf from the first 5 that came from the oven while the last 5 were baking. OH that smell of baking bread! Heavenly!

Deaconess Jane
Deaconess Jane 2011-07-02 05:37:57 -0500 Report

Yikes! Jayabee, what are you doing up at 3 am? lol. I thought I was the only one who kept unusual hours. I tend to sleep in 5-hour sessions. I was so tired last night I went to bed at 8 and woke at 2 am wide awake. In a way, I like it as I can get part of my weekly groc shopping done then. I love that my local supermarket is open 24 hours a day and I usually have the place to myself - makes shopping fast and easy. Hope you're able to get some sleep. : O)

Deaconess Jane
Deaconess Jane 2011-07-02 05:30:28 -0500 Report

Oooh, that sounds wonderful. I love the whole grain breads, although have never ground my own flour for it. (in earlier years, I intended too, but never got around to buying a mill to do so). 10 loaves at a time! That had to be a challenging mass of dough to knead. I'm back to experimenting with my bread maker. A friend was given one and has no recipes for it, so I've gone through my Taste of Home annual cookbooks and am typing up all the bread machines recipes I found. LOL. These recipes can be confusing as they all seem to tell me to add ingredients as listed by the manufacturer's directions, but then don't list them in the right order. I've been trying to determine what qualifies as a liquid etc when the ingredients in the ToH recipes doesn't jive with the recipes in my bread machine booklet. I would love to find a good recipe for a dark German rye bread, either for my machine or for hand-kneading. Yep, can see I'm rambling, so will close out this post. Hope you all have a glorious fourth of July celebration.

Deaconess Jane
Deaconess Jane 2011-07-02 05:33:36 -0500 Report

I would love to have a full-size freezer so I could bake/make breads/meals ahead. All I have currently is the top of two frigs. With just our weekly groceries, both fill up quickly, with little room for extras.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2011-06-30 01:47:07 -0500 Report

I love home baked bread, so I have to only make one loaf and only for holidays so I can only get a small piece.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-06-29 16:17:18 -0500 Report

Geez…how did I know about eating or wanting to eat the whole loaf of bread? How do you transport it in your car from your home to the church? Strap in on the roof? Get someone from church to pick it up from you and take it to church? Put a clothes pin on your nose? You know you are truly blessed when you are transporting freshly baked bread, and the Lord blesses you with a flat tire on an empty stretch of road with no cell service!

Deaconess Jane
Deaconess Jane 2011-06-29 16:43:02 -0500 Report

LOL. Put it waaaay in the boot so I can't reach it without causing an accident? Convince my self that good things come to those who wait? Put it in an air-tight container so the wonderful aroma doesn't make me homicidal? lol. Ya know, given the scenario you list above, even a Saint would find it next to impossible to not eat it when stranded, After all, doncha know one has to keep up one's strength. It could be minutes before rescue comes. (big grin).

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-06-29 16:12:27 -0500 Report

Same here. I made my Cinnamon Rolls at my Mom's house when there were at least 5 other people to enjoy them. It was the only safe way for me to only eat a small one.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-06-29 16:18:36 -0500 Report

Stop it right now GB! cinnamon Rolls are one of my favorite ways of doing some serious diabetic sinning. Of course, I like one of the middle ones, so I can put butter on all 4 sides! Almost forgot, you do put raisins on top, right?

2011-06-29 19:42:09 -0500 Report

Hey JE doncha know you're ruining the absolute goodness of a hot, right out the oven, cinnamon roll, w/butter? After all you got that melted confectioners sugar dripping down the sides. Heck, the only thin that cinnamon roll needs is my teeth!!

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-06-29 16:26:13 -0500 Report

If you want raisins they will be on yours. I would customize the things I baked for my assisted living residents. I figured a little spoiling never hurts.

Deaconess Jane
Deaconess Jane 2011-06-29 20:49:10 -0500 Report

So what do you do at the Assisted Living Center? I did my internship for Seminary at a multi-level older adult living facility. I loved being there. Wish they had jobs open there. In the meantime, I do hospital Chaplaincy as an on-call person for four local hospitals. Love the ministry, would rather have day-time hours, but for now am doing mostly evenings and nights.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-06-29 23:27:35 -0500 Report

At my new place I work mainly nights with people diagnosed with Alzheimers' or other dementias. It is part of a larger facility that has a seperate kitchen staff. So I don't get to play around in the kitchen making desserts. At my old place I got to play making desserts 3 to 5 of the nights I worked. At both places I am a resident assistant (or caretaker). Just helping them do the things they can no longer do on their own and trying to keep them from doing things that they shouldn't do for their own safety.
Right now I am only scheduled 3 nights a week. But have managed to pick up a day or 2 most weeks PRN. I enjoy nights the best, but have covered the other two shifts without too many problems. Took a lot of looking before I was finally able to find this job.

MrsCDogg 2011-06-30 16:09:01 -0500 Report

I was a CNA for a little over 25 years. I just can not do it any more. The work is brutal! It was stressful, physically demanding, frustrating, and heart breaking, but never boring!!

Deaconess Jane
Deaconess Jane 2011-06-29 16:44:51 -0500 Report

Okay, all this talk about cinnamon rolls is making me hungry. Cudoes to you GB for your giving heart. I've only found one cinnamon roll recipe that I can make. It's called cinnamon rolls for dummies. (the dummy being me - I had no success in making them until this recipe came along). lol.

2011-06-29 19:44:26 -0500 Report

And I thought it was easier just to open a roll of Pilsbury's cinnamon rolls. But then again, what do I know?

Deaconess Jane
Deaconess Jane 2011-06-29 20:46:17 -0500 Report

Actually. you're right, it is! (big smile) But, for us die-hard purists (and I am in that category somewhat), if it's not home-made, it's not worth eating. (said tongue firmly in cheek). That said, there are times when I will use Pillsbury and I like what they offer. For a quick Christmas start-the-day breakfast, Pillsbury is great. I have a passion for baking and used to want to do every dish from "scratch". I've gotten less ocdc as I've gotten older and as our list of "okay" foods has evolved. lol. I used to make our pasta with the help of a pasta machine. That was good stuff - my boys would eat the noodles straight off the pasta maker, without even waiting for them to be cooked.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-06-28 14:35:49 -0500 Report

I know Hires Root Beer is still around, but I don't think it is the same formula. Also there was a sassafras drink that I was able to get in the South (Carolina) when we were young, but have not seen it down there or ever up north. I remember mom use to buy Chef-Boy-r-dee pizza in a box. Always liked that until I found out what pizza should taste like! My favorite childhood and adult food is Philadelphia Soft

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2011-06-30 01:53:23 -0500 Report

My mom made sassafrass tea and tought me how. You can still get the store bought sassafrass in the south tough.

Tender Tips
Tender Tips 2011-06-28 17:57:53 -0500 Report

Same here-Chef boy R Dee was my first intro to pizza-loved it!

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-06-29 15:39:31 -0500 Report

Yeah, then you had some real pizza after that! My favorite these days is actually a frozen pizza, although we cook it before we eat it. The company's name is Freshetta or something close to that. It is the only pizza company I ever wrote to to tell them how good I thought it tasted.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-06-29 15:49:20 -0500 Report

I have seen that. I may give it a try. I e-mailed a friend of mine whose wife is Italian through & through and she does her own. Don't know if her crust recipe is a family secret or not. I will see. I would like to work on a whole grain pizza crust that I would not have to add any gluten too, but my gluten free or reduced breads just don't rise like I like them too.

DIABETEIC148 2011-06-28 10:50:01 -0500 Report

To this day I love kraft mac& cheese

Deaconess Jane
Deaconess Jane 2011-06-29 07:07:22 -0500 Report

Mac & Cheese with ground beef mixed in is a memory from the summer I spent on the Jersey shore. I passed on this tweak to my boys and at least one of them loves it like I do.

2011-06-29 19:49:46 -0500 Report

Hey DJ~~ I remember the ol' mac & cheese w/gr. beef from when I was a kid. Man was that good. Haven't had it since.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-06-29 15:41:04 -0500 Report

Now I do enjoy the beef in with the mac n cheese. Then it doesn't need to be made by my MIL! Must be a Philly Jersey thing!