Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Grandma Food

My dear Winifred, as well as my other dear friend Doc Bubbles--I have few friends so those I do have I know intimately and by name--are um what's the nice way to say this--encouraging me to blog today. This is the exact reason or one exact reason I feared to start blogging; people keep after you to continue. To calm my two fans, I will take Winifred's request to blog about what I had for dinner.

Do you remember where you were when you first heard of fish sticks? What about your initial broccoli? There never was a time before baked potato as far as I'm concerned. Did you realize you can cook yourself institutional food right at home? Then you can sit down and say, "Can you believe the food in this place?"

That was my dinner tonight. Same story at lunch: peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich with lettuce on it, with a side of raw carrots.

Thinking about overrated home-cooking reminded me of a camping trip in Maine, when we used to go to a little gas station to buy magazines and beef jerky strips and Little Debbie snack cakes. One day I bought a ladies' fundraising cookbook called "What's Cookin' in Down East Maine." The recipes had strange insatiable fascination, and as Den was driving I would read aloud the recipes to him.

"Do you want to hear 'Whoopie Pies'?" I'd say. "Yeah!" he'd answer, "and then find something with maraschino cherries in it!"
So then we'd hear 'Cherry Macaroons,' whose first ingredient was Spry. My favorite was 'Pig Eating Good Cake,' made w/ yellow cake mix and canned mandarin oranges. You top it with 1 large Cool Whip, 1 sm. instant vanilla pudding, add drained crushed pineapple and mix.

There's something visceral, ancestral, about Cranberry Relish Mold that takes me back to church spaghetti night with my grandmother in Ferguson, MO in the 1940s. So, that's my blog today: Grandma food.


Anonymous Winnifred said...

Thanks, that was great.

It reminds me a little of this blog entry from
Making Light
called La Cuisine de Nouvelle Zion where the author desrcibed bringing her ancestral food (Mormon, American Southwest) to pot luck dinners in NYC and the importance of marshmallows and jello.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't remember when fish sticks first appeared on the market but they became a weekly meal for my family because they were inexpensive and, with four children, I had to be economical in my cooking. My children still go "Yuck!" when fish sticks are mentioned.

After years of loving to cook I now cook very infrequently. My "grandmother" cooking is attempting to satisfy the eating preferences and needs of my family (which has ranged from kosher to many diet plans) when they visit. My timing is all off. I used to cook on a regular basis for dinner parties and large parties and my family and now I don't even cook very well for myself!

So this makes it official. I am your "third" friend! Please keep writing. As you know I am a major fan! DonaFrog

6:20 AM  
Blogger Doc Bubbles said...

I can attest to the peanut butter and mayo sandwhich, the sight of which made me involuntarily crinkle my nose and say "gack." My dinner last night was a Lean Cuisine! With some added broccoflower and baked beans on the side. Still wasn't enough. Had to have popcorn later during House. Do people actually eat such small amounts--people who aren't anorexic, I mean?

9:39 AM  

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