Childhood memories associated with food

Joined Mar 13, 2001
Hi y'all!

I just read an interview with Michael Reich, Executive Chef of the Renaissance Hotel, on Chicago Cooks, via

A favorite childhood breakfast his mother prepared for him was called Humpty Dumpty eggs. It's an egg that is cooked in the middle of toasted bread that has a hole cut into the center.

Boy, my grandmother used to prepare this for me and that was my very favorite breakfast. I never dreamed it had a name, let alone "Humpty Dumpty Eggs"!

I thought it would be fun if you could share your childhood memories associated with food!

Joined Oct 6, 2001
Cinnamon always brings back childhood memories...

Grandma's house for Christmas and baking Snickerdoodles...

We lived at the top of a huge hill in Belgium . A huge cobblestone (therby slick) road was how the bus would come to get us for the 45 min. ride to the English speaking school. On snow days when school wasn't cancelled, the bus couldn't get to us -- and we were excused from school. Mom used to make us cinnamon toast and we'd curl up and watch the snow fall! If we went outside to play, my friend's mother would make us Mexican hot chocolate...

My Mom used to make us Humpty Dumpty eggs too -- only we call them Egg-in-the-hole. It's funny, when we've got guests that don't want the whole 3 course breakfast (usually corporate guests here for multiple days and eating way early--we usually do a simpler hot breakfast for them), we often offer egg-in-the-hole to them -- very often, their eyes light up and say yes! When served, they usually talk about "when I was a litlle kid..." Cinnamon toast (which I use as a base for a fruit bruschetta is another one that gets people going...
Joined Mar 13, 2001
For me, it's "petits pains au chocolat".

That is small breads stuffed wih chocolate morsels. My grandmother made the very best, and I would have that at 4:00, after school.

Such fond memories!

Joined Jul 30, 2000
pooh, I haven't thought about this in years, and I'm having a culinary flashback of, not my Mom's cooking, but an Aunt that lived close by when I was a kid.

Sunday lunch (we called it dinner then) -- I remember some Southern classics.

Fried chicken (it seemed to be OK to eat it then.)

Mustard greens and a dish called "hot water cornbread." (Great stuff.)

And, of course, banana pudding.
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hi Pooh...

somewhere in this place is a thread on breakfast items. and everyone had a memory and name for the dish you discribe.

I used to call it "EGGS IN A NEST"

When I think of childhood memories I think of the smell in my grandfathers bakery...fresh baked breads,and I loved filling the jelly donuts. My great aunt used to make the most incredible latki and matzo balls. I can still smell them know.

In the autumn and winter months there was always the aroma of slow braising meats and vegetables.
Joined Aug 29, 2000
My olfactory memories run in the same vein as Cape Chef's: my grandmother's challah and kichlach (cinnamon rolls). Also the aroma of schmaltz rendering slowly on the stove in my mother's kitchen.
Joined Mar 13, 2001

Grandmother used schmaltz for her french fries! That was heaven.

Did yours too?


[ May 14, 2001: Message edited by: Kimmie ]


Joined Apr 4, 2000
In my house, we never ate in front of the TV except on very special occasion. The menu, on these days, would always be the same Campbell tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich.

I still remember the dinner my mom made for us on Halloween night, Campbell tomato soup and crepes with maple syrup, as if we needed more sugar. As you can see we loved Campbell tomato soup in my house.

Every summer we would go to Maine, and spend a month in a beach house. Lobsters from Lord’s were a favourite treat. I would always go with my dad get the lobsters. While we waited I would learn such useful trick as how to put a lobster to sleep or how to get it to stand on the top of his head while he was still alive. Once we were done playing with the lobsters, my dad would buy a jar of “green”, lobster liver, and some chip and we would go sit on the concrete wall eating our chip and dip. Finally after a wait that someday seemed like eternity we would get our lobsters. On the way back to the house I would be the one holding the paper bags holding the steaming hot lobsters. To this day the smell of hot water on paper bag reminds me of lobsters and those trips to the lobster store.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
"toad in the hole"
Cinnamon toast all crunchy bubbly, buttery

Hmmmmm I think it would be the salads my family made....large bowl of greens any vegetables around then the leftover grilled meat from the night before....My dad really got into making that gem.

Or pate choux with stuffing or seafood stuffed tomatoes.
Joined May 6, 2001
hmmmmmmm, lessee
Childhood memories of food, I remember the eggs cooked in a hole of bread, we called it toad in the hole.
I also remember cinnamon rolls with frosting on Sunday mornings, and the smell of the kitchen when my mother made caramel popcorn. I never liked eating it but the kitchen smelled wonderful and it was nice and warm in our large house that was often drafty.

Joined Nov 15, 2000
French toast with grape jelly
Flan with a dollop of whipped cream on the side.
My mother's Bolognese spaghetti sauce that she simmered for what I thought was an unbearablely long time because aroma premeated the air and we couldn't wait for suppertime .
Wonderful simple Japanese lunches with rice, miso soup, and grilled fish followed by Japanese confections made with assorted sweet bean pastes.
My mother's fried rice.
:D :D :)
Joined May 11, 2001
My mom was constantly baking when I was a child. She still bakes quite a bit today, but mostly banana bread and cookies. However, my favourite childhood memories involved fresh baked bread. Cloverleaf buns baking in the oven, coming out and being slathered with butter. Filipino Ensaymada which is basically a brioche dough filled with a good cheese (gouda when I was a child, asiago in more recent times) that is brushed with butter after coming out of the oven and rolled in sugar. Baked buns filled with a spicy yet sweet meat filling. I still bake bread today whenever I'm homesick.
Joined Jan 1, 2001
OK, this is very interesting....
For the egg fried in a slice of bread thing we have quite a few names-
Humpty Dumpty Eggs
Egg in a Hole
Egg in a Nest
Toad in a Hole
Egg in a Frame (my daughter's name for it)
Any others?
Childhood food memories-
My sister's Caraway Rye Bread-the best!
My Mom's Sherry Cake, her Blintzes (Friday Night-no homework!) her Lasagne and Beef Stew (I still cannot reproduce it).
On a scary note-my Mom's Shrimp Curry-Eawww! I could smell it down the street as I walked home from the bus stop! Thankfully, it was a long enough walk to solicit a dinner invitation from one of my friends. Everything else she made was fabulous!


Joined Apr 4, 2000
Reading Risa's story about bread reminded me of the first time I taste home made bread. My mother is a great cook but never really baked much. I was at my friend's house, must have been 7 or 8 her sitter had just taken out of the oven a loaf of bread. She handed us a piece, the butter was melting on the bread. I never forgot the taste of that bread, it was heavenly.
Joined Nov 5, 2000
Every Thursday like clockwork mom baked loaves of homemade bread and her great cinnamon rolls (every few weeks)...amazing how the other stay at home mom's kind of wandered over mid afternoon. Best aroma ever was that bread baking.

[ May 17, 2001: Message edited by: SeattleDeb ]
Joined Nov 19, 1999
My dad was the cook in our family. I remember many rainy, chilly days where the smell of something special bubbling on top of the stove...spaghetti sauces, chili...stews...homemade pastas, filled the air. It was always accompanied by classical music on the HIFI, or his playing the organ, and a fire in the fireplace. I think I'm the only person in the world who loves rainy days and sees them as cozy. I try to recreate this atmosphere at home and at work when the weather is 'nasty.'
Joined Apr 24, 2001
I love the Fall. On my dad's one day off (he was a restaurant worker, too), he'd pick us up from school. When he told me to spread newspapers on the table when we got home, that could only mean one thing: Steamed Crabs! I grew up in the East Coast so they were blue crabs. We didn't have much money but we ate well.

Then there were chestnuts. My mother could buy them when we had enough money (they were expensive back in the 70's) and boil them. Then she'd divide them amongst us. I used to steal my sister's because she didn't have the patience to peel them.

On my birthday, my mother allowed me to request one dish for dinner. Sometimes I'd ask for shrimp with lobster sauce but when I really wanted to feel special, I'd ask my mom to make stuffed carp. It was really involved and took 2/3s of the day to prepare. You had to skin the whole fish without breaking the skin. The bones (they were tiny) would have to be removed from the flesh. Then the flesh was chopped fine with pork and aromatics to form something like a pate. Then it was stuffed back into the fish skin and reshaped to resemble a fish. Then it was braised. Then a sauce had to be made...No I was not a brat to tax my mother so. I only asked for this twice at most. And I was in the kitchen with her every minute of it. My alterior motive was to finagle a cooking lesson for a fancy Chinese dish from my mother, a woman with very little patience. :D
Joined Jan 26, 2001
I think a lot of my childhood food memories also have to do with winter time. I grew up in the country (well, okay, I'm only 22, so I'm still pretty much a child, but I'm remembering a few years back anyway!), and our house was surrounded by trees. It was a very common thing to have the power go out for two or three days at a time. We used to cook meals on the fireplace using camping equipment, and hot chocolate always makes me think of that.

At Christmas time, I remember making Christmas chowder (cheese chowder with celery, tomatoes, bacon... mmmm....) and the smell of boiling sugar and water will always bring back memories of my Dad making the peanut brittle. I tried it once, and it didn't take half as long... I think it was just that he enjoyed it so much.

Then in the summertime, when we spent a lot of time picking fresh fruits and vegetables, either in our garden or in orchards. We canned a lot, but my favorite smell was freshly cooked apples, either for apple butter or applesauce.

Now, when I celebrate holidays, I feel like I have to have certain foods, because I always associated those foods with that holiday. Chex Mix on New Year's, for instance.

Makes me miss my family....

Top Bottom