time travel to food from childhood

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by dagger, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. dagger

    dagger

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    Boy some of the foods I grew up with no longer around. One was a tin of frozen chicken chow main sold at the first walmart called Great Eastern. My mom would buy that few times a month, it wasn't bad. Shake & bake bbq style was also big in my house, it wasn't bad either. Bought some just for old time sake to see if it's still the same. Birthdays were a layer cake from Pantry Pride with a tube of ice cream. Does anyone remember Sealtest ice milk, we wanted ice cream not ice milk but gave it a try. My-t-fine pudding, the one you cooked in the 4 pack, burned my mouth few times on that. Just couldn't wait until it was chilled, first pudding pie came from that. Tv dinners, fried chicken also had special ones made for kids with burger or frank. We didn't eat for health but I bet it was healthy than stuff today. Everything was made with sugar and real meat, you could read the ingredients and understand them unlike today.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
  2. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    I grew up in that era (at least I assume we are talking about the same era - the 1960's) and I wouldn't travel back in time no matter what.  They were good days to grow up in but the food sucked.  My family did not eat a lot of those processed items that you describe but when we did I generally went to bed hungry.  I would sit at the table and defiantly not eat a bite... until I was the only one left at the table... and the food was cold... and the food was a congealed mass of yuckiness.  I craved some of it (the laChoy Chow Mein and Pop Tarts) but was denied such potential pleasures.  I felt a bit tormented as a kid because I knew everyone else was eating that stuff.  As an adult, I frequently thank my Mom for home-cooking good meals using good ingredients that generally came directly from a farm.
     
  3. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I grew up in Greece in the late 70's and we were immune from all of these yucky things.  My Grandmother was grinding her own wheat, butchering her own chickens, milking her own goats and living off the land.  I never saw packaged meat from a supermarket until we moved to the US.
     
  4. jake t buds

    jake t buds

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    Totally. Growing up, I avoided going to other peoples house for fear of having to eat "yucky" stuff. My mother always made home cooked meals, and the only thing we ate that was commercially processed was maybe canned soup and oreos. Yeah, pop tarts and ice cream too, but not very often. People would make fun of my lunches because they were so different than theirs. I was also fortunate to see how Europe dealt with food, and it was very very different than the US at that time. You know, good. 

    Speaking of cold food. My father always had a threat he used on occasion. "Eat it warm now, or have it for breakfast cold tomorrow morning."  It did usually made me eat my carrots, though. Most of the time it was an empty threat. 

    Having said that - milkshakes. I haven't made a milkshake in decades. 
     
  5. cerise

    cerise Banned

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    I'm familiar with some of the products/foods mentioned of that era, and eastern european dishes my Grandmother made.  (Think there have been threads re same topic, & I posted one that was similar about a food/cooking timeline)  The food from childhood I recall, that are no longer around:

    Eating at the Automat in NYC

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=the+automat&qpvt=the+automat&qpvt=the+automat&FORM=IGRE

    Having an eggcream at the candy store

    A club sandwich and banana split at the lunch counter at Woolworth (aka the Five and Dime), in NYC

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Woolworth+Lunch+Counter&FORM=RESTAB

    A hot fudge sundae at Schraft's (NYC)

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=schrafts+nyc&FORM=HDRSC2

    Howard Johnson's clam sandwiches.

    Still thinking ;-)
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
  6. mikelm

    mikelm

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    Couple of things in particular...

    My Missouri ancestors' home-smoked, cured, and aged ham, which I have described often here.  Have to get it from a Southern smokehouse, now.

    A standby from my mother's family - also Missouri -  and a forever family favorite is "Greasy Old Spaghetti."   She would partially cook a big mess of spaghetti, put it in a baking pan in the oven, below a nice big pork roast on a rack, and roast the two until the pork was well done, letting the drippings from the pork land on the spaghetti. .Back in the day, before pork became The Other White Meat, that yielded a LOT of porky drippings. Finish with plenty of salt and black pepper.

    It's still a family favorite- our family, our kids' families all love it,, but it's harder to do with modern pork.  We have to cheat by adding a lot of oilve oil....healthier, I'm sure, and pretty good, but not nearly the same.   One of these days I'm going to find a hunk of "heirloom" pork, and see how that works.

    If anybody has an idea how to recreate this throwback I would be most grateful for the help.

    Mike
     
  7. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    I'm the embarrassment of my family.  In almost three score years of life I think I've eaten less than a dozen of those cookies. 
     
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  8. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    During the 60s we ate some of that stuff and I have absolutely no nostalgia for it, though I did not hate it at the time.  Around 1970 or so my mom started reading health food books by Adele Davis. The transition in our household was not smooth, as you can imagine with three children not yet teenagers. We HATED the new regimen--no pop tarts, no soda, chips and soda very rarely, if at all, a banishment of white bread. Our bag  lunches were eccentric for the times, to say the least. However, it did shape my adult taste in such a way that I have never once wished for spaghettios or Kraft mac & cheese or pop tarts or Tang and I can't even remember the last time I had soda, unless you count ginger beer in a Moscow mule or Pymm's cup.

    Speaking of Tang--has anyone seen the new Christine Tosi (Momafuko) cookbook where Tang on toast is a thing?
     
  9. chefross

    chefross

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    Growing up in the city in the 60's was all about new foods. Birdseye frozen vegetables, Banquet TV dinners,. Our family relied on a budget so Mom planned the weekly meals and shopped accordingly. We knew what was for dinner every day of every week. Thursdays were organ meats, and Sunday was always waffles.

    I grew up in a religious home and Friday's were always the big cooking and baking day to get ready for Sabbath.

    A dish, that I still remember was called "Cholent.

    It was a whole chicken, with large cut vegetables, barely, potatoes and water.

    It went into the oven around 3:00 in the afternoon on Friday at 200 degrees and cooked all through the night and into the next day.

    The postman came to our house to deliver the mail, came into the house, turned off the oven and lights, left the mail on the counter and my dad would leave him a shot of schnapps for his help.(in those days you didn't have to worry about locking your house.)
     
  10. mtullius

    mtullius

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    MikeLM-Maybe cook your roast with a piece of pork belly on top. This would give you the added fat. You could also try asking your butcher to cut you a roast leaving a bigger fat cap. Yes pork is leaner today, but it is also sold with more of the fat trimmed than in the past.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  11. genemachine

    genemachine

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    I remember vaguely when Asian cooking first came to Germany. Atrocious bastardizations. Something called "Chinesisches Reisfleisch" - some kind of fried rice with pork, canned champignons, onions and a store-bought spice mixture.... My mother used to make that. No nostalgia for that, either.
     
  12. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    In the late 70's and early 80's my mom got the idea that we should eat healthier.  We weren't going to go "cold turkey" though so she found all these health food recipes for cookies and cake, etc.  That meant that our chocolate chip cookies were now being made with carob chips and all sorts of other "healthy" additions.  The mutiny finally came when she heard that sunflower seeds are even more healthful if you eat the hulls so the next time we got cookies it was carob chip and sunflower seed cookies (with the hulls left on).  My brother and I completely revolted and soon we were back to our regular cookies.  I tell you, that first chocolate chip cookie never tasted so good!!!
     
  13. genemachine

    genemachine

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    Fortunatly, you can find butchers that don't follow that religion of leaness...


     
  14. mikelm

    mikelm

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    Hey, Terry-

    That really strikes a spark! We discovered Adele Davis' first book, Let's Cook It Right  about the time the first kids showed up, and my wife started using it for most of our cooking.  It was a little persnickety, but I never objected because the dishes were so tasty. So they all grew up on lots of yogurt, wheat germ, brewer's yeast, blackstrap molasses, and other stuff that has since become a lot more commonplace.  A lot of it was really hard to find at the time- it's all mainstream, now.

    We have all of her cooking/nutrition books, and pretty much lived by them. Every copy is pretty much in tatters - they got a lot of use.  

    She was derided and despised by the cooking establishment, because she had no formal training or credentials as a nutritionist, and her ideas were pretty much at odds with many accepted ideas about food, nutrition,  and culinary practices of the time.

    In most particulars... she was right on.

    Mike
     
  15. teamfat

    teamfat

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    Besides the mushroom incident I've mentioned before, one of my lasting memories of my mother's cooking was chicken wings. This was around 1960, breast cancer got her in Nov. '63. She would bake the wings with a sour cream and herb mix, and they were really good! Fun food for a kid, nice and messy.

    mjb.
     
  16. dagger

    dagger

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    There is more dementia in the US than Europe and one reason believed is our lean diets and over use of simvastatin. The brain needs fat (carbs) to survive and we are starving it. Back in the 60s and 70s things were made with real sugar and butter not all this test tube stuff. High fructose corn syrup is the worst sweetener used, the body doesn't process it right.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  17. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    The most commonly consumed HFCS is HFCS 55 which has the same break down as honey as far as sugars go. It's not the sugar ratio (solely), it's the quantity and that fructose is metabolized in the liver leading to fatty liver deposits which cause other problems. 

    The brain is fat, but it runs on sugar. And fat is not carbs. When metabolized from body stores it is turned to sugar. But when fat is consumed, that's not what feeds the brain. Fat gets stored.  That chocolate craving you get in the afternoon? That's really the brain calling for fruit. So why is HCFS fructose a problem but when consumed in the whole fruit it is not? Fiber. Fiber blocks sugar/carbs and fat absorbtion in the gut.  The equation is not totally calories consumed=calories delivered to the body. Fruit juice is little better than soda because it lacks the fiber.  Fruits with the least fiber have the least sugar, the  higher the sugar, the higher the fiber content as well. Except for grapes. They break that rule. 
     
  18. maryb

    maryb

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    I ate a lot of meat and potatoes growing up... hamburgers were often, roast beef on Sundays, meatloaf, meatballs in cream of mushroom soup gravy(I still make this, it is tasty! Same for meatloaf!), mom baked chicken which was horribly bland, dad did not like spicy food so salt and pepper were the only seasoning in a lot of foods. Mom made an egg noodle/hamburger/tomato dish she called goulash that was okay but it was better the next day fried in a pan until crispy. Potato soup with bacon was cheap to feed a family of 7 back in the 60's and 70's...

    We ate very little processed food, we couldn't afford it. Vegetables came from the garden and what we canned/froze for the winter. We also canned a lot of apples, froze a lot of rhubarb...

    I cook from fresh every day still(or use leftovers from whatever I made day before), eat a lot of salads, still eat a lot of beef because I get it cheap.
     
  19. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    So funny, Mike & Pete!

    I hadn't really thought about Adele Davis in a long time until a couple of weeks ago when tourist from S. America came into the bookstore where I work part time, asking for one of her books--they've all been out of print forever.

    In adulthood a carob chip has never darkened my door, though my mother did for a time make a pathetic and utterly failed attempt to convince us children that it was a viable alternative to chocolate. Her heart was clearly not in it and she gave up on that effort pretty quickly.

    The most disgusting thing I remember was this awful concoction of tomato juice and dessicated liver powder my mother used to try to make us drink in the mornings. Mint-flavored cod liver oil was another hated morning ritual.

    The only thing I still eat every day from Adele's recommendations is yogurt. I eat lots and lots of yogurt, but can't stomach the flavored ones--too sweet. 

    I think the impact of the 60s & 70s health food craze on my eating habits is more reflected in what I don't eat than what I do eat. As an adult I have never eaten fast food, don't care for most fried things, have never craved soda. My mom was never a stellar cook. I honestly can't remember what we actually ate for dinners once she gave up the processed junk. When I became an adult, I became vegetarian and for 30 years or so my nutrition bible was Laurel's Kitchen. It was never my favorite cookbook, though. It was really hard to make a good meal out of all of that earnestness. 
     
  20. joannanyc

    joannanyc

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    My mother was inspired by the Better Homes and Gardens and Betty Crocker style of cooking.  Sandra Lee's Semi-Home Cooking reminds me of what we were fed in the 70s.  Quick, easy, canned frozen or packaged, but as an "enhancement" of meat, not a frozen meal.  Some of the recipes still haunt me today (in a bad way), slumgullion and leftover turkey "chow mein," etc.  My parents did make roasts, meatballs, sauce, fried chicken cutlets and such on some weekends, but relied too much on canned and frozen vegetables.  Honestly, except for holidays I do not think we ever had real mashed potatoes or a fresh vegetable. To me, this was a road map of what not to serve in my house.