What’s for Dinner?

All that reminiscing that’s been going on around the blog lately inevitably leads to food memories. Who doesn’t remember a dish, a meal or a dinner out that’s wrapped up in all kinds of nostalgia?

One of the early readers for The Memory of Drowning said it made her hungry. She also suspected that I was reliving some special meals from my past. She was right. So today I thought I’d share some favorite “recipes” that take me back to childhood.

SUGAR BREAD
Mom churned our butter when I was growing up. She had a glass churn with a threaded lid and attached dasher that allowed us to watch the butter come. Once she had worked all the water out, she would salt and pack all that creamy goodness in a mold. What was left in the bowl became a treat for my brothers and I.
Ingredients:
-Slices of light bread
-Butter leftover in the bowl
-Sugar
Spread freshly made butter right up to the edges of the bread, then sprinkle it with a coating of sugar. Hand off to children and make them go outside to eat it.

WHIPPED CREAM TOPPERS
Not only did cream go to make butter, it was also used for whipped cream. Mom made chocolate pudding from scratch and topped it with snowy peaks of cream. Any leftover whipped cream would deflate, so she would make these toppers.
Ingredients:
-Heavy cream
-Sugar
-Vanilla
-Waxed Paper
Use a mixer to whip the cream–you can do it by hand with a whisk if you’re determined. (You might even burn enough calories to make up for the cream.) As the cream begins to form soft peaks, add sugar to taste. Make sure the sugar dissolves before you stop whipping, but don’t go so far as to start making butter. Apply whipped cream liberally to pies, puddings or hot chocolate as needed. Spread out waxed paper on a cookie sheet that will fit in your freezer. Spoon dollops of leftover whipped cream onto paper and freeze. Reserve for use any time ice cream would fit the bill.

There were also more complex dishes like fried yellow squash, roasted pork (step #1, raise a hog), homemade sausage, cakes, cookies, pies and on and on. My mom was and still is a good cook. And my dad can bake biscuits that make jelly glad it’s not juice. Every dish, every taste and aroma carries me back. Love and memory and food–all rolled into something that comes out to be–me.

Q4U- What’s your favorite food memory?

2 thoughts on “What’s for Dinner?

  1. The only time I remember eating veal and loving it was when my Mom would brown cubes of it and make gravy from the “brownings” and serve it over noodles. She also taught us to love scrambled calves brains and eggs. But the 2 best things I remember were squirrel gravy over white sweet potatos and a sweetened milk gravy over a square of warm white cake. Oh… and there was the hot applesauce raisin cake after school, the “Bycracky Bars,” chocolate cake with seafoam frosting and the hot oatmeal we had before being tucked in on a camping trip after a long fun filled day in the outdoors. I guess the really best thing is remembering her teaching me how to cook and adding all that hidden love!

  2. Oh, so many nostalgic foods come to mind, cornbread being foremost:) My granny made it for every meal but breakfast when she made biscuits. Lots of butter on that cornbread – and it wasn’t sweet like Yankee cornbread! I loved her sausage gravy, too, which is delectable on cornbread or anything. I still make it and my men love it. I’ve been working on my Thanksgiving menu and am ashamed it’s so BIG. But my mom is doing half so our love for cooking (and leftovers) shines through:)

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