chinese_takeoutAll work and no play makes Gypsy a little Wenchie, so yes, I play. I waste time for a little bit each day and dump my brain, clear my head. I play some mindless game on Facebook while I’m waking up with coffee, and visit again after work—or when the muse is being evil. And I spend my first smoke break of each work day checking my horoscope, because I usually need a good giggle right about then.

It’s a fun game, that smoke break. I check Pisces and Cancer… I happen to be a fish and know a few other fish & crabs. If I don’t like the message, or it doesn’t hold true for me, I just assume it’s for one of the others with that sign. Yesterday’s offered this tidbit:

“Think back to your favorite childhood meal and recreate it for someone you love today. It’s a great time for good food, good company and ever better chatter. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy—you just need to enjoy each other’s company in a comfortable manner. Go ahead and call that special person and tell them what you have in mind. They should be ecstatic.”

I didn’t actually read anything beyond the first line. That one stumped me. Favorite childhood meal? And then a little voice inside my head screamed “Garage talk!”

Now, because of my answer, we’re going to tweak this just a bit for the purpose of Thursday and you obviously don’t have to go cook it. What was your favorite childhood meal? Think back… If not a particular meal, or even with it, what great food memory do you have?

When I was a kid, my parents had this tradition. On your birthday, you got to choose the restaurant. Sometimes it was just me and them, sometimes it was the whole family. From ten to eighteen, I always, always, always chose Jade Fountain. I’ve loved Chinese food for as long as I can remember. I blame my mother’s stint as a waitress at Bob’s Chop Suey when I was four—no, I didn’t use “Bob” as a generic like I used to, that’s the actual name of the place. I remember the narrow stairs that led to the second floor restaurant. I remember the smells that hit halfway up those stairs. And I have fond memories of Bob’s kitchen—and the little candies they used to feed me. We went to Jade Fountain when I was about ten. I was sold for life. Hell, I’d still go there in a heartbeat when visiting if the opportunity arose. The atmosphere is outstanding. Fountains and Buddhas and koi ponds and rich, culture-filled chewy goodness everywhere you looked.

For childhood triggers? Chinese food wins. It brings back Bob’s (which is sadly now a tanning salon) and Jade Fountain. It brings back meals of experimenting with flavor, laughing with family, and being the birthday girl at the table… ah crap, I just came up with an idea for another blog!

Your answer? (Mom, so help me BOB, if you email your answer instead of posting it this week… )

0 Responses to Yum

  • Kurt says:

    ummmm… hard one… but going to my granma’s (though to be honest my grandfather is the real cook of the family) as a kid i would kill her Linguini and Clam sauce and on my birthday she would make Carrot Cake with the creme cheese frosting (and to this day everytime i visist i try to get a loaf of zucinni bread out of her….ummmm Zucinni Bread….nom nom)

  • JimPI says:

    My mom wasn’t a great cook and she worked a lot of swing shifts and overnight shifts in a factory. Honestly, she’d put in 60+ hours a week if they’d let her, racking up the overtime. As a result of that, meals at home were often reheated stuff my brother and I would find in the fridge. Sunday nights, Mom would often make a huge pot of what was basically homemade hamburger helper – egg noodles, browned hamburger, and a mix of tomato soup and tomato paste. Bro and I would eat that for dinner 3-4 nights a week.

    Grandma’s fried chicken though was like manna from heaven. She didn’t make it often as when she did, it was an all day affair. Nothing but salt, pepper, and flour for the coating, fried in a cast iron skillet. I’ve been trying for years and still can’t come close to duplicating it.

  • wolfnoma says:

    This is easy since I have stolen all my mothers recipes so that I can recreate them now as an adult. AND since whenever we are together on my birthday we celebrate like we did back in the 70’s. The birthday child picks their own meal.

    My mom is from the Southern states and makes a mean Crispy Fried Chicken with REAL mashed potatoes, Real Macaroni and Cheese (This dish is BAKED with BACON), homemade corn bread and snap beans. and for desert… STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM!

    DROOL if you must but now I know what I am gonna make for dinner. Scuse me while I go to the grocery store now.

  • Jeff Prettyman says:

    My birhtday dinner of choice: Beef Stroganoff (made with Campbell’s Golden Mushroom Soup). The only change I have made over time , as a chef, to the recipe which my mom got off the soup can, is to add sauteed crimini mushrooms.

    Nana’s best meal (Dad’s mom): Spaghetti and meat sauce. They don’t come any less Italian than my grandmother, but her meat sauce-97% meat and 3% tomato sauce was awesome. I also loved the fact she called ground beef, “Hamburg meat”.

    Gramma’s best meal (Mom’s mom): Baked ham served with boiled potatoes and summer green beans. The ham was good, sweet and clovey, but the stars of the meal were the beans and potatoes cooked in agressively salty water with scraps from the ham. Just add a little butter and board the train to bliss.

    I also vividly remember sitting on the sofa, probably 11 years old, watching “The Planet of the Apes”, (CBS would show all 5 “Apes” movies on consecutive Fridys) while eating Cheetos and drinking a Dr. Pepper, and I thought, “If I could survive on this, I would never chose to eat or drink anything else.” I now ,sometimes, think the same thing about Cheez Its and beer. While still watching “The Planet of the Apes”.

  • Nikki says:

    Shake n Bake. It’s pretty low-brow and WT but I love it. It makes me happy. My mom was a single parent with four children (one of which she took from a loser parent cause she’s cool like that) and a full time job, so she barely had time to breathe, let alone cook. And this is hokey as shit, but I helped…and I loved it. Wet the chicken, toss it in the bag, pop it on the sheet tray. I helped mom, she enjoyed dinner a little more.

    I <3 Shake n Bake :D

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