Monday, February 9, 2009

The Flavors of My Childhood

  1. Raspberry- They grow all over the place. When I was in Alaska last September, I spent a significant amount of time stuffing myself from roadside patches and hoping I wasn't feasting on someone's unharvested bounty.
  2. Verner's Ginger Ale- "Barrel Aged, Bold Taste. A Michigan Tradition Since 1888." Mom grew up in Michigan and this stuff used to be hard to find. We'd drink it whenever we visited my gramma in Clawson. Now it's been bought by 7-Up and is available in just about every major supermarket.
  3. Salmon- Alaska has fairly liberal subsistence laws, and we had several friends who set-netted and regularly caught more than they could use. Our freezer was always well stocked with quality fish, a fact I never really appreciated until I moved to the Lower 48 and paid high prices for farmed salmon.
  4. Cranberry-orange relish- Mom was a pretty good cook when she could be bothered. This was her special holiday dish, fresh oranges and cranberries ground together in a meat grinder never used for anything else. While it was always seasoned well, it was never sweet enough for me.
  5. Rum balls- Straight from The Joy of Cooking, dusted with powdered sugar, a holiday treat that did satisfy my sweet tooth.
  6. Fried tofu- Mom would use it in sweet-and-sour, or sometimes just serve plain. The closest approximation I've been able to find is the deep fried tofu triangles appetizer at Sweet Pink Pepper on Santa Monica.


Sass said...

Cranberry Orange relish...with a jello type consistency was something my grandmother always made.

And these sugar cookies that literally shattered the minute they hit your tongue. No cookie recipe has ever replicated that sensation.

Sun tea, still warm from being outside.

Mashed potatoes with think chunks of potato still in them.

Mulberries picked off the bushes by the creek we'd walk to after dinner.

Meadow Gold chocolate ice cream, but it had to be served in a wine glass...

My grandmother is in a nursing home. A shell of herself. Alzheimer's has taken everything but her physical body...I'm sitting here in tears looking at the list, but am so thankful you brought them to mind tonight...

Sass said...

make that "thick" chunks...not "think." I'm silly.

Cat said...

Ok, my mouth is totally watering now. My mom made tuna cassarole when I was a kid, tuna and canned peas and cream of mushroom soup, with potato chips crushed over the top. YUCK. It really was as bad as it sounds. That's the only strong flavor I'm coming up with at the moment. It's amazing you remember so much!

apathetic bliss said...

#2 Verner's Ginger mom grew up in Detroit where I was born too before moving to BC....we would go back to Michigan once or twice every year and would always pick up Verner's as soon as we got there!!!