Monday, June 18, 2012

Yummy Childhood Memories

I grew up in a small town in North East Penna. on a dead end. The house was old, and cold and drafty with a coal furnace in the dirt floor cellar. Dad had to rip off the old wood shingles and re-roof the whole house. In the 70's the old house stood on stilts as a new cinder block basement was built underneath by my dad and his friend who taught him masonry.  I remember bats flying around the house form the attic, and an old coal stove in the kitchen.. the pipe ran through the ceiling into the bedroom I shared with my sister. An old drunk dies of the DT's in our bedroom many years earlier before I was born, but I swear it was NOT a haunted room or house.. although the old steam radiators did sound like a man deep breathing in his sleep. I remember us kids running though the corn field being the house and getting yelled at by the farmer.. Later I'd run through the alfalfa he planted as I took a shortcut to my cousins house.. and get yelled at for that too.

Do I remember the food I ate back then? Let's see.. Mom made baked chicken every Sunday for a while.. It was a whole chicken cut up and coated with melted margarine and sprinkled with garlic salt, paprika and pepper. I still LOVE that chicken.. so does my son now..MOM makes it for my dad's family reunion every year..I make it with chicken thighs every once in a while.. try it sometime.. it's very moist! Bake it for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

I remember Dinner In A Bowl..  A Stew/Soup.. with Italian sausage, ham, cabbage, carrots, potatoes and onions.. Very tasty..

And venison roasts cooked in a pressure cooker.. the gravy was VERY rich and strongly flavored. The pressure cooker makes it so tender it falls off the bones. I cook my Beef roasts the same way. A 2 pound chuck roast cooks for at least 45 minutes, then I remove the meat and cook at least 3 pounds of carrots in the beef juices for a mere 4 minutes in the pressure cooker before making the gravy to serve over the meat and mashed potatoes. I admit to using instant potatoes from time to time.. No one cares! That's the whole meal:  beef, carrots mashed potatoes and gravy. I use onion powder, Mrs. Dash Original, and beef broth the cook the roast in the pressure cooker. Many times now I've used Chicken Soup Base instead of broth.. It's cheaper..

I remember Dad going to the corner store and buying Hershey's Ice cream for himself and Fudgo's and Orange Blossoms and chocolate coated vanilla ice cream for us kids.. Did would eat half a gallon one night and the other half the next night..  Even cutting the box in half to save himself the dirty bowl. Many a time he's pored Root beer or dark birch beer soda over a bowl of ice cream. He kept adding more soda as he ate.. He still does that.. LOL

When I was growing up my main meal for breakfast was "COCOA AND TOAST" We ate and drank so much of it Mom made her own instant cocoa powder mix from Carnation instant milk, coffee mate and Nestle's sweetened cocoa powder.. We just added boiling water and milk to cool it down. Then she'd go down town to the nearest bread bakery and buy day old bread every week. At least 8 loaves of bread.. I'm not kidding. My older sister and I ate 4 sliced of margarine slathered toast with our cocoa. I dunked my toast in the hot cocoa I still do today. Mom bought one pound bricks of margarine. Us kids didn't even like butter back then..But we love it now.. LOL My youngest sister and I are the only ones to eat COCOA AND TOAST  these days. It's best to use reconstituted evaporated milk, Hershey's dark cocoa powder sweetened with sugar and crunchy toasted homemade bread with real butter.

I can go on and on about food from the good old days..

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