Marshmallow Stars

I’ve been thinking about the shit I ate when I was a kid. Not at home, since if one is at my mother’s, the conversation goes like this:

Me: I’m hungry.
Mom: Eat an apple.

Has there ever been a more depressing answer in the history of time beyond, “Eat an apple”?

Perhaps:

Me: I’m hungry.
Mom: Eat an apple. Also, an anvil is about to crash onto your head.

But I can’t be sure. The latter might be preferable.

I detest apples. Which, by the way, every time I say this to my mother, she says, “No, you don’t” as if I have no concept of what I do or don’t like. Or she expresses surprise, as if I used to be Johnny Appleseed.

I have always hated apples.

The only apple I can stomach is a Granny Smith, and by the way, whoever came up with that name really went to town. Are the green apples in the Witness Protection Program? Granny Smith. Why not Granny Schwinkendorf? Granny Rose Blossom? Granny Horkheimer?

Mild cheddar was the only other readily available snack at my mother’s house, the only other thing that you didn’t have to heat up the oven and get the mixer out to have. It was your only choice beyond the mealy-mouthed red apple.

Mild cheddar. The Melanie Hamilton of cheese.

It’s no wonder I was so thin in my youth. Sally Struthers should have been standing tearfully in front of our house, begging someone to send me some sharp white cheddar.

So, no. I’m talking about the sugar mecca that was gramma’s. If she saw a commercial for something bad for you, you didn’t even have to ask. She’d stampede for it. I remember when I was older, and my cousin Katie the Lesbian was a child, gramma said, “We’re going out to eat. Katie says she’s Wendy’s kind of people.”

That was all it took. Katie knew how she wanted it: hot off the grill.

But that’s ’80s food. I’m talking ’70s food. Back when food was fantastic.

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For example, Snack Packs didn’t have any namby-pamby foil lid. It was a real can, and you could cut your lips off with the lid. But oh, it was worth it.

That’s the problem with kids today. Everything’s too safe. We’re raising a generation of mild cheddars. They don’t have to worry about getting shards of their Click-Clack in their eye,

click_clacks__650x300_a01_11or or doing a unicorn impression with a jart.

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My gramma had her Snack Packs in the bottom of a narrow cupboard between the stove and the sink. There was also a mousetrap down there, so you had the possibility of dinner and a show. And it was a real, cartoon, SNAP mousetrap. It didn’t really dawn on me to be appalled by it. I’d just shout, “GRAMMA!” when a mouse was in there.

“Oh, shit. Okay. I’m coming,” she’d say.

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This orange juice came in individual-servings cans, as well, and I believe you had to actually puncture the top of the can with the pointy part of a can opener. I mean, it took some work. You were practically a cave woman, hunting a mastodon.

I always admired the orange women; I thought they were pretty. They seem sort of in on a secret, don’t they? They’re wrong. YOU’RE ALL GETTING JUICED TO DEATH, BITCHES.

Also, in All in the Family, which was on around the time my gramma diet consisted of pudding and orange juice, Archie Bunker was often holding a can, and I thought, man, he drinks a lotta orange juice.

I never said I was a gifted child.

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This was a cereal I insisted gramma get, and then I hated. I don’t know how to tell you this, but it was too sweet. But it had 100% of my minimum requirements of vitamins and iron.

That can’t possibly be true. What, did it have kale in it? How is that possible? Also, this cereal was emoji cereal. No wonder I hated it.

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I was just looking at all the other Google images of cereal from the ’70s, and came across this. Oh, FUCK YEAH. Why is this not available right now?

Anyway.

I know a lot of why I loved this stuff was because it was at gramma’s. Her overly warm house, the cuckoo clock, people coming in and out the front door, bringing the Michigan cold in with them. Her mostly empty upstairs, because all the kids had moved out, that housed her Real Romance magazines and my Uncle Jim’s drums that I never, ever touched for fear he would actually break my bones.

You can’t help but enjoy something served to you by a person who thinks you hung the moon, when really all you are is a riby midwestern 8-year-old. You can’t help but enjoy something when you know your arthritic grandmother saw that brightly colored box in the store aisle and bought it, knowing she’d never be eating it and saw no reason for it other than it delighted her granddaughter.

So, bad food equals love. I know that.

But if you served me some Snack Pack Butterscotch at Tarantula Fest, over at the tent where everyone is vomiting cilantro, I’d still stop everything and say, “Goddammit, this is marvelous.”

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Author: June

At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

90 thoughts on “Marshmallow Stars”

  1. This is amazing. Chips Ahoy(!) always makes me think of my Grandpa. He used to get up SO early in the morning and eat cookies at the kitchen table while he read old western paperbacks. Then he’d go sit on the front porch and chew Red Man tobacco. My Grandma kept a hearty supply of Klondike bars in the freezer which accounted for the 10lbs I gained one summer while I stayed with them.

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  2. Also? Drink a glass of water.

    When I moved out I went to the grocery store and bought everything I wasn’t allowed to eat. Ding dongs! With that thin silver paper. Lucky charms. Yep.

    My fond good memories of my grandfather were going to Van de Kamps and bringing back a box of their cinnamon rolls. He always had grapenut flakes and coke on hand.

    Sweet memories!

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  3. Neither of my grandmothers compared to yours. I’m jealous. My one grandmother boiled everything. She made decent mashed potatoes, but served them with an overly-boiled slab of (sometimes undefinable) meat and extremely overly-boiled tired looking (probably canned) (gag) vegetables. And Wonder bread at every meal. And then she sent us home with sandwiches made of the overly-boiled meat and Wonder bread in what she called a “crash bag.” Very unnerving as we got in our car to drive home from Brooklyn. “Here’s your crash bag!” I should eat this sandwich if we crash? I could eat a sandwich while my parents dealt with the cops and ambulance? Bouncing around the back seat with no seat belt or anything, while my parents puffed away on probably non-filter cigarettes, hotboxing the car with second-hand smoke, clutching my crash bag.

    My other grandmother didn’t cook. When it was a holiday she had it catered and hired people to serve. I KNOW. She could maybe manage a sandwich. Fun fact: years later we drove from NY to Florida to visit them after they retired. The trip was hellish. I doubt our car was air-conditioned, but if it was, it was one of those after-market ACs jammed under the front dash that was basically useless. So we finally arrive and old gourmet grandma had make lunch: peanut butter sandwiches on raisin bread. Just what every exhausted traveler wants in the broiling heat. I thought my father would die. (His mother was the boiling grandmother. No cook grandmother was my mother’s stepmother. I never knew my mother’s mother. TMI, I know.)

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    1. Paula, this made me laugh snort; “Bouncing around the back seat with no seat belt or anything, while my parents puffed away on probably non-filter cigarettes, hotboxing the car with second-hand smoke, clutching my crash bag.”

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    2. Haha! I remember no seat belt and being hot-boxed with second-hand smoke. Those were the good old days. We would have been in desperate need of a “Crash Bag” in the event of an accident. The family vehicle was a VW Bug – no doors in the back, and the windows didn’t open.

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  4. One grandmother died when I was only 5 so I don’t remember foods she cooked or served me. My other grandmother served me plenty of not-so-healthy foods, and she’s still alive and serving it up! She’s famous for her macaroni and cheese. It’s very good, and if she shows up to a family party without it, we all give her grief. She is also of the fried pork chop era. She would dredge thin pork chops in seasoned flour and fry them up like chicken fried steak and then make gravy with the pan drippings. Have mercy! SO GOOD! She has a sweet tooth so there were always plenty of baked treats. The store-bought junk food I remember begging for was Jiffy-Pop! She always bought it for me.

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    1. I would tear up a fried pork chop right now. My Aunt Sue makes them and I may have to call her RIGHT NOW and demand a visit and fried pork chops.

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  5. There is so much funny today. “You had the possibility of dinner and a show” killed me dead just like the mouse.

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  6. The Sally Struthers comment made me glad I didn’t have coffee in my mouth. I forgot about those commercials!

    Butterscotch snack packs were my favorite. They were such a treat if I had to take my lunch. I lived close enough to school that I went home for lunch most days.

    I don’t remember the Frosted Flakes lip balm at all. What I do remember is Maybelline Kissing Potion. It was thick, shiny, came in a roller bottle, and had flavors like cola, mint, etc. Any Jr. High girl that wanted to be stylish applied between classes.

    I was the midlife surprise of my parents. One set of grandparents had passed and the others were done with grandparenting–not warm and fuzzy at all. I had a childless, elderly couple who were distant relatives. They would spoil me with those little glass bottles of Coca Cola and handfuls of Fannie May lollipops.

    I really enjoyed this post. Continuing to support June with Amazon click-throughs.

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      1. I hope you’re getting credit from my Amazon purchases. I have that blue seagrass page bookmarked and that’s how I arrive at Amazon…and spend way too much.

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  7. After reading your memories about your gramma, I always hope that my grandkids will remember me so fondly after I am dead.

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  8. I don’t recall having any junk food at home or at either of my grandmother’s houses. I just remember both grandmothers and my mother being fantastic cooks. Does this mean I was deprived as a child?

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  9. Love and Love. I was always excited to go to Gramma’s house post-Christmas because: 1) I would get a cool gift like an Elvis t-shirt or a Pet Rock, 2) I would mess with Jimmy’s drums, 3) She would make macaroni and cheese with tomatoes, and 4) Your mom and Kathy would take us to the movies-which my parents never did. “Katy, if your parents ever get divorced, I will blame your mother, even if it wasn’t her fault.”

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    1. DID GRAMMA SAY THAT? Oh my god.

      Also, YOU TOUCHED UNCLE JIM’S DRUMS? Why were you Detroit girls so above reproach? He’d have kicked my ass to Bridgeport.

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  10. I forgot all about those little puddings in the can- I loved them so much! My grandma always had them too, but she had Del Monte brand because my grandpa worked at the Del Monte plant in the booming metropolis of Dekalb, IL.

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    1. Oooo, didn’t they also have Del Monte fruit salad? It had, like, 200% sugar syrupy stuff? I used to pick out all the cherries, which are right up there with the mackintoshes, for me.

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      1. Yes, and they had ones with just sliced peaches as well which my grandma always had next to the pudding. Man, I haven’t thought about those in years- they were my favorite in all their sugary, teeth-rotting deliciousness.

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          1. OK, you got me. I rarely post, but sliced peaches are my jam.

            My mother was and is pretty hopeless in the kitchen. All three of us kids have a VIVID memory of a school day when we were out of milk for our cereal, so Mom served us Sugar Crisp cereal with the syrup from a can of peaches. She denies the whole thing.

            I’d be into a spoonful of Sugar Crisp right now, if I could brush my teeth immediately after.

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            1. Sugar Crisp cereal with the syrup from a can of peaches and mom denying it ever happened. Can not stop laughing!!!!

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  11. We used to swipe those Snak-pak puddings from the cupboard – they were only for my dad’s lunch, not for the underclass. He also had those delicious mandarin oranges in sweet, sweet juice – oh we loved those.

    Paula – my mom is a boiler, too. Even her oven roasted meats end up boiled, as she fills the pan half full with water and pops on the lid and commences “roasting” for 8-10 hours. And her boiled vegetables are always cooked until gray. Always. And if we were still hungry, we had to eat a piece of “gravy bread” – Wonder bread with gravy. Which we always had at dinner. Who makes gravy every ding and dong day MOTHER?

    Both of my grandmas were wonderful cooks – they could either of them whip up a meal from the contents of the ice box with only a moments notice and feed two dozen people. The story of Jesus and the bread and fish never seemed all that miraculous to me – my grandmas did that all the time.

    The problem with being a grandma today is two-fold: A. kids are allowed to be REALLLLY picky and B. parents get REALLLY angry if you feed the kids the things you know they would like versus what they are supposed to eat. So you gotta be the drudge instead of the “let’s have waffles with ice cream for breakfast and s’mores for dinner!” grandma. Which is when I got in big trouble.

    Thanks for the memories June! Eating when eating was good!

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  12. Not embarrassed to admit I AM that grandma. You want milk? Of course, it’s chocolate milk. I stock up whenever they’re coming over. Because, yes, they did hang the moon!

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  13. My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved a lot and never lived near either set of grandparents. However, when we moved back to the States from a stint in Spain, we kids got to stay the summer with my dad’s parents. They were poor and strict. I recall having to write my numbers on paper up into the hundred thousands, and millions. Summer was not to be wasted as an opportunity to learn. But, my grandma would then give us a favorite treat… sliced bananas in a bowl sprinkled with sugar and covered in milk. We were sooooo poor, at home we never got bananas or sugar or milk!
    When I was older, I got to spend a summer with my mom’s sister and cousins at their home in Toronto. I got to bring my own money I had saved and I think I spent it all on chocolate jello pudding pops. Man those things were good!

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  14. Both my grandmothers and mother for that matter were awesome cooks, may they all rest in peace fighting over who does the cooking in heaven. My Italian grandmother, who was actually Irish was a great cook as back then she had to go live with my grandfather’s mother for a week to learn how to cook all of his Italian favorites before they got married. Can you imagine if they did that today, it would probably be more of Aidan only eats gluten free, vegan entries from the overly priced pop up place….My other grandmother was a home economics teacher so she knew her stuff and her and my mom made my prom dress. You could always count on homemade soup before every single meal with the Italian grandmother and it was always awesome. My other grandmother would run out to the garden in the summer for lettuce and tomato for your salad and fresh cucumbers. YUM.

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  15. My mother did let us have sugar.(Why so chubby? TM June) We had all kinds of sugary cereals, donuts and sometimes sticky buns with rasins that her dad who lived with us bought for us. We didn’t have candy, ice cream and soda all the time but for kiddie birthday parties and holidays, always. My one grandmother, the half Amish one, died before I was born. She was a great cook and dessert maker I have been told. My dad’s mom had diabetes so she did tell us to drink water and was big on portion control. They did keep some sweets and soda in the house for us grandkids and they bought us the best shell eggs with homemade nonpariels and foil eggs from Shane’s, a famous old time candy store in Center City (Downtown) Philadelphia. It’s still there.
    I like Granny Smith Apples too. My mother liked the mushy golden delicious. Blech! Pink Ladies are tart and crisp too, but less tart.
    I am a buterscotch fan also. My friend’s husband is a retired mailman. For thirty plus years he took the same lunch, a ham sandwich, Tastykake butterscotch krimpets, and a butterscotch snack pack pudding. I know he still eats the ham, I ‘m not sure about the other stuff.
    We had Hawiian Punch Fruit Jiucy Red in the can at home and we used the puncture style can opener too.
    @Paula H&B, I remember gagging on those smoke fumes in a closed car too. What Asthma? I remember going around the block to the corner Candy Store to buy Lucky Strikes for my dad at a pretty young age too.

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  16. I also BEGGED my mom for that damnable Kaboom cereal. That was the most disgusting cereal I have ever eaten in my life, and I say that as a cereal connoisseur. It tasted like cardboard and disappointment.

    I had a giant Dr. Pepper lip balm that you could wear as a necklace when I was a kid. Man, I loved that thing. Every two minutes I was slathering it on my 9-year-old lips because I had a slight Dr. Pepper addiction back then.

    When I think of my 70s/80s childhood, Little Debbie is at the front of every memory. She was my best friend. And yes, I was a little chubby then. As I am now, also. Oh well, worth it.

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    1. Nutty Bars are the best thing ever! Wait – do they still make them? And I had a Twinkie a few weeks ago – WHAT? I needed cash so I popped into The WalMart and it was the first $1.00 thing I spotted! – and it was terrible! I ate a Twinkie and two cartons of milk (one chocolate, one white – mix together Delightful!) every single day of high school and those things were like manna from heaven! Maybe it was just because I was always starving myself until lunch – whoever made up “intermittent fasting” must have been following me around from grade 8 – 12. I weighed about 100 lbs – I certainly could have had two chocolate milks.

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  17. Great post! Obviously triggered tons of memories for one and all. I’ll spare you mine, except to say that my paternal-Presbyterian-abstaining-wouldn’t-participate-in-wedding-toasts-grandparents would have been appalled in they ever saw the full service bar setup in my maternal-casino-owning-grandparents’ basement. I’m not sure they ever even met, come to think of it.

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  18. I don’t like apples either. The skin gets stuck in my teeth and pisses me off. Also do not like maraschino cherries. Yuck.

    I remember my Mamaw buying us Smurfs cereal and I loved it. And they always had a bowl of several candies. My Papaw liked those nasty orange circus peanuts. But there were also M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, and Hershey Kisses. And bonbons which my Papaw called something very racist.

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  19. We would go to visit my paternal grandparents and my grandpa would ALWAYS send each of us (there were 5 of us) off with a box of Cracker Jacks and a chocolate bar for the two hour drive home. He was a grumpy man by nature, but he never missed giving us those Jacks. My dad does that for our kids now.
    When we visited my maternal grandparents they would take all of us kids out for breakfast and we could order ANYTHING we wanted, anything. But we had to eat it all, we weren’t allowed to leave anything on the plate. Those were the days of breakfast at Sambo’s. Do they exist anymore?
    My great grandma lived near a corner market and she would let us walk to the market and get some treats. My favorite at that time was the candy cigarettes. I thought I was oh so worldly blowing that sugar out the end of that gum cigarette. They are all gone now and I miss them so much.

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  20. Another apple hater here. And my mom thought either an apple or a mixture of peanuts and raisins were a great after-school snack. I think raisins are made by Satan himself.

    I took gymnastics as a kid and they had a vending machine with those teeny tiny cans of juice. I think they were a quarter. I would be sweating my ass off from doing an hour or more of gymnastics and that would be my reward. A can that held about 2 swallows of juice. Pfft.

    Mam-ma was our junk food hook up but she lived 3 or 4 hours away down in south Georgia. She always had a giant container of malted milk balls for us upon arrival. We ate sugary cereal and she’d let us have a cup of coffee each morning. She would make fried fat back which we devoured and after I grew up and realized what it was, I was disgusted. Vienna sausage from the can was lunch a few different days while we visited. Poppie would make us home made ice cream in the churn and we’d spend at least one evening sitting outside at the round concrete table on those concrete benches that would tear your legs up cutting up a huge watermelon and eating it with sticky juice covering us from head to toe. And then Mam-ma would make us false teeth out of the watermelon rind.

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  21. I love everyone’s food stories. My dad’s mom was from Greece so she was always making baklava, kourambiedes, koulouria, chicken pilaf. Her American speciality was vanilla pudding with Nilla wafers and banana slices, so good on a hot Shreveport day when you are 10 years old. Other grandma I called cocktail food grandma. Unfilitered camels, manhattans, shrimp pate and smoked oysters. Breakfast was a camel and black coffee. For her, not me. I got Kellogs cereal, never Post, cause Kellogs sponsored the local TV show my dad directed.

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  22. My deceased grandmother is telling me to stop laughing at the little girl up there with the jart stuck in her head because that is NOT FUNNY and he could have put her eye out and remember when that little Shattuck girl on the corner got an arrow in her head when her mother let them play with a real bow and arrow and what in the world is wrong with people these days now sit down and have a piece of Juicy Fruit and play with the peewees while Grandma goes and puts on her face.

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  23. I never knew any of my grandparents, they had all passed before hand.
    I missed out on all of those memories.
    My mom would grocery shop and have two buggies worth of groceries and nothing to eat. She had to cook everything.
    When we were young my step dad would take us to the store every night and we got whatever we wanted. We would get cereal, candy, ice-cream, videos and sometimes fruit. They owned a pretty popular restaurant and would bring home food every night. Luckily I wasn’t stupid as I got older and would call in my order as soon as I got home. Filet Mignon and crackers augratin were my favorite.
    I also don’t like apples unless they are honeycrisp apples. They are freaking delicious but I do have to put chocolate on them because chocolate makes everything better.

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  24. I never had a pair of clickclacks and I wanted them so bad! My great Gramma used to buy that same orange juice. I can still remember how it tasted.

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  25. Both my grammas died before I was born. Seems like we had a ton of the carnation instant breakfast drinks in our house.

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  26. Grandma Teresa loved to bake and was pretty darn good at it too.
    Fresh made lemon meringue pie from scratch was a frequent treat.
    But we had to watch Lawrence Welk before she would serve us any pie.

    Grandma Mary was a much better cook but she made up for it with a stash
    of Twinkies and Frosty Root Beer. About 30 minutes before the ‘rents were coming
    back to pick us up out would come the treats. I think she had it timed that we would
    go into sugar rush launch mode just as Mom or dad turned the door knob.

    She was always smiling through the window as we left.

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  27. When we would visit my grandparents in Florida, my grandmother would make the most outrageously wonderful fried chicken on the first day of our visit. But as was tradition, before she could serve it, I had to press a little button to notify her when we were ready to eat. It wasn’t a butler’s button on a wall, it was a little growth she had on her knee. I would press that thing, and like magic, the chicken would be served. I swear for the first 6 years of my life, I thought that button was the only reason why we were fed. Yeah, I question my smarts, too. But I still dream about that chicken. Sadly, the recipe died with her.

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    1. Am trying so desperately from restraint from laughing my arse off while husband is watching the tv. Am now covering mouth. Must move on to other comments. OMG, dying. Growth on knee. Must redirect. Plunk.

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  28. @Beverly, We ate fried fatback too. My mother made it in a sauce to flavor one of the Polish dishes my dad liked. They got discarded once the sauce was made and we would fight over them. I don’t think I really know what they are made of exactly but I would eat them now if she served them to me. Another thing was sweet gerkins. The Polish potato and macaroni salads they made for holidays called for sweet gerkhin juice in the dressing. If we were in our pjs watching cartoons and eating gerkhins it was almost Christmas or Easter.

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    1. “If we were in our pjs watching cartoons and eating gerkhins it was almost Christmas or Easter.” June, your blog has everyone on the top of their game today.

      Top of their game? Tops of their games? Each person is on the top of his or her game? Well, almost everyone.

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  29. My Nana would come stay with us for a few weeks and then we would go stay with her during the summers. When she came to stay with us she always brought fancy foods, like Bigelow’s Constant Comment tea in a tin. The thing she always did that my parents never would was to give us money to put in the gum ball machines. Jaw breakers, plastic rings, tattoos, all sorts of crap for a quarter.

    When my sensible no-nonsense Grandma came to visit she brought exotic things like avocados.

    And I adore apples, especially Granny Smith.

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  30. I also dislike apples, and this will surprise no one: I don’t like any food that I have to get with my teeth. I like utensils. So the apple is out. And yes, I eat pizza with a knife and fork and don’t start with me.

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  31. Both grammas were incredible cooks. I inherited my paternal gramma’s recipes after she died. I still make some of them, and am in awe of all the work she put into everything. Every birthday, she’d make me a chocolate cake with white frosting and coconut, and to this day I think of her every year. We lived next door to her when I was little, and she wasn’t happy until all three of us were full of sugar. Then she’d send us home.
    After we moved away, my father got a job working for Hostess, and the house was crammed with Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Snoballs, cupcakes, and donuts. And I wonder why I was such a fat kid!

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  32. Also, Beverly and June, I agree about the raisins. I love red grapes, but every now and then I get one that’s a little too old and it gags the hell out of me.

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  33. Thanks for this lovely picture of my mother. She really loved you. I can remember from my childhood the first time I was influenced by a television commercial aimed at kids. (Keep in mind that I am of the generation who remembers when we got our very first tv). Anyway, it was for Maltomeal a malt flavored grain cereal eaten hot. She bought it for me and I hated it. It was horrible, but I can still hear that commercial. Funny I can’t picture it since it was a visual medium.

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    1. Mother, as one of five siblings to a single mother in the 70s, Maltomeal meant the child support check actually showed up in the mail. I haven’t thought about that in decades and it’s making me smile and want Maltomeal now.

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  34. My grandparents got me hooked on Reese’s peanut butter cups and a Cherry Coke. My grandmother also made THE BEST homemade biscuits. My aunt would come visit me and stock my play kitchen with Carnation breakfast bars. My mom found them and thought I had an eating disorder and was hoarding food at six years old. Why did they discontinue Carnation breakfast bars????

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  35. Coot, great post! Triggers great memories.

    Both my grandmothers, and my mom, were good cooks. I have all my mom’s recipes and some of her mother’s (in their handwriting). We never ate out and we didn’t get cereal (I always wanted the Frosted Flakes), because my mom or my grandmother always cooked breakfast. My mom’s parents lived in Atlanta, so we were always at their house. My other grandmother lived in north Georgia and we only saw her three or four times a year. Both grandmothers made homemade biscuits, fried fatback and put it in the biscuits with mustard. They both would make toast in the broiler of the stove with pats of butter on the white bread, when they didn’t make biscuits. My granddad would have watermelons in the summer and he would put them under the bed to cool and we always put salt on them. He would always let us have some of his coffee that had lots of sugar and cream and poured in the saucer to cool. Atlanta grandmother always had real Cokes in the small bottles in the ice box (that’s what she called the refrigerator) and homemade tea cakes or cakes and all sorts of candy in the candy dish in the living room (orange slice candy, candy corn or M & Ms). She also cooked the BEST fried chicken in the world, fried okra and fried corn, which was field corn and not the sweet corn. All food in the south was fried when I was growing up. No one ever baked anything. My north Georgia Grandma always cooked great meals from vegetables she had canned and made the best pound cake. She would have homemade vegetable soup and cornbread. My brother and I loved homemade soup so much we would eat it for breakfast.

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  36. I loved my Grandma’s house! She lived in a small town on the edge of a park, so her YARD was part of the park. She would always make scalloped potatoes and ham in a big red pot with a cover, and it was THE BEST. I have tried to make it, and it is not even close to hers. I have mastered her scalloped corn, and her fudge pie though!

    When we visited, we always played cards at her kitchen table, or we would play Yahtzee! I also remember sneaking up to the attic, you had to be careful not to step off the path or you could fall through the ceiling, or so I was told. I was always VERY careful.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  37. Thanks for all of the great memories! I remember my grandparents always having a big pitcher of, what they called, “nectar” out when I came over. Nectar made it sound so nutritious, but when I took a swig I knew it was straight up Kool-Aid. As a kid I always assumed they just called it that so my mom wouldn’t know they were really just serving me Kool-Aid, but now I think they just liked how it sounded.

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  38. I am a Southern girl and food is a religion. Many of my memories of a wonderful childhood have to do with foods and the lovely people who prepared it. I remember dinners on the grounds at church and my Mother telling me which dishes to avoid because she knew the preparer was s bad
    cook.
    Thanks for the great memories!

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  39. I LOVE THIS POST, JOOOOOOB!!!!!!!!

    If there’s ever a dinner party option in heaven, I will make sure my three grandmas will be there. I would share how each of them impacted me with their food. One of my grams was in mental health institutions (facilities) most of her life and I still remember the lunches we had with her in dining halls at the different facilities plain as day, every bit as much as the amazing home cooking of the 2nd gram and the delicious 70s shake-n-bake chicken and iceberg wedge with French dressing of my step-gram.

    Those individual butterscotch puddings were the best!

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