Food Nostalgia: Monday Listicles


Obviously, I have been in a nostalgic mood lately with all my musings about the meaning of home.  Thus, today’s listicle will focus on the foods of my childhood “home”. These foods connect me to my family of origin and / or to my Swiss heritage.

Swiss Flag

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“The smell & taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us…”  ~Marcel Proust

1.  Knee Patches:  Most of my memories of my maternal great-grandmother surround the creation of these “nothings”.  The women on my mother’s side of the family gathered together after Christmas each year to make stacks upon stacks of these deep fat fried delicacies!  My job was to sprinkle them with sugar.

2.  Fried Pumpkin Blossoms:  We grow pumpkins in our garden primarily for the blossoms!  Dip them in flour and fry in butter / Crisco.  Salt / pepper to taste.  Serve sandwiched between sliced bread.  One of my favorite summer indulgences!

3.  Toffee:  My paternal grandmother made this treat every Christmas even when she was in an extended care facility.  She made the toffee with and without nuts so everyone would have some to their liking.  I have found it difficult to discern for myself when the cooked mixture “turns deep amber in color”.

4.  Homemade Crescent Rolls:  My paternal grandmother’s secret ingredient was mashed potatoes!

5.  Baby Swiss Cheese:  My paternal grandfather ate cheese daily with his fruit or pie.  He preferred it room temperature and thickly sliced.

6.  Ground Cherries:  My maternal grandmother made a variety of pies.  One of my favorites was made with ground cherries and tapioca.

7.  Swanson’s TV Dinners:  These were a special treat on the rare nights my parents left us at home with a babysitter.

8.  Stürm:  Sweetened strawberries, stale bread pieces and cream…heavenly!

9.  Finger Jello:  These are NOT the “jigglers” of today.  They contain Knox gelatin.  My mother made these for all reunions and potlucks.  I still love eating these kid-friendly treats!

10. Röesti:  Finely slice leftover baked potatoes and fry in butter.  Salt / pepper to taste.  I have no idea if the gadget I use to slice my potatoes is even manufactured anymore.  I received one from each of my grandmothers as a bridal shower gift!

What dish reminds you of your childhood?

7 thoughts on “Food Nostalgia: Monday Listicles

      • Hahaha!! I don’t know how I forgot about this! When my husband was in law school, we were dirt poor. I started buying a staple from my childhood. Frozen Salisbury steak. My husband never complained until after three long years of school and Salisbury steak eating.
        He started his first law job and told me how much he HATED that meal. It is now the joke for anything he doesn’t like. “Is it Salisbury steak bad?”
        christine recently posted…Death By Chicken FeedMy Profile

  1. I’ve heard of people eating pumpkin blossoms, but I never knew how and never had the desire to try them. They’re really that good?
    How wonderful to have such memories of your family to go with your favorite foods.
    christine recently posted…Death By Chicken FeedMy Profile

    • To me, “ really that good!” As I’ve aged, though, I’ve had to deal with gut issues r/t all the grease :(. I don’t eat greasy foods typically and so it’s a shock to the system!

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