Tuesday, February 22, 2011

guest post - family food fondness

i asked nari from narislife wrote a post for me about a childhood memory after she gave me such a wonderful lie story for how we met. here's her fun post about being a kid in a new country, learning about new foods. she's got another great one up on her own blog right now too about going camping, somewhat unprepared. i hope you enjoy it as much as i did!

Family Food Fondness


I was asked to write guest post about a childhood memory. This is what came to mind:

It seems that most people are able to associate various food items to fond childhood memories. When we go to California to visit my In-laws, my Mother-in-law has my Hubby’s favorite foods ready and waiting for us. There are taquitos with home-made guacamole and salsa, Spanish rice, menudo, tamales and she will fill her fridge and cabinets with all of the items he loved as a kid. Everything is delicious and my Hubby will reminisce about his younger days, prompted by the scent or flavor of something at the family table.

I’m fully aware that this isn’t an unusual phenomenon for most people. I have tried to do the same for my girls throughout their childhood. I just didn’t grow up with the same experiences.

I was born in Thailand and moved to the states when I was three. My first real food memory was from Southern Florida. I was at a neighbor’s house on a Saturday morning. The neighbor kids were about to have breakfast and I had been invited to eat over because they were taking us all to a place called Lithia Springs for the day to play in a shallow lagoon full of large algae covered rocks. We would swing on ropes hanging from tree tops into this slimy, rocky pool of potential broken bones and concussions. It was great! I was four years old and the only rule was that I could only swing off the ropes I could reach on my own.

As I sat at their dining room table with a bowl, a spoon and a glass of orange juice before me, a box and a pitcher of milk were set on the table. I watched my friend grab the box and pour stuff into her bowl which sounded just like the cat’s food when my mom filled its bowl in the mornings. I grabbed the box a little warily and filled my bowl. I could feel my eyes bulge as I saw what lay before me. It didn’t look anything like cat food. This was colorful and smelled sweet. My friend then handed me the pitcher of milk which she had added to her bowl of what must surely be some sort of candy. I followed suit and only ended up having time for about three bites of this crunchy creamy concoction of milk and pure sugar.

When I got home that day, I asked my mom if she would get this box of goodness for me. I didn’t know what it was called so I described it to her and she said she would look for it. She came home the next day with a very small box that didn’t look quite right but she said she didn’t want to waste money on something I might not really like. In my childish heart, I knew that wouldn’t be a problem but I didn’t argue. I waited eagerly for morning to come and was up and at the table about twenty minutes before anyone else had even woken up.

Once my mom finally woke up, she got out the little box and poured the contents into a bowl. She added milk and set it in front of me with a spoon. I dipped my spoon into the bowl and pulled it out carefully, making sure I had the perfect milk to sugary crunchiness ratio. I opened my mouth and filled it with what had become my newest obsession. I closed my eyes to better savor the flavor…and proceeded to gag. I spit the soggy disgusting mess into my bowl and stared at it in horror. My mom just took the bowl away from the table talking about how she was glad she bought a small box instead of getting the full sized one.

I didn’t eat cereal again until I reached high school. I was convinced it was one of the most disgusting things in the world until the day my mom idly asked me if I remembered when we first came to the states and I had asked for cereal. She laughed as she told me she had actually bought Cracker Jacks by mistake because it was smaller and cheaper and it seemed like the same thing.

My mom never really cooked much and I ate what I was served. She was always looking for a bargain and unfortunately, quality sometimes paid the price. My mother believed that Kraft Macaroni N Cheese was only cheap because they had a deal with the milk and butter industry, since the directions required the adding of both of those ingredients. But not MY mom, she would cut the butter amount in half and add water in place of milk. There was no way she was falling victim to the food industry.

So I guess you can say that I do indeed have family food memories. They just aren’t the ones you would expect. (In case you’re wondering, it took years before I was willing to eat Mac N Cheese again.)


now go, visit nari & make a new friend!

9 comments:

  1. Actually, cracker jacks and milk doesn't sound that bad....as long as you know it's cracker jacks and not fruity pebbles.

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  2. That's so funny, I used to love when my mother would make us mac n cheese, it was like a special treat. I absolutely love mac n cheese to this day!!!

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  3. Yay! Thanks for asking me to write a guest post. It's very exciting to see my name in lights like that!

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  4. I would have been happy with the Cracker Jacks too! haha...
    Cereal is a meal for anytime of the day ;)

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  5. good story! But I can't help wondering what the wonderful cereal was...Sugar Smacks? Smax? Remember that one?

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  6. Ah hahaha - that would have been a shock!

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  7. NOTHING says family fun quite like large algae-covered rocks!
    Did you at least get a prize with your candy-coated popcorn and peanuts?
    Now that I'm older, I especially like Raisin Bran (also known as "Nature's Broom" or "Colon Blow").
    Great guest shot!

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don't let me be the only one doing the talking around here. spill your guts!