Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Foods from Childhood -- Uh, oh, Spaghetti-O's (A Kathi Post)

I was having lunch last week with my work unit for someone’s birthday and the topic of conversation shifted to foods we ate in our childhood that we may or may not still eat.
One lady’s husband asks her to make “projects food.” I asked what that was and she said it’s basically fried potatoes, hamburger, and onions -- something they ate when she lived in the Projects. Hmmmm. My Dad made that a lot and I would still eat it. It’s so good, especially if you add a can of pork ‘n beans or top it with ketchup.
Another lady’s mom used to make mayonnaise sandwiches and sugar sandwiches (not in the same sandwich), especially when it was close to payday. She told us the mayonnaise sandwiches were just that – mayo on white bread. Sugar sandwiches were butter and sugar on white bread. Hmmmm. My Mom made the sugar sandwiches, which was a shortcut of lefse. My Grandma used to feed us lefse when we were at her house. Don’t know about lefse? Look here to learn about it.
My leader in Girl Scouts was not a very good cook, I think. We had day-camp for a week in the summer, and the highlight of our days was cooking for ourselves. The leader provided the “recipes” for us to make our lunches. None of them were very good, but the worst lunch was when she instructed us to open cans of Spaghetti-O’s and mix it with cans of corn, which was then served in ice cream cones so we didn’t have to use plates and wash many dishes. It looked and smelled as if someone had already eaten it. Bleah!
I remember one of her more “elegant” recipes was to take a can of Spam, slice it in 8 equal portions, but not all the way through – it was all connected at the bottom. Then we took a can of pineapple rings, cut them in half, and placed one (flat side down) in between every two slices of spam, then sprinkled brown sugar over the top and baked it for about 25 minutes. It was kinda pretty, but I don’t remember actually eating it. I’m not opposed to Spam – Jim and I still brown up slices sometimes for our breakfast with eggs.
My sister Karen and I used to make our own concoctions. Our favorite snack was something we called “Mouse-type Cheese,” which was just little cubes of Velveeta that we dipped in Miracle Whip. We also liked ring-bologna slices dipped in ketchup.  My sister Kristi used to suck the mayonnaise out of those little individual serving packages. I guess maybe most everyone had weird foods that they made or ate when they were kids.
Did you? What did you have? Would you still eat it now?


  1. Kathi - you will love this story! we were a poor coal-mining family of 6 so my mother came up with some really good "evening snacks" for us. for our 3 meals a day, we ate incredibly healthy food. we never had spagetti-o's or kraft dinner unless we were at a friends house. but my mother used to tell us all day that if we were good all day, we would get an extra special something for our evening snack. we were allowed one hour of tv each evening and that's when we would get our special snacks. now sit down and get ready for this! some snacks included:

    a few slices of raw onion in a bowl with some vinegar
    a piece of raw turnip, wet and then salted
    a piece of lettuce with home-made mayonnaise rolled into a little roll
    roasted chickpeas (dried ones that she soaked overnight and roasted the next day)
    chopped up raw cabbage with vinegar

    oh - there's a ton more of them, i tell you. imagine growing up thinking that those were "special treats"!!!! you can imagine the looks on people's faces when we were visiting with friends and they offered us a cookie....and we asked for a piece of raw turnip instead - bahahahahahah!

    your friend,

  2. Oh, Kymber, that is too funny. I think, though, that's why you look great and I look. . . like me!

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