About That Nostalgia Thing   7 comments

I was looking back over some of the past GMC posts and it occurred to me that even though everything here is about nostalgia, it’s been a long time since I did a nostalgic piece centered around a personal experience. By that I mean posts like:KcnGAz9cq

3D Has Been Around For A Long Time

Tonettes Two Ways

Life Is Like A Box Of Chiclets

So here we go: I think we all have certain foods that we like — or don’t like — because of childhood experiences. For example, I hate liver and onions – ugh – to the extent that it makes me shudder just to type the words. On the other hand, it’s a given that there are plenty of things we like because of fond memories, but I’d be willing to bet that most of us also have a very special type of favorite. Let’s call it the odd couple — an unusual pairing of favorite foods.

As spotty as my memory usually is, I can nevertheless remember that my school had a cafeteria in the basement, and — as strange as it might seem now — I liked it. I always looked forward to tromping down the stairs and getting in line, all the while trying to identify the aromas wafting through the air. It wasn’t that I didn’t eat well at home. My mom did a good job (with the exception of liver and onions – ugh) but somehow everything just seemed better at school.

chiliThat said, I’ll confess that I’ve forgotten most of the specifics about the food, but one strong memory has stuck with me to this day. Whenever they served chili con carne it was invariably accompanied by a peanut butter sandwich. That’s right, just peanut butter on white bread. It might have been served for added protein in lieu of a meatier chili, but the funny thing is that I grew to like it and even tried to insist on it at home — with mixed results, but that might have made it even cooler. And some 60+ years later I still crave a peanut butter sandwich whenever I have a bowl of chili, even though I always get funny looks from others.

An odd coupling to be sure, but I bet lots of other folks have strange food quirks from their childhood. What’s yours?

Ron Kalina & Jim Self – “The Odd Couple”

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7 responses to “About That Nostalgia Thing

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  1. I remember as a kid having bread and butter dabbled in Worcestershire sauce (Lee and Perrins, of course). It’s not something I’ve craved since then, however (or really wanted to revisit at all).

  2. Appreciate the input, Peter, even if it wasn’t necessarily a pleasant memory. I’d say that qualifies as an odd coupling of foods, but I was hoping that I wasn’t the only one who still sometimes craves the quirky food habits of childhood. πŸ™‚

  3. Not unlike you, in elementary school they made the best biscuits I have ever eaten in my life. To this day I can still taste those biscuits and continue to crave them as well. Of course in those days everything was made from scratch and no doubt ‘lard’ was involved in the recipe. During lunch I would often solicit unwanted biscuits from my classmates. Sadly though, I apparently wasn’t the only one who like those biscuits. On the other hand, when macaroni and cheese was on the menu I fared a little bit better in my scrounging activities! πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve always been fond of biscuits myself, but don’t remember them being available at the cafeteria. Lucky you! More memories are coming back to me. I think we had cornbread sometimes, and definitely macaroni and cheese.

  5. I don’t know where my Mom came up with the idea but she often used to put peanut butter and lettuce sandwiches in my lunch. I really liked them. Still do. Even after 60+ years. I always keep a jar of peanut butter handy to make them. I still remember sitting on the playground at lunch time in grade school with all us kids trading sandwiches around, something we didn’t like for something we did like. “I’ll trade half of my tuna sandwich for half of your baloney one” or “Who wants a sardine sandwich?”.

  6. Les, I can’t say I’ve ever had peanut butter and lettuce but since I’m a PB fan it might be pretty good. Have you ever had it on a hamburger? Seriously, it’s pretty good.

  7. Not on hamburgers. But we do a lot of canoe tripping and we often have peanut butter and jam tortillas for lunch. (Tortillas don’t squish up in back packs like bread does πŸ™‚

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