'Tag, you're it!' - Marilyn has tagged me for this childhood food meme. The assignment: name five foods, dishes or otherwise, that were part of your childhood, that you sometimes miss when nostalgia gets to you...
1. My grandma's roundsteak and rice and gravy - We would come home to Mississippi for long visits, a week or two at a time, and this gave Grandma plenty of time for all our favorite dishes. I lived for roundsteak night. Most people call it 'country fried steak', but I think we always referred to it as roundsteak since it was made with round chuck roast. The majority of our beef, if not all, came from the cows we raised on the farm, and I never remember seeing any other packages of meat besides the simple white, thick paper ones with red stamped writing. I would stand in Grandma's long kitchen, waiting for the first strips to come out of the skillet, and scamper away with a hot piece, burning my mouth. The gravy she would make with roundsteak was thick and brown, concoted after she finished frying the meat, and ohhhh it was the best.
2. Grandma's biscuits and Blackburn's syrup - I don't know how she makes them, other than with Bisquick, but it was always a happy morning when I realized we were having biscuits for breakfast, usually with bacon. Sometimes I would help her cut them out - rolling the dough back together for ONE more biscuit, then ending up with a baby biscuit that made the perfect breakfast chaser. What really made my day was the syrup, y'all - Blackburn's syrup - I just Googled it and can't find an official site, but I firmly believe the only syrup worth eating is Blackburn's. We would take some butter and put it on our plates, pour syrup over it, and mix it together - then drag a bite of biscuit through the butter/syrup magnificence.
3. Spaghetti-O's and barbeque Fritos - I discovered this dish of deliciousness during elementary school. Living on a military base in Germany, we were allowed to walk home for lunch, which I did several time a week. One day I was happily eating my bowl of Spaghetti-O's - plain, please, no franks or meatballs - and crunching barbeque Fritos, and somehow I dropped a chip in my bowl. Thus I stumbled upon the crown and glory of all my comfort foods. I would scoop up Spaghetti-O's with a chip, as you can imagine, it made for a very slow lunch. Now, as an adult, I substitute the barbeque Fritos with tortilla chips, but I live my life with a vague fear that the Frito-Lay company with discontinue barbeque Fritos. In fact, if I hadn't already eaten my supper tonight, I'd chow down on some Spaghetti-O's and tortilla chips.
Actually, Spaghetti-O's seem to taste different - now I buy the can that screams 'Original!' or the Ato Z version.
4. Pizza Hut pepperoni and cheese pizza - I cannot describe pizza in lofty terms, leave that to Bluepoppy, but there was no better treat than a trip to Pizza Hut. We usually went for my birthday, and they would always bring me a pizza with a candle in it. My family tells a story - one time, when I was around three, my parents and grandparents took me to Pizza Hut, which was around thirty minutes away from Wiggins. We happily consumed our pizza, and then it was time to go. "Grandpa," I said, tugging at his thin cotton shirt sleeve, "give me a dollar and I'll pay the bill." The Pizza Hut I grew up going to still has the 'old fashioned' style building, and I'm thankful everytime I drive past it. I wonder if it made it through the hurricane.
I still love the smell of a Pizza Hut, but as an adult I'll eat almost any pizza you throw my way.
5. Fizz sticks - This was a certain candy I used to eat in Germany. I remember buying them at the Stuttgart Zoo - they came in a clear plastic pack, pastel colored, and were as long as my finger. They didn't seem to have a brand name. You could bite them off and they would literally 'fizz' in your mouth - just the most satisfying, sour taste, but sweet all at the same time. I have a very clear memory of buying two bags on one visit, one for me, and one for my mother, I think, but why I decided my mother needed fizz sticks I'll never know- but sitting on the bus ride home, I ate both bags.