Customers often ask if they can have the recipe for one of our Deli menu items. I’ve received emails from as far away as England and Australia for a recipe. People usually want comfort food dishes like our meatloaf sandwich. Our meatloaf sandwich simply stated is comfort food. It’s food you crave.
As I thought about comfort food I began to also think about some of my childhood comfort foods.
I remember leaving home as a young adult and returning for visits. My mother would ask me if there was anything I wanted.
I always said macaroni, which meant macaroni, ground beef and canned diced tomatoes. I’m not even sure if there is a ‘technical’ recipe name for this dish.
Do you recall how something just tastes better based on the atmosphere it is consumed in? My macaroni always tasted better at home.
My husband likes me to add a can of tomato soup but what I’ve come to learn is if you use a good canned tomato like Aurora diced tomatoes you don’t need the tomato soup. (Aurora tomatoes can be bought at Sister’s in our City Market…go see Di).
Another one of those childhood favourites was rice pudding. I remember eating rice pudding as if I was a contestant in a food eating contest because there were five kids at home and nothing lasted long.
A friend of ours, Kristin, remembers, “After church on Sundays we used to go the Riviera Restaurant in Saint John for a coke and rice pudding.” Sadly, the Riviera was lost in a gas explosion in April, 1986.
I’ve tried rice pudding brands from places like Costco but I don’t get those fleeting childhood memories. Not even close. So a couple of weeks ago I asked my mother for the recipe she used to make for us.
It came as no surprise that there was Carnation Evaporated Milk in the recipe because that alone is a childhood memory. Who in my old hood doesn’t remember giant bags of puffed wheats and Carnation Evaporated Milk in the cupboard?
(The powered milk sat beside the puffed wheats and on the label it read ‘from contented cows.’)
I am making the rice pudding recipe she gave me today and I will post on the results. It’s been over 35 years since eating this particular dish from my mother. I can’t wait!
More childhood foods that bring back memories
- Salted fish, boiled and drained a couple of times, Carnation Evaporated Milk added to the final round of fish water, then spooned over mashed potatoes with yellow and/or green beans
- Cream peas and/or tuna on toast – hahaha
Red Rose tea with the animal figurines in the box
- White peppermints – My grandmother use to hide them in her top drawer. I was her favourite so she would take me in her bedroom and sneak me one on every visit and tell me not to tell my siblings 🙂 (She was Elizabeth, my namesake.)
- Overcooked roasts (plus mushy peas from a can)
- Fondues – They were a treat in the 70’s.
- Puffed wheats
- Milk in glass bottles delivered from the milkman (rare for us)
- Eggs in the hole
- Ben’s white bread
- Potato pancakes (with apple sauce!)
- Beans and wieners
- Kraft Pizza Kit (in a box) – I bought one for nostalgic reasons and will make it soon. (Our friend Kristin recalls cut up wieners being put on the pizzas.)
- Divinity Fudge
- Pop Rocks
- Stew – Omg….I use to drink a glass of water for every bite of the vegetables in the stew, especially turnips. Hated it. Now, vegetables are my favourite items on my plate.
- Chicken fricot with dumplings (love, love, love dumplings)
- Biscuits – I recall them being made in mere minutes using the Tupperware rolling pin that you filled with water and a big plastic sheet also, from Tupperware, for rolling them out on. It actually had the biscuit recipe on the sheet.
- Birthday cakes with a quarter in them – Whoever got that piece was the old maid /man. Hilarious when you think about it in today’s world.
What are your childhood food memories?
Better still, if you have a dish that you want to challenge us to make, send us your recipe (or add it to the comments below) with the childhood memory it stirs. If you live in Saint John, we are more than happy to invite you over to test our take on your recipe.
We’ll give your recipe a try and share it with you on our Blog. And yes, of course we’ll give you the credit 🙂
(This post written by Liz.)