Food nostalgia | Mark’s Remarks


I wax nostalgic over just about anything. 

Lately, it seems I’ve had several conversations with people about the foods we used to eat all the time.  Some of it, while I think about it, hasn’t been part of my diet for many years. It’s interesting to think about.

My brother and I used to have cheese sandwiches when we were kids. We’d have single slices of American cheese, catsup and white bread. It wasn’t a constant part of our diet, but we ate such a thing once in a while. 

It wasn’t something we had to eat; it was something we chose.

Our paternal grandmother seemed to care a lot about people being fed, and so she rarely denied her grandchildren anything they wanted to eat. If we thought we wanted something sweet, she’d immediately try to whip up some brownies or cupcakes without icing.

But many times, we would sit around the kitchen table with saltines and a plastic knife (which she washed) and cut small slabs from the huge cake of butter she had on the table all the time. We’d spread the butter on the saltine and sit there and snack on all that salty goodness.  

My maternal grandmother, also constantly baking, would make pie crusts all of the time and save the small portion of dough she had left over.  She’d roll these out flat and bake them, sprinkling them with cinnamon and sugar. She’s not the only grandmother who did this, I’ll bet. 

Still, it made us feel special.

Now, I’ve written before about the corner grocery that was way down at the end of our long street. But if you were hungry, the trip was worth it. I can’t even begin to list the variety of candy we must have eaten from that store, and I know I’ve told you about their Hostess specials they had each week.  

Shoot, we’d take a few bucks down there and clear out an entire section of cupcakes, fruit pies or cake rolls.  Right before they were in danger of losing their freshness, we’d gobble them right up, using our hard earned mowing money.

Then there were the times we could con mom into buying us a can of squeeze cheese and a box of Ritz crackers, which wouldn’t last long in the house. We bought those “push pop” things from that store, and they were way bigger back then than they are now. A variety of ice cream bars or sandwiches could be bought out of the freezer up front, and tall glass bottles of Pepsi.

Yes, we ate Spam sometimes, and I remember mom putting barbecue sauce on it. There were many times I think we ate cold hotdogs; again by choice, not because we had to. 

We also ate a lot of baloney and cheese, and my brother particularly liked fried baloney in a pan.  I remember having Braunschweiger at various times, and I can’t remember whether I liked it or not.  If memory serves, I think we put a lot of catsup on just about any of that stuff, which would have made it more palatable.

I remember eating quite a bit of cheese puffs and Cheetos and Cheez-Its. I also remember liking to drink Orange or Grape Nehi soda.  All of the above mentioned things would make your skin turn colors, but we loved it all anyway.

Back when we had snacks in kindergarten, the very first snack I remember eating in 1972 was that puffy popcorn snack food.  You know what I’m talking about. It was sort of like eating a tasty, salted yellow piece of cottony, airy popcorn with no kernel or hulls. 

 I don’t think I’ve eaten that since 1972. Still, I might go out and buy a bag.

Do they still make it?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email