Friday, January 30, 2009

crazy food memories

i had the jar in my hands last night
and then I looked at the 'nutrition facts' label
and put it back on the shelf.
*E.D. Smith Lemon Spread*
Brings me back to memories of eating buttered toast spread with this tangy
lemon gloop.
I realize now that this is prepared lemon curd filling
At the time I cared not what it was called, i just liked it.
I have a special place in my tastebuds for anything lemony.

When i was a kid I used to practice eating lemon wedges
without pulling a face.
I thought this was an amazing feat which I
would demonstrate to my sisters and friends.
They were quite underwhelmed.
I went through this intense phase of lemon eating in grade 4.
I remember standing by our neighbour, Mrs. Clemente's backyard trellis/gate,
sucking on a ridiculous lemon,
inwardly cringing and trying to keep a straight face.
She looked at me and remarked:
"You know dear, eating those will stunt your growth"
I looked down at her and smiled.
She must have been 5' . . i had a good 5 or 6 inches on her at the time. . and grew to be 9 inches taller by grade 7.
Or perhaps she was right and if i hadn't gone through
my lemon phase, i would might have been 6 feet tall??
I guess i'll never know!

This whole thought train started me reminiscing on some of the strange foods we used to eat back then.

Fruit Float -- this strange and chunky tinned fruit slush got mixed with milk and formed a layered 'pudding' in which the 'fruit' rose to the top. we loved it. . not sure why?

Whip 'n Chill -- now this was amazing stuff. . little packet of dried powder you shake into milk and beat into an airy mousse. Chocolate and strawberry were the best. Vanilla tasted like preservatives.

Tang -- good enough for the astronauts, good enough for us? I have no clue what was in this powdered, freeze dried, koolaid on steroids, i'm sure loads and loads of sugar, but it sure was yummy. My granddaughter, Eri, is almost five. She already lectures the lot of us on eating 'helfy' sugars. They're teaching junior kindergarteners about fructose, glucose and such. Very cool. She'll be considerably 'helfier' than her Nana.

'Sharpie' cheese tubs -- our father was especially keen on this aged cheddar spread --- i don't recall liking this very much. . smelled like gym socks - i had no palate then.

speaking of our father. .
this man would make himself raw spanish onion and liverwurst sandwiches, then get us in a head lock and breathe on us. .

Kraft pizza in a box. . this little kit came with a packet of dry dough mix, a tin of pizza sauce and a sachet of powdered cheese. . very popular in the 60s and 70s. . why?? it made the yuckiest pizza IN THE WORLD!!!

Alphagetti - tinned alphabet pasta in tomato sauce. oh geez, what Canadian kid didn't grow up on this stuff?? toast and alphagetti was practically sacred.

"Wagon Wheels'. . disgusting biscuity circles with chewy marshmallow middles, enrobed in a waxy, tasteless chocolate coating. . lunch box staple of the early 70s -Truly despicable.

"Peter Pan" puffed wheat cereal in a bag. . .yeah, a feed bag!! This stuff, i thought, was only fit for horses. it had a strong, malty kick. *shudder* Our mother insisted on buying this because it was always on sale. Gee, I wonder why?? Perhaps because NOBODY FRIGGIN' LIKED THIS STUFF??!!! No amount of sugar in the world could help this taste good.

"Jiffy Pop" popcorn. Shake this foiled wonder over your stove burner and watch it puff up like a magic, silver turban. We seldom got this, because it was 'too dear', but we always begged for it.

speaking of popcorn, there was this stuff they sold that came in a plastic double pack. . the one side contained popcorn kernels, the other side contained this glob of flavoured coconut oily margarine that you squeezed into your pot, and popped the popcorn in. Oh my gosh. . i'm starting to think my entire childhood will land me in the heart clinic by the time I'm 60!!

"Lolas". . triangular frozen 'popsicles'. Cut the top of the waxed cardboard container and push up from the bottom. I loved the purple ones. .

Swanson frozen TV dinners. . heat in the oven, peel back the foil and eat your salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, corn and fruit cobbler. These were a considerable step up from the frozen fish sticks and french fry suppers our father would 'make'.

'Pimento loaf'. . luncheon meat studded with little dots of pimento. . used to poke them out and look at all the holes. So fun.

"Premium" soda crackers are still around, but what makes me remember these was the way we ate them -- slathered in butter, then sandwiched together to watch the butter extrude through the cracker holes like little worms. Why in God's name would we butter these already loaded with shortening crackers?? This worries me. We were such ignos.

"Sarah Lee" frozen layer cakes. .oh my gosh I'm such a sucker for sweet things, esp. cake and icing. These were little rectangular cakes that you sliced and ate. There was a little liner of waxed paper on top of the icing. We'd fight over licking the icing off the paper. It wasn't pretty. Sometimes we ate these frozen if we were too impatient to let them thaw.

ah well, the only thing I sincerely hope is that our years of eating utter crap are somehow atoned for by the all the fibre, probiotic yogurt, organic flax eggs, quinoa, whole wheat bread, lean meat and truck loads of fresh fruit and veg I now consume. Don't be fooled. .I have a pumpkin cheescake sitting in the fridge right now. . there's a jar of Nutella in the cupboard and a bag of chocolate peanut butter bites beside it.
*My inner child is alive and well*


Bradley B. Shea said...

ah... so true Kat...

Denise said...

"koolaid on steroids!" hahahaha!
I always despised Tang. Ew.
You're bringing me back, girl!
Wagon Wheels! LOLA'S!! I haven't had one of those in years!
The fruit float thing sounds utterly disgusting. And I remember eating the Kraft boxed pizza's. ugh! gross!
good trip down memory lane. But give me a flakey and I'm good to go ;)

Poetikat said...

I'm a Canadian "Kat" as well and remember almost everything on this list. You might like my blog "Poetikat's Blasts From the Past". My main blog, however is "Poetikat's Invisible Keepsakes".

I came to yours searching for a photo of a tin of Alpha-getti!

Do you remember "Squeeze-a-snak" cheese spread?


Tammy Q said...

Oh Kathy, I remember almost ALL those pizza bread...white bread with Ragu spaghetti sauce and process cheese made in the toaster oven.

Keep up the great make me smile lots :)