Childhood Foods

by L

What are the foods you remember from your childhood? What were your favorites? Least favorites?

My best food memories from childhood usually involve some kind of sweet and unusual flavors, probably because both were restricted in my household! Strawberry and grape soda (Welch’s) with a bacon cheeseburger were a special treat when we went camping (before the camp house was built) and got lunch at the general store nearby. I also remember oatmeal creme pies after my first (and last) Girl Scout overnight – my troop leaders washed cookie sheets for our food in the stream with detergent, so our English muffin pizzas tasted like Dawn!

My least favorite dish was “milk chicken” – chicken parts with flour over the top, not enough salt and pepper, dotted with infinitesimal bits of margarine, then baked with about 1/2″ of skim milk in the pan until the milk evaporated and the chicken was *well* overcooked! Second were lima beans (plain, boiled). I still don’t like lima beans.

176 thoughts on “Childhood Foods

  1. I grew up eating peanut butter and sweet pickle relish sandwiches – my mom’s favorite and she ate enough during pregnancy they probably imprinted on my DNA. I like them, but it is not a go to or something I ever crave. I did not try to get my kids to eat them.

    Many of my favorites were my mom’s desserts – chocolate pudding, apple pie, and these bars that had an oatmeal base covered with a layer of peanut butter, then chocolate. This list could go on for a while. On the savory side, I have fairly recently had the pear salad with mayo and cheese (sweet and salty) and my mom’s vegetable marinade salad (bean, peas, onions, celery, etc.). Maybe I will made that salad again; it is a good side to sandwiches.

    Least favorites – liver and onions (honestly liver of all types), Braunschweiger (thankfully my dad loved this so much it didn’t stay around long), canned mashed rutabagas, a steak smothered in canned tomatoes, and most Jello salads, especially when she’d add cottage cheese.

  2. Childhood foods:
    homemade waffles (Dad was a big breakfast guy and would sometimes make breakfast foods for dinner when Mom wasn’t around.) Liver and onions – best when Dad made it.

    Tuna noodle casserole. Chicken noodle casserole. Goulash. (Do you see the trend?)

    Perry’s ice cream (a regional brand)

    Peanut butter sandwiches, and every once in a while with Fluff.

    Water. (We weren’t allowed to drink pop/soda or juice when we were thirsty.)

    Polish cheesecake – graham cracker crust, cheesecake, sour cream based top layer. It was my birthday cake for years.

  3. I have fond memories of the stale sandwich cookies and Kool-Aid that we used to have as snacks during Girl Scout meetings. Although I have not bought Kool-Aid in years, I have enjoyed this snack from time to time as an adult. Kool-Aid was ubiquitous in my childhood. It seems there was always a pitcher in the fridge for us to have when we came in from playing outside.

    No tuna casserole, but tuna noodle salad made with hard boiled eggs and mayonnaise. I made a lot of that during my college years, too.

  4. Honestly, food from 0 to leaving for college is a blank. My mom gave us sustenance; there’s nothing I remember fondly. Food in the dorms was a treat, then junior year in Spain widened my tastes a lot. Since then the food I eat is so.much.better. than when I was growing up. My kids don’t know how much better they’ve had it all their lives, and now they all cook pretty well. It’s not a money thing; it’s a skill in the kitchen thing.

  5. Too bad Scarlett decided to disappear because my recent conversation with her about HoJos brought back many memories of my childhood foods. It was always a stop on our vacations along with Friendly’s when we went to any state in New England. HoJos was our go to for upstate NY and Friendly’s was for any trip in Conn or Mass. I used the word Jimmies for sprinkles until I was a teenager because my sleep away camp took us to Friendly’s for a treat whenever we left camp.

  6. “Kool-Aid was ubiquitous in my childhood. It seems there was always a pitcher in the fridge for us to have when we came in from playing outside.”

    Me too, even at my own house where other sweets were severely restricted – mostly for birthdays and holidays and always homemade. It’s funny how much my mom loves Oreos now – they are always in their house – but we never had them growing up except on road trips.

    “No tuna casserole, but tuna noodle salad made with boiled eggs and mayonnaise. I made a lot of that during my college years, too.”

    One of my childhood favorites was cold tuna noodle salad – same idea but with peas and celery. Almost like a tuna salad for a sandwich but then we’d put in cold small shell noodles. I still love it to this day.

    My dad made the best lasagna and also great meatballs. (We are not even a tiny bit Italian.) I still look forward to going to their house for his lasagna. My mom made perfect German potato salad (hot with bacon).

    I also remember the hot spinach salad with bacon dressing that we would have every spring with spinach from the garden. We also canned our own jelly with strawberries and grapes from the garden, and it was delicious. I loved eating strawberries right off the plants. A lot of the stuff we had was pretty basic 80’s fare – meat & potatoes with steamed veggies, but I have no complaints about my parents’ cooking.

    One of my favorite recipes when I was a little older was Chicken Diane. I don’t remember the exact recipe, but it was something along these lines. I used to make it myself for the family – we all had to take turns making dinner once we were a certain age (somewhere around middle school). And I thought it was so sophisticated because it had brandy in it!

    I also always thought it was a real treat to be get McDonald’s breakfast. When we were growing up, my dad would take each of the 3 of us out to breakfast once a week for “breakfast with Dad” one on one. I loved it. Sometimes we’d go to the donut/coffee shop and sometimes McDonald’s or a local place.

  7. “I used the word Jimmies for sprinkles until I was a teenager because my sleep away camp took us to Friendly’s for a treat whenever we left camp.”

    I always thought this was a Wisconsin thing. I have fond memories of going to the donut shop with my Grandpa to pick out a dozen for the family & always getting an extra one with jimmies for the car ride. :)

  8. My childhood was filled with good cooks and good cooking. Two things that were made very well were biryani and chicken stuffed with spicy stuffing. My Mom made Russian salad which was awesome. Her jello salads were good too.
    However, for some reason when confronted with a thin child, these same good cooks forced bland porridge and soft boiled eggs on kids. They defaulted to good old British breakfasts of the worst kind. I don’t like porridge (oatmeal) and I don’t like soft boiled eggs.

  9. Peanut butter and pickle sandwiches! I took thatcombo to school almost every day. I thought we were the only family in America who ate them until I saw an article in the NYTimes food page a few years ago.

  10. “Aren’t Jimmies brown sprinkles and the other colors are just sprinkles?”

    In my childhood there was no such thing as sprinkles. Only jimmies. The Google says you are right though – some people only call the chocolate ones jimmies.

    “But how to determine jimmies from sprinkles? The difference doesn’t exist in the candies itself, instead in the area where it is being sold. Residents of Philadelphia, Boston, Michigan and Wisconsin refer to them as jimmies, and residents in New York, and probably the rest of the world, call them sprinkles. To some people, jimmies refer to the chocolate colored variety of sprinkles, although there are actually no chocolate content in it, while sprinkles remain to be the multicolored ones. Others also say that sprinkles are harder compared to jimmies.”

  11. Tuna Noodle Salad — I had that last night for dinner. Made the tuna like I would for a sandwich (celery, onion, mayo and a little dijon mustard), then added cut up orange bell pepper, carrot, and zucchini along with the noodles and a light sprinkle of shredded cheese. I was going to put the tuna over a salad, but the lettuce had turned.

    Girl Scout food – As a high schooler, we went camping almost monthly. We ALWAYS made gingerbread in a box oven with whip cream for Saturday night dessert. As an adult taking girls camping we have made muffins and cupcakes using two muffin pans one on top of the other, then put charcoal underneath and on top. Most often cornbread muffins to go with the chili.

  12. I remember all the classic cereals – Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Golden Grams, Honey Nut Cheerios, Honey Smacks… Coco Crisipies always had the best residue milk – for lack of a better term.

  13. When I was a kid, jimmies were the chocolate (brown lol) ones and sprinkles were the rainbow ones.

    Kerri, I didn’t know the cheesecake with sour cream top layer was Polish – I use a recipe like that but not from my Polish side of the family.

  14. L – I don’t know if it’s actually Polish since I don’t know where my mom got it from and she’s not actually Polish. Could just be a regional thing and there are a lot of people with Polish ancestry in the region. If it came from my dad’s side, and mom just liked it, then it might be Polish. (His family is an eastern European mix.)

  15. Rhett – the first three on your list are my kids’ current favorites.

    I think they are everyone’s favorite. But they aren’t the same! Much like Kraft Mac & Cheese they’ve taken all the chemicals out. Without the Red Dye #2, Polysorbate 80 and the non-nutritive cereal varnish, the taste just isn’t the same.

  16. Two years ago, when I spent Christmas in California and had friends over to make Christmas cookies, I learned to my horror that silver dragées are now illegal in California. I guess if you eat pounds of them they have enough silver to be toxic? Anyway. I knew California was over-regulated, but bitch please. You can’t make Christmas cookies without these. So I stocked up in Denver and will smuggle them in to California and dole them out to my friends like the contraband they are.

  17. I’m from Michigan and today is the first time I’ve ever heard of “jimmies”.

    I have many fond memories of food – including getting cinnamon sugar doughnuts at a small local mall that had an indoor water feature and a little waterwheel (the “mill” sold the doughnuts). It was such a treat when my mom would take me.

    We always had koolaid and lipton ice tea mix. So sugary! I loved my mom’s chili and this dish with ground beef, salsa, pasta shells, and French’s Fried Onions. I also remember loving swiss steak with mashed potatoes.

    When my mom worked, we always got my dad’s cooking – polish sausage, city chicken, pigs feet. I hated it and would be forced to spend all evening at the table until my plate was cleaned….I became good at hiding food in and around the table (I can’t believe I never developed an eating disorder). Sometimes he would suprise us and we’d get McDonald’s or Hardees (I loved their roast beef sandwiches), or to the coney island. And it was a real treat when it was Lafayette Coney Island downtown.

  18. I wish I had better memories of childhood food, but my mom was a terrible cook and was obsessed with keeping my sister and me thin, so I was underfed on terrible (but very nutritious!) food.

    At Girl Scout meetings we got generic sandwich cookies and Hi-C. I loved the Hi-C. Pure sugar and food coloring. How can you go wrong?

  19. When I was a teen, there was a craze for Natural ice cream. That was the brand name made in small batches in a few locations. The ice cream was very good with fresh or dried fruits with churned ice cream. I had been brought up on synthetic ice cream of the 70/80s, it was a bit of a shock eating “real” ice cream.

  20. My mom is not culinaryily inclined so my childhood food memories are Hamburger Helper, fish sticks and Kraft Mac & Cheese. I don’t remember having a favorite.

  21. I loved the girl scout cookies of my childhood. Girl scout cookies now-a-days are fairly dry and tasteless. Samoas, Tagalongs, etc. Yum!

  22. Speaking of ice cream.

    My birthday was in the summer, so in order to be able to have a school celebration, my mom would bring our old hand crank ice cream maker to school during the last week. The whole class would take turns cranking, and then we’d eat the ice cream which was still a little soft. Always mint chocolate chip (my childhood favorite). Kids would freak out that it wasn’t green & also it was sooo good because my mom made real ice cream base. Most of the ice cream we ate as kids was out of giant gallon buckets of Blue Bunny “ice milk”.

    Anyway – it was great, the teachers always seemed to be happy to fill time late in the year, and my classmates still mention it to me.

  23. “To some people, jimmies refer to the chocolate colored variety of sprinkles, although there are actually no chocolate content in it, while sprinkles remain to be the multicolored ones.”

    I always thought they were called “chocolate jimmies.” I never bothered with a name for the others, because if they’re not chocolate, who cares? ;-)

    Most of my favorite food memories are of the “bad” stuff that was forbidden at home. Box mac and cheese, Captain Crunch (or Quisp, which if possible was even sweeter), Apple Jacks, sweet tea from Granny’s tea syrup, Wonder bread, vienna sausages, vienna sausage sandwiches on Wonder bread with mayo, Doritos, Chee-tos, the very occasional Big Mac with fries or sausage biscuit when my mom would do her annual cave and take us to McD’s, Arby’s beef-n-cheddar and curly fries, anything at Waffle House, honey on Wonder bread, honey on Wonder bread with butter, just straight honey (lapped up off a plate like a dog would — yes, I was 5), Velveeta, mac and cheese made with Velveeta, etc.

    Actual foods that I remember from growing up that I love are angel pie (my birthday pie for many years, because my mom still doesn’t know how to make a pie crust), my stepdad’s bread from the Tasajarra(sp?) cookbook (half-wheat flour and honey — I still remember the smell of it cooking), Goop cake (chocolate cake from a box with goop filling and butterscotch icing that over-hardens, ugly but delicious), Granny’s green beans and chocolate chip cookies and cube steak, at my Grandma’s slices of colby cheese from the big round and braunschweiger sandwiches with butter, and then from later years raclette (still a family favorite). Oh, and Johnny Mazetti — typical casserole with egg noodles, ground beef, and tomato soup, topped with cheese. But my all-time favorite foods are my Grandma’s mac and cheese casserole with colby cheese and saltines/butter/cheese on top, and chocolate pudding/chocolate pie.

  24. Speaking of foods, my new substitute for eating out is ordering in from far-away places. Thanks to Baldor’s and Goldbelly, we have access to a bunch of treat-type foods. I ordered Momofuku ssam pork dinner last month, which was delicious, and more recently a thing of bagels and lox from NY and Mimi Cheng’s dumplings (dumplings were great, but that scallion pancake was OMG territory). For Valentine’s Day, I just ordered a DIY lobster roll kit from Maine for DH. I also have some Turkish meatballs coming and some Arthur Bryant BBQ in a few weeks, and then some more dumplings from a different place.

    None of which is nearly the same as a weekend in NYC or some other interesting place. But the different flavors and good quality seem to be making DH very happy, and it gives me something different to look forward to, so I’m going to go with it for now. ;-)

  25. cube steak

    OMG, I forgot about frozen cube steak. It came with a pat of butter frozen into it. It was dry and awful, but it was better than my mom’s usual cooking. It was one of those things Mom made when she couldn’t deal with figuring out dinner. Cube steak, and a huge pile of steamed frozen broccoli.

  26. I think Goldbelly is expensive, but I ordered from Goldbelly recently to send comfort (aka childhood) food to a friend that is sick in another part of the country. She really appreciated the package because it was comfort food from years ago at her front door.

  27. I get endless Goldbelly ads, and I’m tempted, but I don’t know. I was worried it would be disappointing.

    @RMS – My grandma always decorated her Xmas cookies with those silver balls. I loved them! I haven’t seen them in a long time so I figured they ended up being toxic or something.

  28. We used to like the fried chicken in Swansons TV dinners, but the Libbylands dinners from Libbys were more fun. We barely ate the food, but the packaging was fun. I think my mom gave us a TV dinner at least once a week.

    One of our nannies used to buy Swanson Hungry Man dinners to eat. We told her that we would buy (or she could buy) anything she wanted and we would pay, but she wanted those TV dinners. We thought it was gross, but it certainly was cheap for us compared to other babysitters that only ate organic food.

  29. When I was a kid, the main rule was the kitchen closed after dinner. So if you didn’t eat what was on the table, you went to bed hungry. Most meals involved a protein, starch and two vegetables. But us kids always made a salad to be on the table, applesauce and ketchup. I would eat more salad if I didn’t like what was served, one sibling doused all disliked items in applesauce and the other in ketchup.

    I hated Shepard’s pie with all the food in one dish even though enjoyed the individual items. One sibling loved it and would always request it. Those nights the salad would only take the edge off until breakfast. Other nights I usually liked at least enough of the other items to make a meal with the salad if there was food I wanted to avoid.

    I will say all of us are less stringent with our own kids if they don’t like what was made. We all have meal substitutes that are allowed if needed. Oh and the offerings that their grandmother gives them now would’ve never been allowed on our plates – would you like blueberry or chocolate chip muffin tops for dinner?

    Fluff is an item that I loved as kid and no other “marshmallow” food product compares.

  30. Fluff is an item that I loved as kid and no other “marshmallow” food product compares.

    A snow day staple was a big tablespoon full of Fluff dropped into a mug of Swiss Miss hot chocolate.

    Ah, nice to see that some things haven’t changed.

    Swiss Miss: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Modified Whey, Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Nonfat Milk, Calcium Carbonate, Less Than 2% Of: Salt, Dipotassium Phosphate, Mono- And Diglycerides, Carrageenan, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Artificial Flavor.

    Mmmm Dipotassium Phosphate:

    Dipotassium phosphate (K2H fertelizer and PO4) (also dipotassium hydrogen orthophosphate; potassium phosphate dibasic) is the inorganic compound with the formula K2HPO4.(H2O)x (x = 0, 3, 6). Together with monopotassium phosphate (KH2PO4.(H2O)x), it is often used as a fertilizer, food additive,

    It’s both a desert topping and a floor wax!

  31. I came from a kitchen closed and you eat what was made or go hungry household too, until after freshman year of high school. At that point, my dad was working overseas (he wanted dinner within 15 minutes of walking in the door) so she didn’t need to meet his schedule and I had several after school activities. She was more lax about meals, but this was pre-microwaves, so you typically tried to avoid heating up leftovers.

    We pushed for family dinners together until high school activities made things nuts. We now push for communal lunch every day, but generally make it 5 out of 7, for whomever is home. It is the one time we all see each other during the day.

    PSA – Girl Scout cookies are or will soon be on sale in your neighborhood. After 15 years, I no longer have a girl selling cookies. Due to COVID in many places girls will not be outside stores or going door to door, except to put a door hanger on your door with information on how to order from her online. Expect online ordering from a girl of your choice and either contactless girl delivery or cookies (for a fee) shipped to your address. Some areas are allowing drive thru booths. Need to find a cookie booth, use this link – nationwide:

  32. In my small town, my mom was probably a better than average cook, but I remember very basic and budget things. I liked hamburger helper and spaghetti (prego). I also recollect some chicken noodle casserole that I believe was some concoction of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup and had potato chips on top.I hated liver and onion night….and also remember head cheese in that same category. Those of you who grew up on farms may remember that delicacy that came as part of the animal processing when we filled the freezer with a cow or pig. I also remember my grandma trying to pass of mashed turnips as mashed potatoes.

    My mom also made the best German potato salad now that you mention it. She’s either lost her touch or tried to make it healthier because last time she made it, my mouth was watering in anticipation but it wasn’t nearly as good as in my memory. I will forever remember eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch (dry, I like all cereal better dry) in my dorm room for breakfast while watching the game show Concentration.

    I ate a lot of bologna sandwiches, with ketchup, thank you very much. I still like funfetti cake. Apparently part of me is forever stuck at about age 12.

    I started thinking about what my kids will recall. One of them loves a chicken salad ring that I started making after a Pampered Chef party and am still making 20 years later. And some of their favorites are holiday appearance foods – strawberry pretzel salad, chocolate mint cookies.

  33. We are a “you eat what is for dinner” family, but now that DS is approaching 13 and growing like a weed, he is allowed “second dinner”. Most nights before bed – maybe an hour after dinner – he eats a huge bowl of fruit and a huge bowl of cereal. Doesn’t seem much to matter if he’s enjoyed dinner or tolerated it. He’s grown an inch since Christmas…

  34. My grandmother used to make giant pots of homemade spaghetti sauce and would turn the Morton’s salt giant container upside down and just let the salt pour out into the sauce for multiple seconds.

    And I thought it was SO GOOD. And we’d have the spaghetti and sauce with garlic bread slathered in salted butter and powdered garlic. I thought the garlic bread was fancy and loved it. Carbs, salt and fat, it was the best.

  35. The home country custom of giving people a bite to eat when they dropped in meant the kitchen was never closed. The host always politely asked them if they wanted water, juice, tea or something to eat.
    My aunt (my uncles wife) said “the kitchen is closed” when one of my aunts dropped in to see my grandmother. The family dust up that resulted from those words still echoes. It was such a great insult. It’s sort of become a family meme with family members imitating my aunts frosty delivery of that line.

  36. My grandparents would give us Club Crackers with apple butter and a small cup of ginger ale for a snack. I have fond memories of it, and love that it is a shared memory with all my cousins.

    My memories of family dinner include a vegetable boiled with no seasoning, every day. The worst was liver, and second worst was my mom putting wheat germ in everything. We were not allowed soda, and “treat” was chips on a Friday night, but only about 10 each. I can remember the awkwardness when o had friends sleep over and they couldn’t grasp that that was it. No, we can’t just get the bag and take it to my room. Sit at the kitchen table and eat your 8 Cheetos and be grateful.

    When I was in high school my mom started making things like tacos and chili, and now is a pretty good cook. Some of the early years were quite bland. I blame the Irish heritage

  37. Friendly’s was for any trip in Conn or Mass.

    For my birthday earlier this week, my brother sent me a gallon of Friendly’s hot fudge. It’s still the best around.

  38. I remember all the classic cereals – Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Golden Grams, Honey Nut Cheerios, Honey Smacks… Coco Crisipies always had the best residue milk – for lack of a better term.

    I still eat most of these. I never like Honey Smacks, though.

  39. “Eat what’s served or go hungry till breakfast…” I don’t really remember that being a thing growing up.

    As to our kids, maybe we (DW) just cooked to their liking because I don’t remember our kids sitting at the kitchen table for hours pushing their peas or whatever around their plate. Maybe I’ve blocked that out.

    I do remember one Easter DW baked a Bunny cake for dessert (2 layer chocolate cake, one layer cut so as to form ears & bowtie; the one round layer is the face, served as all one layer. White frosting, + candy to make eyes, pink frosting for the inside of the ears). We wanted DS2, 5yo, to try green beans. It was a battle but he really wanted Bunny Cake. So he finally tried the green beans after a couple of hours. Now the ‘no Bunny Cake until…’ is part of family lore.

  40. PSA – Girl Scout cookies are or will soon be on sale in your neighborhood.

    I’m done with them. They keep raising the price and putting fewer cookies in a box. $4 for 10 thin mints is ridiculous.

    I will say that they are still better than Boy Scout popcorn. That stuff was never good to begin with.

  41. Related to the GS cookies, what are everyone’s favorite fundraising foods? I go with Butter Braids, those are really good.

  42. Yeah, Girl Scout cookies as currently produced are dry, hugely overpriced, and a waste of calories.

    Did you know that way back in the day (before my time, even) Girl Scouts baked their own cookies to sell door to door? I can’t even imagine all the regulations that practice would violate now.

    IMD they were mainly produced by Bury. I still remember the commercial jingle: If they’re mixed and they’re baked by Bury, they’re bury bury good.

  43. I still like GS thin mints.

    But I’m not going out of my way to get them. A guy at work who in Before Times would put the sign up sheet in the coffee kitchen sent an email a couple of weeks ago explaining the new way. I always bought a couple of boxes of thin mints from his kid and also a couple of boxes from neighborhood kids, but this year no more. I really do need to cut back.

    I hadn’t thought about it but, yeah, no boy scouts popcorn this past fall. There are a couple of kids a few houses down that sell and so we bought from them, mostly (way) overpriced microwave stuff (for me) and chocolate covered popcorn as gifts for our kids. So we were “important customers” in the scheme of things. But also, no more. If door-to-door does come back, I will buy.

  44. I read this week that Aldi sells girlscout like cookies all year long. I love Samoas and Tagalongs and will always buy them from girls selling. The boy scouts popcorn is ridiculous expensive, but the troop gets something like 70% of the profit. Sadly girl scout troops get something like 15%, but $4/box is better than $40. I also buy popcorn from them. Scouting has been a big part of my family, and although my girls do not participate, I still support.

  45. “The host always politely asked them if they wanted water, juice, tea or something to eat.”

    To this day, I cannot relax until I’ve given my guests something to drink. If you’re at my house for more than 5 minutes, you *must* drink something–even water!

  46. Lauren & DD, my first real job (aside from delivering newspapers) was at Friendly’s where I learned that one should not work for minimum wage when there were other options. I made so much more than my friends because I received tips working at Friendly’s. The lesson holds true today. OT, they were always called sprinkles in my area.

    If we had left over ham, my mother would make scalloped potatoes, and sprinkle small pieces of ham throughout. As kids, we would purposely not eat much ham so that mom would make that dish for us.

    My mom also made blonde brownies from a junior womens club cookbook that I still make today. People request them frequently. If they are mentioned in a fb post one or two friends from school will pipe in with comments about how they loved when my mom sent me to school with blonde brownies for the class. I have shared the recipe more times than I can remember.

    I also remember that bunny cake that Fred described. My mom would bake it, cut & arrange the pieces, and I was allowed to do the decorations. Fred, does yours use shredded coconut to give the appearance of fur?

  47. My Aunt Flossie’s kishke. No blood, unlike the Polish version, since Jewish. And fir RMS and the midwesterners, Frank Yankovich

  48. My mother made the best spaghetti and meat sauce. She learned the recipe from the Lebanese mom who lived downstairs from us. It has a bit of spice in it – nutmeg and clove. When we visited Greece, I noticed that a very similar spaghetti dish is popular there. So wonderful. I still make it today.

  49. @MM – isn’t that supposed to be the origin of Cincinnati chili? Greek spiced spaghetti sauce with chile powder added? Speaking of – I really should put that on the list to make soon. DS loves it, and so do I.

  50. Oh Becky, that is so familiar!!! Boiled vegetables and wheat germ!

    I remember my mom making strawberry shortcake with unsweetened biscuits, unsweetened strawberries mashed up, and unsweetened whipped cream. My dad was allowed to sprinkle sugar on his, but we were not. Sigh. Note: I haaaaated strawberry shortcake until I became a grownup and made it myself WITH SUGAR!

  51. I was a super, super picky eater as a kid so my food memories are mostly pushing food around my plate and being astonished at how much the boys ate. One of my brothers ate an entire tuna noodle casserole in one sitting, when I couldn’t even take a bite of it without gagging. That sticks in my head so much.

  52. Swim – I think so (coconut). But even though I was not the intended consumer I really only like coconut toasted so DW might have left it off.

  53. “One of my brothers ate an entire tuna noodle casserole in one sitting, when I couldn’t even take a bite of it without gagging.”

    I wrote a post earlier that got eaten (no pun intended). I won’t re-write it all, but I did make the comment that I was surprised at how many people here said they loved (and still love) tuna casseroles of various sorts. Canned tuna fish has always made me gag, even to this day. Like Lark, I was a very picky eater who is much less picky now, but I still cannot stand eating (or even smelling) canned tuna.

  54. When I was a kid, one of my mother’s stock “convenient” meals was Kraft Mac n Cheese (the kind with the pouch of orange paste goo, not the powdered kind) with canned tuna fish. Inexplicably, she always served it with blueberry muffins from a mix and peas. We loved that dish. When I met my DH, it turned out his mom made tuna mac exactly the same way. So we have always made it, without the muffins, though. My kids love it so much that I have to make extra so they can eat it for breakfast the next day. My two college kids were adamant that I needed to make it over Christmas break. I bet they will continue the condition.

  55. LT — it’s this one: –ridiculous, but for a Valentine’s treat (and a reminder of why we reeeeeeaaaalllllyyyyy need a cabin in Maine), I figured why not?

    In a completely unrelated matter, do not shop online while bored. ;-)

    Rocky: Granny’s cube steak was more like chicken-fried steak. She bought the cubed steaks at the store — basic cheap steaks that have been “tenderized” — then just basically coated them in flour/salt/pepper and fried them until they were dead. For no reason at all, I adored them.

    I keep remembering stuff — old fashioned cream pie. Green bean casserole (my health-food mother couldn’t abide a Funion but had no problems with canned green beans and cream of mushroom soup. Go figure). Butterscotch brownies. Now I’m getting hungry.

  56. My mother made tuna casserole. I couldn’t stand it. And in those days there was no alternative if you didn’t eat the family dinner. You went to bed hungry, unless you planned carefully ;) I still don’t like canned tuna. I also never like drinking milk. It was OK in cereal but that’s where I draw the line.

    My mother made good German potato salad. I made it a few times and I was happy with the result. We ate some unusual foods: steak tartare, tongue, smoked pork butt, cheese salad. It was funny when we had friends over for dinner. I couldn’t understand why they sometimes balked at the food.

    My best friend in the ‘hood lived next door and her mother let us drink soda and have sandwiches made on white bread. That never happened in my house, so I ate over her house quite a bit.

  57. DS just received his acceptance to his first choice college and program at UMD.

    I am shocked at how excruciating these last few weeks have been for me while waiting for this decision. I really wanted him to have this positive future path amid all the corona crap.

    p.s., DD – water resource economics could be a great field for your DS to pursue. Water Wars have kept my father busy for the last 53 years.

  58. SBJ, congrats to you DS!!!

    My DD was sharing info all afternoon because Maryland is a very popular school round here. Early decisions from Maryland and Michigan came out around the same time this afternoon. She seems to know a lot of kids from her HS and camp that want to attend both of these schools.

  59. SBJ, congrats to your DS!

    Has covid situation been improving in SoCal?DD really wants to go.

  60. SBJ, that’s awesome! I have to admit I had to Google UMD to find out which college it is. I’ve never seen it referenced as UMD before.

  61. Congrats to your DS, SBJ !
    It’s good to hear especially since all the news has been about schools slammed with tons of applications.

  62. Thank you all, it is great to end the week on a high note.

    Finn – Our case numbers are starting to improve on our weekly averages. Our county ICU availability is now at 16.7%. Newsom ended the Regional Stay At Home order this week, so I may actually have my hair appointment in 8 days. However DH’s work has not gone back to pre-Thanksgiving onsite density.

  63. DD, “whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over”

    Water Resource Economics provides a very good living in the Western U. S.

  64. LfB, I’m seriously thinking of ordering them as a special Valentine’s dinner. I’ll sleep on it before adding it to my cart. They look soooo good.

    Tuna noodle casserole using kraft mac n cheese and peas is one of my childhood favorites.

  65. When I went to college I brought a photo album and most of the pictures of my family were of us sitting around the dinner table, so food and family are combined memories.

    One source of these food & family memories was the Sunday lunches at my grandparents. My Grandmother thought nothing of serving both a ham and a turkey on a random Sunday in March. There was always a potato dish for my Scottish grandfather, who didn’t have an adventurous palate. There weren’t many green vegetables, and often two desserts. She made a great pound cake and a fantastic peanut butter cream pie. I’ve looked for her pie recipe and I think it is lost forever. They lived in India and in Vietnam, but she never cooked us food from those cuisines. I do know that she sometimes made curry for herself.

    At home there were four of my Mom’s dishes that I remember – Spaghetti (Bolognese), Hamburger Stroganoff, Chicken a la Din (chicken, bell peppers, & onions served over rice), and pork chops with scalloped apples. Pre-COVID at least one evening each time we visit my parents, my brother and his family will join us all for a big family meal and my mom would serve one of these favorites, or my brother would grill steak. So DS has grown up with the tradition of the big family gatherings around the dinner table. I have my Mom’s recipes and when DS was younger he once told me that he didn’t want to make the Spagetti or Hamburger Stroganoff too much because he wanted it to be special when his grandma made it.

    Of course there were also the memorable food disasters – my Mom only attempted Brunswick Stew once, there was a bad chicken pot pie, and she claimed that her turkey stuffing tasted like wall paper paste. I didn’t like fish growing up because my Mom didn’t like fish and so didn’t cook it. My tastes definitely expanded when I left home.

  66. My mom made tuna noodle casserole for my dad the night he proposed. My sister and I were always astonished by this since we both HATE tune noodle casserole. Why would you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who cooked that for you???

    Almost 50 years later they are still goofily in love.

  67. The home country faced food shortages when my parents were young adults. Prior to that many families had their own fields, orchards, reared poultry so food per se was not an issue in my grandparents time.
    My parents mentioned that they couldn’t serve a full dinner either sit down or buffet at their wedding reception. They had to serve a heavy appetizer plate and ice cream. They definitely remedied the situation at their 50th Anniversary celebration.
    People are back to celebrating weddings in the home country. Their case numbers are down considerably.
    It’s easier as most of the venues are outdoors. My cousin is getting married next week in an outdoor venue, morning ceremony followed by lunch.

  68. We binged the 4 episodes of The Event; Inside Wolfgang Puck catering on HBO Max. The reason I picked the show is because of this post. I couldn’t get food off my brain and this show made it worse because the food looked great for the cameras. It was only 4 episodes because it was cut short due to the virus, but we found it was very interesting. We watched with DD and aside from a few swear words, it is family friendly. I had no idea until I did some reading after the show that his business was so much more than restaurants.

  69. All I can say is that none of you haters have had my tuna noodle casserole.

    It is nice having DD1 and Skidmore niece next door. I can make family faves and text, i just made XYZ, do you all want half?

  70. Congrats to your DS, SBJ! I love your post about the family gatherings.

    I do make tuna casserole – in fact we are having it this week. But I tend to do a version from Everyday Food (RIP) that has red peppers and artichokes rather than peas and mushrooms. It’s delicious!

    But growing up we didn’t really eat anything with condensed soup as a casserole base. That was something I had at the church potlucks we talked about last week!

  71. Go SBJ’s DS! DS2 has finalized his college, and we are all so happy! UT!

    In Texas, we now have a “mixed” family!

  72. Congrats, SBJ and Houston!

    I’ve never eaten a tuna noodle casserole. My mom’s casseroles were always chicken or spaghetti-red-sauce based.

  73. That’s great news, Houston! We are “a house divided” as well. However, DS1 has no interest in college football, so it doesn’t rear its head much. As long as they both root for the same Premier League teams, our household is peaceful.

    My siblings and I have regular text conversations about the foods we remember from childhood. Mostly our fondness for grilled cheese and tomato soup for breakfast, although none of us prepared that for our own kids. I’m the black sheep who didn’t like peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. This comes up regularly.

  74. Congrats Houston!! Very exciting following these Totebag seniors!!

    @HFN – I love grilled cheese and tomato soup. We have that in our house as well, although I make the tomato soup from scratch, and no Kraft singles for the cheese. Even better if you use Cheez-its for croutons in the soup and have pickles on the side. DS hates it though. Oh well.

    That reminds me that whenever we visited my grandma, she would make us beanie weenies for lunch – always using Van Camps pork & beans. I loved it, but I’ve never made it for myself – even as a teen/college kid.

  75. A hearty congratulations to SBJ & Houston college bound kids – great news!

    SBJ – this will be an entirely different coast for your jr, correct? Was he able to visit the campus?

  76. Houston, great news!!

    I’ve never had tuna casserole or any kind of tuna fish from a can. It also makes me sick even though I do like to eat tuna in a restaurant. I never make it at home, but I enjoy the real thing that isn’t from a can.

    My mom used to make a frank and bean casserole that was just Heinz vegetarian beans and hotdogs cut into bite size pieces. She would add mustard, ketchup, and maple syrup in small quantities just to taste.

  77. @Lauren – I have turned leftover ahi tuna steak into a gourmet version of my childhood cold tuna noodle salad. YUM! I like canned tuna though – a tuna salad sandwich on a nice hoagie roll are delicious. Although as an adult I buy higher end canned tuna – either the imported kind packed in olive oil (like for salad nicoise) or the Wild Planet albacore (sold at Costco) which actually looks like a hunk of tuna steak when you open the can.

  78. Houston, Congratulations to your DS2! I hope your divided house can become a fun rivalry.

    Swim, Yes, this would be a cross country move for DS. He visited the campus Spring Break of Sophomore year. We went on a campus tour with him, then he did a department tour with a current student and ended up talking to the department chair for an hour.

  79. Thanks everyone. Similar to HFN’s family, DS2 does not care for sports at. all. DS1 is a big sports nut, and the two football teams are not in the same conference anymore. Crisis averted, here, too.

  80. Congrats, Houston and SBJ! There has been a lot of good college news over the past couple of months for the Totebag HS Class of 2021. It’s been so nice to hear!

  81. All you canned tuna fish haters, what do you think of the really fancy Spanish and Italian brands? Those are countries where people have eaten canned tuna for a long time. I even remember having canned tuna in France. Yum.

    I am going to admit right now that even though I love fresh fish in general, I am not a fan of fresh tuna. Cooked, even rare, it is too chalky and dry for me. During that fad for the barely seared tuna back in the 90’s, I would scrape off the cooked part and just eat the raw part. Today, I only get it as sushi and even then it is not my favorite because of its blandness (my fave is mackerel). I vastly prefer a good oil packed canned tuna.

  82. Lauren, I have The Event in my queue to watch.

    One of my absolute most favorite cooking competition shows just reemerged after a couple of years of being gone. It is the Great British Menu. There was one season on Amazon about 3 years ago, I watche it and loved it. I discovered that it is a long runnng program in Britain but I could not get my hands on it. PBS didn’t have it, Britbox didm’t have it. But a bunch of seasons just showed up on Amazon recently. The format is that they get 4 chefs from a region of Britain who cook for a place in the finals. They cover all the various regions. The show is very British in style, very to the point without a lot of razzle dazzle. In the season I am watching, Prince Charles is slated to be judging the finals (they are doing sustainable food) and they keep reminding us over and over that the chefs are competing for the chance to “cook for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall”. For some reason, DS2 who has been watching it with me thinks that line is really hilarious. He keps joking “We musn’t forget the Dutchess of Cornwall!”

  83. Congrats to the offspring of SBJ and Houston. Those are great schools (and I did know what UMD stands for)

  84. DS2 goes back to school tomorrow. We just went to the fancy new supermarket with the great cheese so he could stock up on stinky runny gooey stuff and buffalo mozzarella made in the store. SO sad. We have so many great conversations and he loves to watch documentaries just as much as I do. We just finished one on Reconstruction

  85. Happy college news for all! I have a local friend whose son is in a special program in College Park for, IIRC, defense dept level cyber security.

    As for canned Tuna, I only use the Italian in olive oil brand from Costco. Large cans. Last night was a kale salad with marinated from the can tuna and grilled cheese.

  86. I like this brand of canned tuna. I do lots of stuff with it, but one of my faves is to mix a couple of cans with some cans of garbanzo beans. I then add OO, lemon juice, capers, sliced olives, and basil Fast and yum and the kids will all eat it.

  87. I always get the canned tuna in olive oil, that Mooshi posted, drain the oil and use the fish to make tuna salad. Tuna preserved in olive oil tastes a thousand times better than tuna in water. I am pretty sure the type of canned tuna used makes a big difference in the tuna noodle casserole.

  88. DD, “whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over”

    Water Resource Economics provides a very good living in the Western U. S.

    Thanks Cass!

  89. I can report that the Caramel Coconut Fudge Cookies from Aldi are indeed Samoas and they are delicious. Oh, also only $1.25 for 18 cookies.

  90. I love canned tuna. I even like the kind that comes in the foil packets. I like it mixed with relish. I don’t think I have ever tried the kind in oil, but I am going to try based on the recommendations here.

  91. All I can say is that none of you haters have had my tuna noodle casserole.

    I don’t think I’ve ever had tuna noodle casserole.

    I find it interesting the regional foods that people mention that I have never heard of, like brunswick stew and Cincinnati chili.

  92. I was introduced to Brunswick stew in Cooks Country magazine a few years ago – it is delicious!!

  93. I don’t think I’ve ever had tuna noodle casserole.

    I never have either. I like tuna sandwiches or a scoop of tuna salad on a salad. But the idea of heated or warm tuna? Not a fan. Tuna melts or tuna noodle casserole? I don’t know what it is. But, no.

  94. I really think Grasshopper cookies are thin mints.

    Yes they are pretty much the same thing and much cheaper. I know, the money goes to Keebler instead of the GS. But if part of the point of selling GS cookies is for the girls to learn about business, then they should learn that in the real world, price matters and people won’t buy your products just because you’re cute :)

  95. I buy GS Thin Mints because I have a lot of neighbors with little kids. I also think that grasshoppers are a close substitute. We keep ours in the refrigerator even though I never did this before i met DH. I was the Treasurer for DD’s troop for one year. Even though buckets of money don’t always trickle down to a specific troop, money does flow to the regional and other girl scout organizations too. One of her favorite activities used to be the day that they would pack large numbers of boxes to send the troops. She left GS after 4th grade, but she always tried to volunteer with one of her friends that remained in GS to help at the annual Operation Cookie Drop.

  96. I don’t like standard tuna salad in particular. It has way too much mayo for my taste and I am not huge on chunks of celery (and even worse, people who put raw onion in, yick!). I do make my own variant of tunafish salad – a tiny touch of mayo and some olive oil, with very finely chopped raw carrot and some capers. It is a bit drier than the standard tunafish salad.

    And tuna melts are simply wonderful.

    One of the great things about tuna casserole and tuna melts is that both violate the prohibition against mixing cheese and fish.

  97. We always had GS in the neighborhood selling cookies and we bought even more from the GS troop that set up a table at church. Boy Scout popcorn was also bought at a church table. The most popular community fund raiser was for a women’s shelter where they raffled off a car.
    I *feel* I am getting closer to Before Times. Today, inspite of the chilly weather people were out and out in large numbers with a sort of festive air.

  98. “I was introduced to Brunswick stew in Cooks Country magazine a few years ago – it is delicious!!”

    I grew up on brunswick stew and have the recipe my mom used, that she cut out of flyer on a trip to the NC coast. It calls for “one chicken, or squirrel if you don’t have a chicken.”

  99. We just stumbled upon the Great British Menu on Amazon and enjoyed it.

    Couldn’t get into Bridgerton, not sure why but found it very meh. Maybe expectations had been raised too high.

    I’m going to try canned tuna in oil based on the recommendations here. Maybe the oil vs. water is why I don’t like canned tuna very much. DH loves it.

  100. I love tuna noodle casserole, but neither my kids nor DH really care too much for casseroles, so I never make it. I had never heard of Brunswick Stew. Looks interesting.

  101. “Skidmore niece “

    How have things worked out for her and her family? Is she a teacher? IIRC, when you first told her tale here, part of it was her intention to teach.

  102. Congrats to your kids SBJ and Houston! Austin is a great town.

    Every time I hear tuna noodle casserole, I am reminded of DD being in Montessori and me trying to figure out which menu week we were on.
    “Did you have tuna noodle casserole for lunch today?”
    Staring at calendar “What did you have?”
    “I think it was just one noodle casserole”

  103. “beanie weenies for lunch – always using Van Camps pork & beans. “

    That’s been a favorite since I was a kid. It was also a standby for those infrequent occasions when my Dad prepared dinner, using Vienna sausages. When I make it, I usually add onions, and sometimes corn or BBQ sauce. My kids like the way I prepare it, but DW will usually look for something else to eat.

    When he prepared lunch, it was often tuna sandwiches. He’d chop up some cabbage really fine and add it in, and he always added relish.

  104. I watched the season of British menu tonight. I thought it was very English in its condescending attitude toward two of the three chefs, one a Sikh with a heavy Scots accent and the other from West Scotland. I found The judge for the preliminary round insufferable and a number of other non PC adjectives.

    I ll stick with the Baking show.

  105. My favorite Gamestop story so far:

    “The GameStop stock surge has benefited small-scale investors, many of them surprised at their unlikely windfalls. Perhaps none so much as a 10-year-old boy from San Antonio.

    The fifth-grader was gifted 10 GameStop shares, each at $6.19, as a Kwanzaa present from his mother in December 2019. She bought the stock simply because her son liked to buy video games at the store and she wanted to teach him a little about the stock market.

    In a matter of minutes this week, Jaydyn Carr became an unexpected beneficiary of the market mayhem, as his $60 stake in the video game retailer grew to $3,200….”

    And for those of you wondering about taxes, I’m guessing he’s in the 0% tax bracket for LTCG.

  106. I am thinking of canned tuna and my kids. They would be confused by the Chicken of the Sea title since they haven’t had many canned goods at all at home. Their childhood was the era where the food culture shifted to fresh fruits and vegetables, organic, locally grown and fruits and vegetables in a smoothie. Apart from the smoothie bit, it was the similar food culture, I grew up with but without all the current labels.

  107. The Great British menu – I felt the format tedious and had to abandon it. The GBBO is still interesting after many seasons. I am partial to the season when Nadiya won – she has an engaging personality and was fun to watch.

  108. I didn’t find them condescending at all, just crusty, acerbic British. And I really appreciated Tony SIngh (the Sikh guy) because he was so Scottish, just a bloke. I have a lot of Sikh students and they are kind of like that, just plain old Queens guys. In American shows, there is this expectation that chefs of Asian heritage will be totally into food and spices of their background. They can’t just be from Kansas. That is why I appreciated Tony Singh.
    Have you ever watched Hell’s Kitchen? What do you think when Gordon Ramsey screams endless insults and foul language at the competitors?

  109. I tried to watch the baking show, but maybe because I don’t bake, I found it really dull. I also tried to watch that British cooking show where they pit families against each other, but it was too soap opera for me. I like shows that are more about the cooking and less about the personalities. I like the old Japanese Iron Chef, for example. I also loved that show Ugly Delicious and wish they would make more of them

  110. I never watch the Gordon Ramsay shows. The one with the kids in US was toned down enough to be tolerable, but why?

  111. So supposedly this GameStop thing is intended to take down hedge funds. I am not really getting it. DH, who works for a large hedge fund, says that they are just ignoring it. He didn’t even know about it until Friday, and it hasn’t been a topic of conversation in their meetings. He said that shorting isn’t really one of their things. It seems to me that they can only go after hedge funds that play along.

  112. I don’t know why, but this forecast of snow is putting me over the edge. I have no “plans” for Monday or Tuesday so there is nothing to cancel. If we lose power, I think I will lose my mind. Even though I know it is a waste of time to worry today, this storm is making me feel trapped.

  113. Right, it’s totally not going to take down hedge funds. A whole bunch of hedge funds will make money off of it. It’s definitely going to contribute to market volatility for awhile, though.

  114. If we lose power or Internet, it will be bad. I have huge amounts of work, and am scheduled to teach a 3 hour Zoom class in the evening.

  115. I think I will post an announcement to that class saying that if we lose Internet, the first class will be recorded and posted as soon as we get service back.

  116. We went to the France Costco this morning, and I searched for tuna in oil. I couldn’t find it. Just regular tuna in a can that looked like Charlie Tuna brand. I guess the French are not picky about their canned tuna. The tuna was right next to the foie gras.

  117. We have 6″ at least this morning, and it is still coming down hard (lake effect going to stick around all day I think). DS went sledding & now is settling in for a day of video games. I tried to go for a walk, but it was a real slog through the snow. I think I’ll settle inside as well. We don’t often lose power…we’ll see.

  118. Tuna brands at Carrefour (supermarket chain in France) They have both water packed and olive oil packed. I remember that Petit Navire brand which is kind of like Chicken of the Sea. Some of it seems to be gourmet brands like Le Savoreux, others are generics. They like their canned tuna!

  119. We had a storm here and lost power from Tuesday until Friday. Some places in the DDs college town are still out.

    Its a real pain. we are meeting with someone tomorrow about setting up a generator

  120. Lauren – hang in there. We have dismal weather here too. Lots of rain and quite bleak.

    This post tempted me to look at treat delivery sites. I ordered treat items for Valentines Day. I was thinking of a fancy box of chocolates for my parents but fancy boxes have chocolates in unusual flavors that may not go over well with my parents. I don’t think they will appreciate biting into a chili flavored chocolate. My kids will think similarly, I’m guessing.

  121. Cass, don’t you have PV? Are you able to use that when PG&E goes down? If not, you might want to ask your contractor what it would take to create that situation.

    We haven’t had an outage since we started adding the system with batteries, but there are a couple of outlets connected to them that are, supposedly (no outages so we haven’t had IRL test) able to tap the panels and batteries even when local utility goes down.

  122. Finn,

    PV doesn’t work well at night and so far, battery capacity isn’t great. Also, there needs to be a cutoff switch to prevent power from backfeeding into the power grid and killing linesman.

  123. Cass, ours automatically disconnects from the grid when it goes down, which is a sensible requirement for grid connection. But rather than have any electricity production go to waste, which is the norm for most PV systems when the grid goes down, any production can be consumed on our side of the disconnect. It’s not unlike the switch Milo uses when he fires up his generator.

    And IMO having electricity during the day is better than not at all, especially for several days. That can be enough to keep food in your fridge/freezer from spoiling, and allow you to charge devices, and connect online if that infrastructure remains online.

    Based on what you’ve posted here about the frequencey of outages on your grid, e.g., PG&E shutting down prophylactically in advance of bad weather, it would seem worthwhile to at least investigate the possibility of such a reconfiguration.

  124. Finn, I think that is part of what we’ll talk about tomorrow. We have a well, so we need electricity when the suns not shining.

    I hope the cost isn’t prohibitive. This has been a ridiculously hard week and I’m just done with not hav8ng reliable power.

  125. Kerri – thanks for the Nadiya on Netflix suggestion. I have book marked two recipes to try. Some of the dishes definitely look like you need practice to get right. Others need ingredients not common here. My SIL tried the Beef Wellington and her dish did not look as good as Nadiya’s.

  126. Cass, good luck. The one thing that I can’t stand about our home is that I have no control over the situation with electricity. Our HOA is finally going to consider allowing generators, but it could take a year until they figure this out. I would be willing to pay to get more control over the situation.

    So far there are no issues here because the very high winds didn’t start yet. I have something to smile about today because my neighbor offered to let me park in her garage for the duration of the storm. She is staying upstate because they are expecting about 4 inches since their other home is not near the coast. Both of our cars are inside so we don’t have to clean a car. We live near the line that the forecasters are showing 24 inches vs. 12 -18. I am really hoping that we can avoid those heavier snow bands. DD’s school has a snow day instead remote due to the high winds so she can sleep in today.

  127. RMS: We’re moving back this summer

    Ivy: I know!! I thought it was funny they didn’t have the same tuna. I’ll have to give a review of Costco France at some time. It’s not exactly like Costco in the US.

    MM: The article you posted was almost a decade old. In December the big issue was how Brexit would impact the French fishers. It was a huge issue if they would still be able to fish in English waters. (

    DD’s favorite French sandwich is the one you posted, but in every boulangerie I’ve ordered it in it’s just called Thon.
    In the canteen at work sardines were often served (at least once a week). I can’t ever remember eating sardines at a restaurant or cafeteria back home.

    Brexit is having a huge impact on Marks & Spencer here. For most of January the shelves were completely empty.

  128. Lauren, good luck. I’m sorry you’ve gotten more snow than we have for a few of these storms – we’re only supposed to get 8-12 and I would much rather get 24, I love snow! We live almost across the street from the fire station so have only lost power a couple of times (in the summer with thunderstorms) since we’ve moved here.

  129. ” so we don’t have to clean a car. ”

    DW has to be at HQ of her business this week. Key gripe: I’ll be parking outside day and night so I’ll have to brush off my car.

  130. Congrats SBJ! Definintely email me when you guys head out — always happy to serve in loco parentis when needed.

    Houston — Hook ’em! Congrats!

    Tuna: I am so the opposite of MM — I will eat canned tuna (preferably albacore in water) and some raw tuna (e.g. poke) precisely because it *doesn’t* have a lot of flavor. ;-) I will do tuna salad with either relish or celery/lemon, or lemon juice/capers.

    Strangely enough, though, one of my favorite dishes is vitello alla tonnato, which is to tuna salad what pate de foie gras is to pate de campagne. It’s really good tuna in oil, mayo (preferably homemade), eggs, capers, anchovy, and cream, all whizzed in a food processor until it’s completely smooth, then served with capers and with very thin slices of veal cooked to medium (like a carpaccio, but you poach the veal in a flavorful broth and chill it before slicing). It is a classic dish from the Piedmont in Italy, and it is like nothing I’ve ever had before, and I absolutely crave it (although I do add more caper juice than most to keep it from being too fishy).

    We had decent snow yesterday — maybe 3″? +/-? But then overnight it turned to sleet and freezing rain, so now we have that lovely heavy crust on top of everything.

  131. HFN – that is awesome. I was joking about Chick FIl A helping ! But getting people through the drive through are what they are known for. Here, the mass vaccination drives (some with private help) have definitely improved the rate of vaccine distribution.

  132. Lauren,you have a HOA? I thought they were really uncommon in this area. When we were house hunting, we never encountered a house that fell under a HOA and we looked at a LOT of houses!

    A lot of people in our neighborhood have generators and use them when power is out. For some reason, my block rarely loses power – we even kept power during Sandy – but I shouldn’t say that because now we will lose power.

  133. “in loco parentis”
    because I’m demented I always first translate that to “the crazy parent”

  134. Lauren, with how often you lose power for extended periods, have they given any though to burying the power lines?

  135. ” I’ll have to give a review of Costco France at some time.”

    Please do!

    I used to pick up dinner at Marks & Spencer in Barcelona all the time. The Spanish markets didn’t have a lot of grab & go type stuff back in the day – most of my other 20-something coworkers lived with their parents – the single 20-something market was not huge. Maybe they still don’t have a lot of grab & go.

  136. Denver, my power lines are buried!! The lines go out to two different major roads. Those roads have lots of lines and utility poles for different telecom and Con Ed. There are a lot of trees near the lines. Verizon and Con Ed are allowed to cut anything (and they do), but there are just too many trees. Something always comes down, or transformers blow.

  137. “The one thing that I can’t stand about our home is that I have no control over the situation with electricity.”

    I’ve probably asked before, but does your HOA allow rooftop PV? I realize output would be low during a storm, but probably still non-zero, and in the aftermath output would likely return to normal if your system isn’t damaged.

    Ours projects to pay for itself in something like 10 years, with a 25 year projected lifetime. Power during outages is a bonus.

  138. “We live almost across the street from the fire station”

    Does that help with your homeowner’s insurance rate?

  139. Lauren, that’s what I’m talking about – burying those main lines. Has anyone looked into that?

  140. FInn, no.

    DD, this topic about buried power lines came up after Sandy. According to Con Ed and the state, it would cost billions (and billions). The idea of buried power lines came up again after the summer storm in August 2020. Con Ed is in the process of updating the gas lines in the village that is next door. It takes them about a month to do three streets and I am not exaggerating. They started the project in September 2019 and they have completed about 1/3 of the village that is next to my Town. This is just to update existing gas lines so I can’t imagine that even if they have the money, how long it would take them to bury the power lines.

  141. My (large) master planned community has buried power lines which is one of the reasons we chose it over the others we were looking at. With all the storms Houston gets, losing power is a huge nuisance and not having to address multiple sites within the neighborhood seems to help.

  142. Finn – I don’t think so, we have a ridiculous “high value” policy which requires us to have a house alarm (we never turn that on) and also means that the alarm goes off every time I make pizza on the pizza stone or do something particularly smoky on the stovetop!

  143. Lauren, that’s too bad.

    I wonder if your HOA can actually disallow rooftop PV. Locally, a state law was passed a while back that pretty much disallowed any HOAs from banning rooftop solar panels, which include both hot water and PV. More recently, the Right to Dry bill similarly disallowed HOAs from banning clotheslines.

  144. My neighborhood has buried lines. OTOH, whether or not we’re a big city is a subjective question.

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