Sunday Start-A-Big-Fight Post

Mommy-Nanny Food Wars.

I try like hell to remember what my mother fed me when I was little and all I can recall is spaghetti and a whole lot of meatloaf. We ate a lot of red meat, before we knew what cholesterol was, and then we ate a lot of chicken. I do remember mealtimes being very, very set (breakfast at 6:30 before school, lunch always at noon, dinner at 5:30 on the dot no matter what was blowing up or falling apart) and meals studiously balanced: meat, starch, veg, dessert. It was when I went to college that I began eating peanut butter out of the jar and cold Chinese food for breakfast, a habit which persists to this day.

What did mom or the nanny feed you?


16 thoughts on “Sunday Start-A-Big-Fight Post

  1. Pretty much standard fare — meatloaf, spaghetti, hamburgers, pork chops, roasts, fried potatoes, chili, etc. etc. etc. With 8 of us to feed, quantity was the watchword of the day.
    In fact, the only times that meals turned out to be a battleground of any kind were the times that Mom wandered off the reservation for strange reasons of her own and presented us with stuff like liver and onions or ham hocks and pinto beans, and on one memorable breakfast occasion, Eggs Benedict. Not that there’s anything intrinsically wrong with these dishes (well, maybe the liver and onions thing – ick), but they weren’t what we were used to, that’s for sure.

  2. Crawfish etouffee, file gumbo, lots of Popeye’s, red beans and rice, calas, beignets, bugnes lyonnaises, stuffed mirliton, shrimp remoulade, etc.
    New Orleanian born and raised…now in…Kansas. (!)

  3. Your comment about timing of meals made me laugh (sounded just like our schedule). My mom was also ruled by the clock, (both parents had been in the Navy and I guess it just stuck). Mom worked too, so it was whatever you could get on the table quickly. Hamburgers, pork chops, chicken, but always out for dinner on Sunday.

  4. Ooohh…moving from great food to midwestern food is not so great. I grew up in Kansas and spent many years there before moving to Nevada. I have a Kansas born but Louisiana raised wife and love the food. In Kansas I spent many and hour watching Justin Wilson on the PBS station and spicing up the dinner table with Cajun Cooking.
    At least the beef has a bit better flavor from the pastures in Kansas. But spread the wealth and introduce your neighbors to that great New Orleans style cooking.
    I remember lots and lots of casseroles as mom and dad both worked long hours during my childhood. The worst meals I can recall were lunches prepared by my non-cooking father consisting of two cold Oscar Mayer weiners on white bread with Miracle Whip. I still don’t eat hot dogs.

  5. Didn’t we all get spaghetti? My Mom was no cook so I remember a lot of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, but as she always reminded us we didn’t starve.

  6. oy, i STILL can taste that pork and apple cassarole. EEESH. my brother and i still bring it up occasionally. hockey pucks! (pork sausages). my paternal unit’s mother was a very gooood cook. i got her cooking genes. i took over on most stuff around 12 or so. the frozen broccoli always got hidden under the plates and made its way to garbage can.
    but she made ok turkey for childhood thanksgiving. and baked good were her forte. although you WOULD think she would know that any recipe that says 3 teaspoons of baking soda is a MISPRINT!
    i remember mashed potato pancakes. blegh. but mostly was fed by both grandmothers. one kitchen vastly superior.

  7. Potato cakes. Yum.
    What you need is cold mashed potatoes, eggs, flour, baking soda, and bacon grease.
    They’re even tastier if the cold mashed potatoes are leftover Thanksgiving sweet potatoes.

  8. My mom cooked but my dad was a uhmmmm picky and demanding eater. Not just the time of day but the meal and day as well.
    Ask me the day I can tell you the meal, drove my mother (and me) crazy but that was the way he liked it.
    After every supper my dad had three Oreo cookies (which we were not allowed to have). Hence our name for Oreo’s was, “Dad’s cookies”. I knew I had made it in life when I could afford a bag of Oreos for myself.
    I must say though I miss her fried chicken (Thusday) and Pot Roast with carrots and potatos (Sunday).
    More importantly I miss her.

  9. a boy takes a heap of bringin’ up
    “goulash” — macaraoni, ground beef, hunt’s tomato sauce, paprika
    creamed chipped beef on toast really
    fish sticks and ore-ida tater tots
    swanson’s pot pies
    pork roast, beef roast, ham on sundays, with roast potatoes and carrots
    “greek” chicken – baked under oil, black pepper, and a ton of oregano
    stewed chicken with homemade “slicker” cut-dough dumplings – very German
    “porcupine meatballs” hamburger/minute rice baked in hunt’s tomato sauce
    ring bologna, boiled. hot dogs
    roast turkey, roast duck (we never succeeded in bringing home a goose)
    chicken-fried pheasant
    chicken-fried rabbit
    pan-fried panfish and catfish
    pancakes, biscuits, cornbread
    fried hamburgers with tomato and lettuce and pickles and onion
    with home-mixed ice-cream chocolate _malts_. with malt powder
    yes, meatloaf
    “pedro’s special” – hamburger, kidney beans, hunt’s tomato, chili powder, fritos
    franco-american canned spaghetti and ravioli with garlic bread
    chun-king canned chow mein with minute rice
    dinty moore canned beef stew with bread
    jeno’s box-mix homemade pizza on a cookie sheet
    all the carnation powdered milk we could drink
    sometimes with nestle’s “quik”
    grandma’s home-canned shelly green beans with bacon and salt
    sweet corn in season, home-frozen sweet corn kernels out of season
    bacon eggs toast cold cereal oatmeal with raisins milk orange juice
    pork sausage orange juice pancakes
    half a grapefruit waffles little smokies sausages
    fried eggs soft-boiled eggs scrambled eggs poached eggs
    green grapes jonathan apples oranges plums
    ham sandwiches liverwurst sandwiches spam sandwiches
    roast-beef sandwiches roast-pork sandwiches
    ham and swiss sandwiches on rye
    turkey sandwiches egg sandwiches cheese sandwiches
    tuna-salad sandwiches egg-salad sandwiches we ate a _lot_ of sandwiches
    bean soup split-pea soup
    campbell’s tomato soup with a grilled-cheese sandwich
    campbell’s vegetable beef soup with crackers
    aunt betty’s zuchini steamed, or as zuchini bread
    the neighbor’s home-grown tomatoes in BLTs
    peanut butter sandwiches with popcorn and apple slices every Sunday night
    “picnic” canned fried shoestring potatoes potato chips
    fritos corn chips fluorescent-orange cheezy puffs
    hard-time apple salad three-bean salad
    devilled eggs jello salad baked beans frozen peas potato salad
    cheese and crackers and beef sausage and oyster stew at Christmas
    tuna casserole “scalloped” potatoes “scalloped” corn baked beans
    “kwik-e-k” bars cakes pies “kolache” fudge cookies
    banana bread date bread homemade fruit cake plum pudding
    christmas candy easter candy halloween candy

  10. I grew up poor in a poor town. So, most meals were meatless. We had a lot of dry beans with bacon fat in them, potatoes cooked every imaginable way, macaroni. In the spring we would, all four of us, go looking for “greens” – dandelion, wild lettuce, lambs quarters, dock, and others I don’t still remember, but could still pick with confidence. My dad was a barber, who worked as long as someone was waiting for a haircut, so dinner (noon) and supper (6 p.m.) had widely varying times depending on how busy he was. But, my mom was very much into dietary requirements, so we never got what we now call junk foods. And, we always had a very big vegetable garden with all of the excess canned for the winter.

  11. Lots of reasonably different variety in what we got for dinner, but I was an interminably picky child.
    The meals that couased the most stress, however:
    Beef Stroganoff – But Mommmm…those little black flecks are mushrooms!! I HATE mushrooms!! (Course, now I eat ’em pretty much any which way)
    Birdseed Casserole – A deplorable combination of ground beef, celery, onion and birdseed(millet is the only one the comes immediately to mind)
    Vegetable Nut Loaf – Gag. With grainy cheddar cheese sauce. Which always got eaten cold, after having sat on my plate for likely hours. Gag.

  12. The answer to us kids’ many questions of “What’s for Dinner?” invariably gave us the answer “Hotdish”.
    Basically, my mom’s “hotdish” consisted of ground beef, some type of noodle, and some type of sauce. Usually it was tomato sauce, and macaroni noodles. To this day, the sight of chili mac damn near makes me gag. Other times it was ground beef, cream of mushroom soup and macaroni noodles. Like the chili mac, I no longer eat cream of mushroom soup if I can help it.
    There were some other favorites though. My mom’s meatloaf was a staple around our house. We had it at least once or twice a month. Then there was Strudela(sp?) which was basically dumplings and potatoes. We also had mashed potato pancakes on occasion too.
    Thank god my wife is a much better cook than my mom. I am very well fed now.

  13. your mom or the nanny?
    pardon me , A, but there is a whole world of childrens’ meals that begin and end without either.

  14. It’s been many but, as I recall, when my brother and I asked what it was we were eating, Mom would say, “It’s FOOD. Eat it!” 😀
    To be fair to my Mother, she was a great cook and we only had to ask that a few times before we figured out that it was some tasty variation of “leftover meat in sauce” based on whatever Sunday’s roast was: chicken, pot roast, turkey, ham, whatever. The rest of our meals were largely cholesterol-heavy (and nummy) Hungarian-influenced American food. I do remember that Sunday brunches were cornucopial affairs filled with bacon, sausages, eggs, pastries, toast, some kind of Hungarian delicacy that escapes my memory (peppers, I think) and, ohhh, potatoes fried in bacon fat. Mmmm… (And this was just the four of us.) Those stopped suddenly and curiously to me, until later, when I realized that my parents had realized they were gaining a lot of weight. And, apparently, so were we. 😀

  15. My mother is a great cook. She can serve up a 35lb turkey, 15lb of potatoes, bowls of gravy, cranberries, corn(frozen fresh from her garden in August) and a fruit salad that’s to die for. This is just Thanksgiving, serving 30 or more people.
    When this old hippie was but a young lad the rule was dinner at 6 – period. If you had sports or a school event, Mom made a plate, covered it in foil and placed it in the oven. Everyone else had to sit at the table to get fed. There were 10 at the table unless my older bro was at practice or meeting with his clubs. The rest of us shoved in around a fold-out table in the kitchen, Mom’s back up against the oven and Dad squeezed in between the two little ones.
    I’ve read the meals others have written here and they all sound very, very familiar. Mom took what she had, what we grew in the garden and what she could get from the gov’t and fed us well. Dad worked as a logger so would cut trees on the weekend for his rancher buddies for beef, chicken and eggs.
    The meals were generally simple but hearty. They weren’t nouveau cuisine but they were kind of food that got you moving in the morning and overfed before bed. We had hamburger gravy (there’s your mushroom soup, bulldog) over rice or potatoes, macaroni and cheese with chunks of bologna, chicken with rice or potatoes. Lots of potatoes, Dad got about 200lbs out of the garden.
    This is comfort food. At the time I would have loved to chuck it all for a Big Mac (alas, no Mickey D’s in my hometown at the time) or a pizza. Now, this is the food that I dream of. It was wholesome and well prepared. More important than the food was we sat at the table together and TALKED.
    Now, every one of my seven siblings can cook – well. We gather together and feast with the inlaws and their families, friends we’ve known for years and those we’ve just met. On a summer day, it’s not unusual for 15 people to be at Mom & Dad’s for dinner – fried chicken, potato salad, fresh beans or corn from the garden and one of Mom’s pies – Ok, four of Mom’s pies.

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