Sunday, September 4, 2005
Childhood Food Memories - A Meme
No, the picture has absolutely nothing to do with what's in this post - but it was such a pretty picture I had to use it somewhere, didn't I?
AY-AY-AY! I seem to be making promises I can't keep! I promised I'd return, then left you for a WHOLE WEEK, without a word of notice! Promises, promises, promises - which will, eventually, just as sun comes after rain, night after day, be followed by excuses, excuses, excuses. No changing the ways of the world this time either: Seems I sometime, about two weeks ago, caught a bugger of a throat virus that I'm still struggling with. The bastard makes my entire throat swell, my voice going weirdo and makes eating - not a pleasure. Kinda the worst part about it, not being able to eat! Drink cold, don't lie down, eat cold - ARGH! I want warm tea! The mere thought of eating (or drinking for that matter) has put me quite cold over the last couple of days - hence the absence.
Anyways - enough of the apologies! I've promised to do the Childhood Food Memories - twice! - and by God, I'll do it! If you haven't heard of it yet, it's pretty simple: what do you miss from your childhood? In the foodblogger-world, that of course means "What food-related things do you miss from your childhood?" Easing me gently back into the foodie-sphere, here they are: my five favorite memories:
Breakfast in Bed and Mom's Tea
When I was little, my Mom used to bring me breakfast in bed. We had this large tray with a picture of a pitcher of beer and two glasses, some boats in the background. Every morning, that tray would be planted on my lap, as I sat in bed, listening to the radio. On it would be a bowl of oatmeal with milk and sugar or sometimes a piece of toast with chokoladepålæg or cheese, maybe a piece of fruit. And always, but always, there'd be Mom's tea. Earl grey with milk and sugar. At that time, she actually used a sweetener - up until I was 16 or something, I couldn't take the taste of real sugar in my tea, I was so used to the sweetener. Now it's the other way around - go figure! The breakfast in bed stopped somewhere around the time when I got old enough to decide I just couldn't stomach anything in the morning. But the tea continued, in my own personal lemon-shaped cup.
It still just spells out morning to me. Morning, or maybe Mom. Whenever we're having tea and she's around, she has to make it for me - there's just the right proportions of tea to milk to sugar, that no matter what I do, it just doesn't taste the same when I do it myself. And I don't think it has to.
My Grandmother, on my Dad's side, used to watch me every now and again when I was at my Dad's, as I was every other weekend when I was little. For lunch, she'd make me the appropriate, and filling, rye bread sandwiches that every little girl and boy eats here in Denmark, with leverpostej and spegepølse. A small sprinkle of salt and pepper, a couple of slices of cucumber on top. But the real treat was the "sandwich on the side" - two thick slices of cucumber, one with a slice of spegepølse on top, the other with a smearing of leverpostej. Those were fantastic! Always saved for last, and I could usually persuade her to double the portion. When lunch was at it's best, she'd sit with me and tell stories from when she was little, while I ate. I think I've tried recreating them after she passed away, but you know - there are some things only Grandmothers are supposed to do...
Becoming a teenager had it's own advances, one of them being able to go home after school, bringing your friends for a little feast in the kitchen. We'd take out the toaster and just do toast after toast after toast until everyone had ham, cheese and white plastic bread coming out of their ears, sitting at the little table in the kitchen, the smell of slightly burned cheese permeating the air. Lots of giggling and chatting going on, probably about boys, boys and then more boys! On special occasions, we'd make pancakes and eat them with whipped cream (the canned stuff) and drink hot chocolate, heating the milk in the microoven, then stirring in cocoa-powder, adding (more) canned whipped cream for the finishing touch. It's been a looong time since I had that kind of toast - these days, we've moved on to the more sophisticated Croque Monsieur - but I have to say, the grilled toast might be in for a renaissance...
Soft Boiled Eggs
I know no one that can make a soft boiled egg with the same perfection my Dad can. No runny whites, no smidgen of hard yolk. Just perfection. I suppose there have been times when they were in fact less than perfect, but you know - these are memories, and in the old days, everything was bigger, better and more perfect. Every Saturday morning (sometimes Sundays, too) when I was spending the weekend at his place, he'd make each of us two soft boiled eggs (two soft boiled eggs for my friend too, if I'd have one sleep over). We had them with rye bread with a thick layer of salted butter, and for each bite you took of the egg, your chubby little fingers had to crush a little bit of salt on top, so that it was ready to make the next mouthful just as savory a delight as the previous one. When I'd finish my egg, the ritual was to turn it up-side down and present it to my Dad, saying "Oh I just can't eat both of them!" He'd take his spoon resolutely in hand and knock the egg to make the shell crack, which of course resulted in the (already eaten egg's) empty shell shattering in a 1000 pieces - and lots of laughter! He'd do it to me too, and it was always hilariously funny, even though everyone of course knew exactly what was going to happen. I also remember he had these egg cosies - you know, like people have a tea cosy for keeping their teapot warm? These were smaller in size naturally, for keeping the eggs warm in their little egg cup. Neat. I have a picture of me, my Dad and a friend of mine, the three of us with tea cosies on our heads, and me and my friend's dolls with the, for them, more appropriately sized egg cosies on their heads. Yup, you're right - we're very normal! I actually read somewhere, that if a person is in a room where a tea cosy is present, that person will feel a (very natural) urge to put said tea cosy on their head. I don't know why that is, but I know it's true for me!;-)
Late night Romkugler
So, a bit of explanation here: romkugler is (I think anyways) a very Danish thing - a kitchy/trashy made-from-leftover-Danish-pastry type of - sweet? Not cake, consistency-wise a bit like a chocolate truffle, though not anywhere near as smooth in texture, and definitely not posh at all. I'll admit it - it's trash - or maybe, the step just before trash. And I loved them. I used to work in a bakery, and we got to take cakes and bread with us home every now and again - I loved to bring home romkugler, especially if I knew I was going to have a night out with my best friend, J. Having spend an entire night out on the town, dancing, drinking - well, we all know that will inevitably, bring on the munchies. There's no way around it. Our way of finishing a stellar night would be, after we'd removed our make-up, to sneak out to the fridge and pop out a couple of cold, cold romkugler and a large glass of milk each, then jump back to bed, eat our romkugler and chat about what had happened that night. We always slept over at each others. I miss the whole romkugle-affair, but I actually think I miss the sleeping over part even more. We very seldom do that anymore. Only natural I guess, but I do miss ending a great night by chatting away until I fall asleep, a bit of romkugle still left at the corner of my mouth...
I was tagged by both Barbara and Julie, but seeing I am so darn late, I don't think anyone has been able to dodge the meme - therefore I'll just put up both of the lists of links here, for you to click away on:
From Barbara's branch:
1) Farmgirl Fare
2) Becks & Posh
3) The Cooks Cottage
4) Tigers & Strawberries
5) Food & Thoughts
From Julie's branch:
1) Tasca da Elvira
2) Cuisine et Compagnie
3) Chocolate & Zucchini
4) A Finger in Every Pie
5) Food & Thoughts
Hmm, wait - I think I've thought of a couple of people - I'll update if they'd like to join!