Monday, February 8, 2010

History at the Table

Memory foods. Not foods that increase your memory but those you take through your life that carry memories. This morning on the Today Show talking about foods your children will love. Well, my childhood favorites are a bit out of style, but they are memorable.

Mom’s noodles were unlike anything on the market then and now. Fresh eggs and a little flour rolled thin then rolled up tightly took most of Mom’s morning. Finally the bundles were cut into tiny yellow noodles, covered to dry, then dropped into rich chicken broth. I would sit under the card table where Mom dried the noodles sneaking a hand up from under the table cloth capturing a handful of fresh noodles. Raw eggs. A wonder I’m still here.

Under Mom’s rolling pin, pie crust for shoo fly pie and cream pie were created. Potpie was rolled and cut into fat squares we all craved with our mashed potatoes. We kids rolled leftover dough, sprinkled it with sugar and cinnamon. A few minutes in the oven, and we had a child’s delight. Apple dumplings that still make my mouth water were a treasured dessert….and sometimes a meal. A bit more flour and eggs and rivilles dropped into beef broth topped another mound of mashed potatoes. Memories.

I look at the things I fixed my kids. The foods I grew up with never turned out well in my kitchen. My family ate on the run more times than not. Sour cream casserole, stuffed Mexican shells, grilled cheese and tomato soup. Later the kids would pick their own favorites.

Favorite foods are a history. They represent an era, a way of life. My children are living in a time when their kids will know more about nutrition and health when remembering their childhood table.

I cherish this love and memory of home style cooking, of feeding hands on the farm and making a little go along way. Of homemade noodles, vegetables from the garden, eggs from the hen house and meat raised to feed a family of five. We were fed with history at our table. The history of a family on Neff Road.

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