Friday, May 16, 2008

Yum, LARD

Pin It IMing the other evening, my friend Azucar and I somehow got to talking about the horrible, no good, very bad culinary pranks our parents liked to play on us. AZ reminded me about powdered milk and wheat gum (VOMIT). I cannot talk about that particular bit of wretchedness without having horrifying flashbacks, but luckily AZ just posted about it here.

(Ooooh, also, my sister wrote about powdered milk a few months ago on her food blog, here. I love how in the comments my brother's wife says he is still traumatized, and my mom tries to disavow her role in it. NICE TRY, MOM.)

My mom had other cooking quirks. For a while there she had this thing about gluten, or as I like to call it, wheat dregs. Once she made us gluten and oatmeal cookies. Let me repeat that. GLUTEN AND OATMEAL COOKIES. And she told us they were treats. That is NOT. RIGHT.

We were not allowed to have chips or any kind of sugary cereal. No Fruit Loops or Fruity Pebbles for us. No sireee, we ate Wheaties. Except, and I've never been able to quite figure this out - they let us put brown sugar on TOP of the Wheaties. And they would just - hand us the bag. Here kids, eat this nasty brown tasting cereal because it's good for you, except, also, HERE'S a SHOVEL and a bag of sugar - knock yourselves out. TELL ME HOW THAT MAKES SENSE.

My mom used to lock the fridge. To be fair, she did not really have a choice. There were NINE of us. Defensive measures had to be taken. She had this bungee cord and she would hook one end to the fridge handle and one end to a hook on the wall, and if you tried to open it and actually managed to get it unhooked, it would basically snap you so hard you went unconscious.

Sometimes, if the fridge was unlocked and mom was in another room, we would just rush it and take anything we could find and run away to another room where we would eat it, crouched in corners, stuffing the food into our gullets while keeping a watchful eye on the doorway. I once ate seven raw hot dogs, just because I could. Because they were there. (This explains so much about my eating philosophy. Oh, look, there it is! Hurry, hurry, hurry EAT IT NOW! EAT IT NOW! BEFORE IT'S GONE!)

I remember very clearly that my mom came after us for that one. She said, "Who ate those hot dogs? WHICH ONE OF YOU ATE THOSE HOT DOGS?! They were raw. RAW! You ate RAW MEAT. What are you?! ANIMALS?!"

I pretended to know nothing. "It wasn't me," I said. And then I threw up on her. (So I think she figured it out.)

If we were very good, my mom liked to serve a little dish she called Chocolate Treat. Chocolate Treat consisted of four ingredients. Peanut butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and a dash of milk. She mixed the ingredients together until it was the consistency of thick frosting, and gave it to us to eat with a spoon. So basically her philosophy was, "Here my children, eat Wheaties for breakfast and then you may have a nice bowl of lard."

This is me and my older sister. (I'm on the right.) See the nice healthy sheen on our hair? TOTALLY FROM THE LARD.


Ah, memories. So, what foods did your parents inflict on you?

109 comments:

  1. Liver...and it stank up the room. To this day, I cannot even say the word without gagging. Which made it interesting to visit Liverpool...

    Heidi

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  2. Mommom4:33 AM

    Brussel Sprouts - I'm sitting here shivering in revulsion just thinking about them. I remember helping to mix the powdered milk. It had to be done just right or you had lumps :)

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  3. Jam and cheese sandwiches. Eeeew. I remember going hungry many a time because I refused to eat them.

    My husband had it worse though - his dad still comes up with all sorts of weird concoctions that he forces us to try. You should see everyone scatter when he heads for the kitchen.

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  4. I can't really remember my mom feeding me anything strange. My sisters and brother can tell you some stuff.

    My mom once fed them cream potatoes in ice cream cones because we couldn't afford ice cream. They actually thought it was good. Poor things!

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  5. My mom would mix the cereals together when the boxes got low. We would grab a box of Raisin Bran expecting to eat Raisin Bran, and out would come a Raisin Bran/Frosted Flakes/Froot Loops/Mueslix mix. It was not tasty.

    She did the same thing with shampoos, which was even grosser.

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  6. Mom didn't really feed us weird stuff, although my husband thinks it's beyond weird that we ate home-canned meat. Like ground beef and hunks of beef, like stew beef. We did, however have a strict no-taking-food policy. Again, six kids, not much money, things were rationed. I remember Mom opening a half-gallon box of ice cream so that the box was completely torn open exposing the entire brick, and taking a butcher knife and slicing it into 8 equal slabs. Another thing that was funny- I didn't learn how to cut meat until I was late in my teens because we would just pick up our hunk of meat off our plate and gnaw it off the bone. Oh, I could go on...

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  7. Nuh-uh!!!!


    My mom saved bacon grease in a crisco can, so she could use it for when she (deep) fried eggs.
    Also, sh!t on a shingle (creamed chipped beef on toast).

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  8. Gotta love food storage. Ahh the powdered milk LUMP memories. GAH! My parents bought this nasty crud called egg-time one year. Powdered eggs. It just isn't right. Anyway, they bought a ton of it and then bothered to taste it. Then they fed it to us all summer long because it was too gross for them to eat. We had to smother the stuff in mustard to attempt to kill the flavor. We still harass them about the egg-time summer. Why couldn't they have just saved the stuff for the apocalypse like all good Mormons do so we would only have to eat it if we were STARVING!??
    And I so know what you mean about being excited just to have food. Rob just re-told this story at our Sunday family dinner two weeks ago. His first time at our house for pizza, he watched in horror as we said "Amen" after prayer and in 0.0000005 seconds there were forks DOOIIINNNGING in the pizza and anorexic mouth-foaming schizoid children screaming "MINE!!! I got it first!" because we knew you had to act fast to get the biggest piece of pizza. At Rob's house, someone took one piece, the next person took the next piece and they followed it around the circle, always being able to have more until they were full. At MY house, it was one piece each (two on super-duper-awesome nights!) and as much salad as you could eat. Yay. Joy. That memory still cracks him up. And he wonders why I always buy tons of pizza. So much that we usually end up throwing leftovers away...
    One more thing, when the parents were away, the fridge was fair game. We called it "sneak-a-peak-treat" because someone was always sneaking, and someone was always peaking out the front window to see if they were home yet. Sometimes it was just ketchup that we took. Oh we were a sad little bunch.

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  9. Wow, after reading this, I'm appreciating my parents very much! We didn't have tons of junk food or anything but we certainly had fun cereal occasionally (I love me some 'ucky charms) and my mom made cookies and stuff. The only thing I remember having to eat that I really didn't like was canned green beans. Those are just gross.

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  10. My mom went through a "Let's Use Our Food Storage" phase about every 3 or 4 years. Only our food storage consisted of backpacker's dehydrated food. And wheat.
    Yum. I once told her I'd just rather die in the Atomic bombing, thankyouverymuch.

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  11. Eeew!! That is nastier than nasty! How did you live through that?
    We never ate anything like that at home, but at my grandparents (my parents would dump us there when they went on "adults only" vacations) we were forced to eat the Wheaties, the puffed rice cereal, and creamed steelhead (fish) on toast that my grandmother had lovingly canned herself. I still have nightmares about it.

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  12. I come from a family of ten and I can truly relate to the food wars. And to top it off I also had a health conscious mother (bless her heart). We were very poor and we had baked potatoes and salad 5-6/7 nights of the week. You would think that I would never want another baked potato in my life but that is one of my favorite meals. SAD!

    Some of the things we ate are bread and milk with honey to sweeten it for our cereal, the wheat gum was a true treat back then, we made our own butter out of the cream from the cow, we tried making our own mayonnaise one time. I can still taste it today! AWFUL.

    We used to sneak stuff out of the fridge too but we would turn each other in and I remember once getting beaten to a pulp (no pun intended) for telling on my oldest brother for sneaking into the frozen orange juice. Not a smart thing to do but I never learned my lesson.

    And...because my mother did not like us to have sugar, we had to sneak it too. We lived nearby a small gas station and we would have someone (usually the littler of us) literally belly crawl through the grass to the store while the rest kept an eye out for mother.

    So yeah. This is still something our family laughs about all of the time. We still all have major food issues to this day. But I think I have the best mother in the world and would not trade my childhood experiences for any other!

    Thanks for the good laughs!

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  13. Wow sorry that was so long!

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  14. CHOCOLATE TREAT...Hahahahahahahahaha.

    You guys had Wheaties? Like, cereal from a box? You guys must have been rich.

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  15. One of my kids was just mashing the other and I tried to say "Hey!" but it came out "Eww!"

    When I was a kid, I would sneak the doritos and cowboy mix that were my dad's (he's an ultra-runner, and therefore deserves it) in the middle of the night. I'd have to climb up on the kitchen counter and silently open the plastic bags. If the bags were still glued shut, tough luck. Once they're open, fair game.

    To appease your grossed-out adolescent sensibilities, hot dogs are always fully cooked, so you didn't really eat raw meat. I know this because one of our favorite things to do was, when mom was slicing the frozen hot dogs to put into the spaghetti-Os, we would eat the pieces that we could grab before they fell into the pot and eat them, still frozen. Same goes for pepperoni.

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  16. We could pretty much eat any sugar cereal we wanted and we had mcdonalds frequently, oh and pizza too... I guess the only thing I remember is powdered milk disguised in the real milk jug (yuck!)

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  17. Hahahaa, she locked the fridge!? That's hilarious. NINE, yes, I suppose I would, too :P

    Great post!

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  18. LOL! Hilarious, Sue!

    It wasn't usually my mom who tried to pass off the nasty/healthy/cheap foods on us (because she was a chocoholic, and couldn't go for long between having sweets, and usually baked and shared them...) but my grandma, who lived with us off and on over the years.

    My grandma once fed us something she called 'soup', but was a watery substance with a few veggies floating around in it, along with sliced up strips of turkey lunchmeat. As in the kind you put on your sandwiches, only sliced long and thin. *GAGS* That was almost as bad as the time she tried to pass of cow tongue. *blech!*

    Hamburgers were what she would fry up in a pan til almost burned (way overdone), and put a slice of government cheese on top of to hold together the crumbles (what we call 'gravel') together. This was usually slapped on a plate alongside boiled-to-death cabbage, and maybe a couple of potatoes.

    She was known as a great breakfast maker and bread baker, but an otherwise horrible cook. So bad, that her boys LOVED the food they ate in the military, lol.

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  19. My mom used to keep powdered milk on hand in the winter because we lived in Michigan and occasionally got snowed in. Then, toward the end of the winter, we would get the fake milk. She was a good saleswoman, though, because we were totally taken in by the novelty or dried milk and drank it without complaint.

    We had a lot of unintentionally weird food experiences as immigrants to this country. If you've never eaten it, having your parents plop corned beef, broccoli, twinkies, and any number of other stuff on your plate can be startling. Even BACON took a little getting used to. We put our foot down, collectively, though, when my mom got hooked on powdered mashed potatoes.

    But my most horrible food experience is only indirectly my parents' fault — they went out of town for a few days and the family friends we stayed with had their hot meal at lunchtime. Because my mom was a stickler about having at least one hot meal a day, she signed us up for the school lunch. This was the late 70s, and we were living in Belgium still, and I will NEVER forget the day we got tongue. Taste buds, that's all I need to say. I still gag a little whenever I think about that.

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  20. I was allergic to everything. Because of this, my breakfast of champions was...

    Rice Crispies with OJ instead of milk.

    Yeah. I still won't touch OJ

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  21. Lindsay9:51 AM

    Until I read this post, I thought my family was poor because we could only have sugar cereal on Sundays and it was usually a bag of Marshmallow Mateys!

    And we never had powdered milk, but I wondered what was wrong with the milk at the neighbors house.

    And instant potatoes were not allowed at our house. Man, I feel like a Rockefeller.

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  22. b - that is the perfect name for that concoction (it's the only night I refused to eat on principle - not even prisoners should be served that stuff)

    my kids used to drink powdered milk and they liked it better than store milk, they called it "cream" milk. Funny, funny post.

    Did you ever have to take your own lunch in a tupperware lunchbox?

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  23. Hamburger Helper.

    If I hadn't read Garfield comics, I wouldn't have known lasagna was something you baked until I was in graduate school.

    Also, fish sticks. Oh, gag. I don't like any kind of fish, and I'm picky about my chopped-and-formed meat products, and fish sticks are like the worst of both worlds.

    I spent many evenings hunkered down over the cold fish sticks on my plate until 9 or 10pm, crying so hard I would be gagging anyway even if the fish wasn't totally disgusting to begin with, and my dad standing over me with a belt, insisting that I was NOT going to leave the table until I ate my fish.

    Happy times.

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  24. oh gag yes, Morning Moos powdered milk for about 2 years straight. It was so sick. And yes mom, I certainly can taste the difference. It still gives me the heaves. Gross. Gross. Gross.
    Cereal never came in a box either. It was Malt-o-Meal rice crispies and corn flakes or nothing. Juice was always the concentrate in a can.

    Good thing she redeemed herself. Now my parents house is junk food heaven. She uses it to lure us back home. Tricky woman.

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  25. Bologna and Peanut Butter. PB spread on Ba-lone-ey, then rolled-up. On special occasions she'd stick a COLORED toothpick through the whole thing.

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  26. Oh MAN! All I could do was laugh at this post! I think it's a "big family thing"... My husband is one of FOURTEEN and wow, he's got some great stories just like yours. Lots of them include wheat berries and powdered milk...

    And seriously, I do wonder if teh fact that excess food was so off limits as a kid affected him and many of his sibs... There are quite a few with weight problems. Out of all 14, I'd say only two or three are at healthy weights.

    For the record, still loving your blog.

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  27. Powdered milk is a horrible thing to do to perfectly good water. The tendency to inflict it on the family is passed down from generation to generation, like child abuse. Your grandmother did it, your mother did it. Fortunately, you've stopped the cycle of abuse.

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  28. Both chicken and bacon flavored TVP... that's "textured vegetable protein" to you newbies out there. N.A.S.T.Y!

    And my mom denies it to this day... but three times she perpetrated peanut butter and Tang (yes, the powdered drink mix) on whole wheat bread, in my school lunches. I think she was out of honey or anything jam like... and truly, the hyper-organic peanut butter in the 70's was not nearly as appetizing as Adams is today. I suspect she was TRYING to make the sandwich more appealing. Nobody ever traded lunches with me.

    ... and there was the one time she was out of powdered sugar and she needed a cake for a scouting cake sale. Dude. She used mayonnaise from our food storage as a base for the frosting. Mayonnaise. She tinted the "frosting" pink. I still get the shudders.

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  29. A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

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  30. That is DISGUSTING, Bon.

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  31. Oh! And yeah... my mom would take hamburger and make "patties" after crumbling up saltine crackers to make it go farther, and adding eggs to make it all stick together. I never had straight meat in a burger unless we were at Granny's house. Woo! What a treat!

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  32. Oh the memories this post brings back! None of them good, of course, but I can mostly laugh now.

    My little brother was diagnosed with Celiac's when he was two and I clearly remember my other brother and I saving found change for weeks until we had enough for a loaf of white bread. Then we'd run to the store and stuff our faces. Mmmmm.

    That habit of saving pennies for food came in handy during my mom's (blessedly brief) health stint in high school. Powdered milk! Carob chips! Tongue for supper! Thank goodness I was in high demand as a babysitter and could buy my own private food stash.

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  33. I am so grateful, reading these comments, that I had a family with 2 kids and a mom who was a home economist.
    We did pretty good. I remember lots of homecanned veggies from the garden, homemade applesauce (YUM!) and lots of spaghetti. We had a pasta roller where we made our own noodles sometimes. My brother and I would dash into the kitchen and fight over who got to turn the handle. I think we had permanent bumps on our heads from whacking each other with it in an attempt to keep it to ourselves.

    My dad on the other hand--my grandma broke her hip and mom left town for awhile to help her. That left dad in charge. First there were the crayons in the dryer. Then there was the pheasant in the crockpot with some odd blend of seasonings. I seem to remember lots of cinnamon and parsley. And underbaked potatoes. And boiled brussel sprouts. Took me a long time to eat pheasant again.

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  34. I used a lock. A real lock. With a key and everything. I had three boys and they could eat a weeks worth of groceries in about a day. I bought one box of whatever sugared cereal they wanted, once a month. Who can afford that stuff?

    My mom made liver and onions every Friday night. We were forced to eat it for years. Retched stuff, I don't know how anyone eats it.

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  35. liver and onions stands out in my mind. There was one time my mom made me sit there until I'd eaten it. FOREVER later, I was still sitting there, so she thought she'd try stuffing it my mouth for me. I promptly got sick all over her, and I honestly don't remember eating liver and onions ever again! HA!!

    some of your commenters have REALLY hilarious stories!!

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  36. Now that I am a mother, I would not even dream of holding anything my mother did (culinarily speaking) against her. For shame, all of you!

    And I'm going to look into locking my fridge...

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  37. Easy garden bake. It's a kind of Bisquick quiche. But I'm a texture person, and it made me want to throw up every time. She FINALLY got over making it. But boy did she try to make me eat it for a while. I'd pick at the eggs and biscuit-ish part of it. Yuck!

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  38. We ate so totally normal. I still have never had spam which my husband thinks is beyond unfair.

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  39. ok so I'm really embarrassed, but I've been ritually reading your blog for about a month now and have NEVER left a comment. So forgive me, but know that I do thoroughly enjoy your posts and I have sent many a friend links to your blog and also encouraged them to read. So may I be anonymous no more by revealing that I would eat dry cake mix with a spoon until my throat and mouth were beyond chalky and then carefully refold the box top and place it in the back of the pantry hoping my mom would never notice.

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  40. Hilarious!!

    I remember eating "goulash" a couple of times a week. Ground beef, tomato sauce, and noodles. Not bad, but three times a week?? i still can't look at the stuff!!

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  41. Spam, sliced and fried in a skillet-because my dad LIKED it! And Vienna sausages. *gag*

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  42. Salmon Loaf...I never would eat it. And yes, I remember your grandmother trying to pass off powdered milk as the real thing. I wasn't fooled.

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  43. This post was cracking me up. I remember when I was introduced to the chocolate treat at a family gathering.

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  44. Oh my holy heck! Mothers can be very weird! Our mom was on a health food junket. It drove us mad, I truly believe. We had to drink protein drinks, then down about 23 vitamins. Every day. I remember standing at the sink praying I would just toss it all. The worst was brewers yeast. Aaack. She seriously wanted us to drink it mixed with water! "Oh come on! It's healthy!" she'd say, all the while squirreling away her Cadbury bars so no one would see. We saw mom, we saw!

    Phew, I feel so much better now!

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  45. My sister went on a Wheat kick with her kids and I totally felt for them...so when I went up to visit I told her I was taking them for a ride and I took them and got them McDonalds and an ice cream cone...nothing like feeling them up with empty calories...plus, now I have solidified my "favorite Aunt" status!

    Love the Sheen on the hair...try having your Mom smear baby oil all over your face before you went anywhere...let me just say, at least the sheen was on your hair and NOT your face like mine!

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  46. Oh and I forgot. Velveeta sandwiches with miracle whip. Makes me gag as I type. :-(

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  47. momsjules5:03 PM

    Hilarious post!

    Wheat gum. I thought we were the only kids on earth who knew what wheat gum was! GROSS. My mom used to make this frying- pan "casserole" with hamburger, rice, cream of mushroom soup, and soy sauce called A.D.. No, it did not stand for "after death" but that's what we called it. Also s**t on a shingle (known as S.O.S.) been there, done that. I'm thinking our moms must have all had the same homemaking lessons. I used to buy my own box of Froot Loops with my babysitting money and hoard it behind my nightstand. My brothers and sisters were so jealous!
    Funny though, I didn't realize as a child that some of the stuff we had to eat was because money was tight. I just thought it was what mom wanted to cook for dinner. Then, I became the mom and it's like a big light bulb went off. Ohhhhhh. That's why we had A.D. so often!

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  48. One time my mom treated us to a special Christmas treat. Lime jello with pomegranates. (See green and red? Get it?) It wasn't special. It wasn't even good.

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  49. Hey, thanks for mentioning my food blog!! Chocolate treat was SO. GROSS. Theoretically, chocolate and peanut butter are good together, but not in that particular form. You know, the unsweetened cocoa powder and powdered sugar form.

    I guess things had relaxed quite a bit by the time I was 9 or 10, because I got to have Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Mmmm... you know you were jealous.

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  50. I would deny all this, but, unfortunately, it is mostly too true.
    Except it wasn't "gluten," it was just stone-ground whole wheat flour.
    How on earth did we ever survive?

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  51. okay, we had the opposite at my house. there were pudding and pizza breakfasts. Not all the time, but it did happen.

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  52. Oh my goodness, 7 hot dogs? i laughed out loud and snorted a little. My dad is a meat and potatoes man so we often had to endure liver and onions. luckily my mom doesn't like it either so we usually just had to endure liver gravy on the potatoes, she didn't make us eat the liver. don't you feel bad for all these moms after being a mom yourself and trying to be creative and healthy and frugal, it's a tough job.

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  53. What a great story. I nearly snorted smoothie right out my nose. I will be back!
    Bradie

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  54. "snap you so hard you went unconscious"

    That had me on the floor gasping for air! Fun-ny!

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  55. Grated cheese and mayonaise sandwichs. *gag*

    Wheat gum. Nice. My dad's favorite was pine gum. See a pine tree, pull off some sap, chew it. What were they thinking?

    Now, for the reason I have delurked. Over at The More The Messier, you mentioned that your mom used to wake you up with, "Good morning to you! Good morning to you!" I was wondering, did the rest go, "We're all in our places with bright shiny faces, and that is the way to start a good day!" If so, I think our moms might have gone through the same Devious Mothering class.

    One last thing. My dream house has a kitchen that can be locked after 10pm. I'm afraid I'm with your mom on that one.

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  56. Bridget9:08 PM

    I have one word for you...

    SPAM.

    (gag, retch, vomit)

    OK, that was four words.

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  57. Sounds a lot worse than my childhood. I guess the worst thing they did was powdered milk. I never ever tasted real milk till I left home. They tried the fake meat out of soy once, but no one was too fond of it, so it never reappeared once it was gone. I don't even lock my fridge (not that I haven't tried but these Houdinis break into everything) but my kids will grab something every time they walk by as if there is no tomorrow and I'm starving them, and they have eaten raw hot dogs on several occasions. They always eat half and stuff the other half in any nook or cranny they can find so I can find it later. sigh. I'm raising a bunch of dumb looters who leave evidence behind.

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  58. Cube steak, which is only barely mammalian.

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  59. My sister and I used to eat flour and sugar. Mix it together and get a spoon. It's actually not bad. just a little dry.

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  60. The worst thing my mom ever fed us?

    Venison.

    Bottled.

    Deer meat in a jar.

    Eeeewwww!

    Other than that, we fared pretty well in the food department.
    My mom bought us fruit loops, Honey combs and my personal favorite Captain crunch. AND we put sugar on top of it.
    But then again, there was only me and my brother.

    She also fed us liver. And we liked it. (seriously!)

    Mom is a good cook, and loves to bake. She made the most fabulous birthday cakes and yummiest cookies. She also makes homemade candy, divinity, fudge, caramels and peanut butter cups. With real chocolate, real butter and real sugar.

    My aunt, on the other hand, fed her kids freshly ground wheat everything. And Carob as a treat.
    My cousins hung out at our house quite a bit.

    Do you feed your kids fruit loops and fruity pebbles?

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  61. Government. Cheeze.

    Well Government anything was just nahsty, but the cheeze was the most discusting thing I remember from my childhood.

    Although, I do recall some really interesting things in giagantic cans, that came from my granny's bomb shelter. Yack!

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  62. To Mrs. Smith: Yes, you know the song, taught to me by MY mother, who probably started the Devious Mothers school.
    And Sue: the bunjee cord came about after a toddler opened the fridge and pulled out a dozen eggs. And since there was always a toddler around, the cord stayed until we moved to a larger house with a better fridge.
    Chocolate treat began when your big sister was about four and saw Reeses Peanut butter cups on t.v. and wanted one "now." Being without a car during the day at that stage of life, and feeling the chocolate urge myself, I used what I had at hand to try and satisfy us both. Little did I know I would scar my family for life!However, I do remember being begged for chocolate treat many times over the years.
    I'm surprised you didn't mention your dad's love of almost raw liver. Now that was really a food to gag over!

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  63. I love sue's mom.

    Thank you for clarifying the bungee cord....because I was having a hard time with that one.

    Seriously though....9 kids! Heroic!

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  64. OMG where do I start?

    My mom was:

    1. Poor
    2. A health nut
    3. A terrible cook

    Here are some of the things we had to eat regularly:

    1. Rice mixed with cream of mushroom soup and tuna
    2. Rice mixed with cheese and tuna
    3. Burritos consisting only of tortillas, beans, and cheese
    4. Tostadas consisting only of tostada shells, beans and cheese
    5. Carob brownies

    No wonder I'm so skinny!

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  65. I love reading your blog! I love the looks I get from my husband as I snicker through each post.

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  66. My husband was raised on things like bottled fish. BOTTLED fish! I can't even imagine. He was also blown away as an adult to find out that spinach was fine if you didn't cook it to death! Thanks for visiting my blog Sue and for your kind words. I love it here! You rock!

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  67. Maddison10:27 AM

    Oh man!! These comments are great!
    "We saw mom, we saw!" ROTFL!!!
    "Deer in a jar!" DITTO!!!
    Bon - I thought burgers were SUPPOSED to be made with bread and eggs! lol Funny, my dad did that too.

    Ah, gotta catch my breath...
    OK, where to start:

    I didn't have it too bad, but there are a few gag-o-rama moments I remember.

    Grits. Oh, horrible grits. I will never, ever eat those dastardly things again in my life. I remember not eating them off my plate as a child and having to sit there "until (I) did" and I'd be darned if I did. So, you know what my next meal was? The very same grits. :D Couldn't eat anything else until THOSE grits were gone. Good times. Yep, ALWAYS had to clear the plate completely. :) Next: okra. Nasty, slimy, bitter okra. Just darn gross. I will never feed these things to my children, in fact, those items are not allowed in my house...

    Here's a favorite: we too could only afford the bagged cereal, and that was an occasional thing. One time, when there was no cereal at all (and I sure loved cereal), my dad thought he'd remedy the situation for me. Starting with popping some bread in the toaster. Strange, I thought. Anyway, sliced up the TOAST into small cubes and plopped them into a bowl with some milk. Wouldn't eat it. Soggy bread, melting away in mild. Oh, and how could I forget?! If I didn't drink up my leftover milk in my cereal bowl, back in the milk jug it went! I'm serious, not making this up! Gives me the willies!
    Ah yes, my father was one of 7 so NOTHING, NOTHING I say, went to waste. I remember once a banana had somehow gotten incredibly smashed up and was completely black. Once opened, it was almost purely liquid. You guessed it, had to eat it. He was kind enough to at least share it with me...

    And lastly, luckily my parents wouldn't buy that evil stuff in a jar, you know, Miracle Whip. But I'll tell you, that stuff is... oh, I don't know, it's just bad. And I second the thing about the gov cheese. No wonder I'm a vegan. No, I don't raise my children to be vegan, it's just my thing. But, boy oh boy, some of these comments brought tears of laughter to my eyes! And my kids complain that I feed them OATMEAL a few mornings a week... just regular oatmeal with butter and brown sugar! Sheesh, kids - don't know how good they have it. ;)

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  68. Oh, I think I feed my kids alot worse things than my parents fed me although I do remember powdered milk! YUK!

    Stop by my blog - I'm linking you as we speak.

    Keep up the good work.

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  69. Maddison10:28 AM

    REALLY sorry for the incredibly long comment... :O

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  70. Mom, I LOVED Chocolate Treat. LOVED. What kid WOULDN'T want a nice big bowl of sweet, sweet lard?!!

    Actually, I kind of want some right now. Mmmmmmmm...

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  71. Maddison10:33 AM

    I actually have more but I'll spare you all. lol

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  72. I have no horror stories, because my mom took the easy way out and didn't make my brother or I eat anything that we didn't like. This means that she totally stopped making any kind of a vegetable. (Well...except for potatoes. Do french fries count?) As a child, I found this totally cool, but as a mother I am somewhat flabergasted. In her defence, she was a single, working mom....she didn't have the energy left to argue with us about food. But I still hold her responsible for the fact that I gag when faced with the prospect of eating broccoli.

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  73. I also sang the "Good Morning to You" song. It was such an ingrained part of my childhood. My kids would just moan and groan. I doubt if any of them have passed on the tradition.

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  74. This post is hysterically funny! I can relate to every bit of it. In our house of nine kids, we did not get sugary cereal, either. So, whenever I got money, I would go to the store and buy my own cereal and hide it in the basement. I also bought my own frozen custard pies. It was not uncommon to eat a pie in two days, for fear it would be discovered in the basement freezer by one of my siblings. Your line about getting the fridge "unlocked" really cracked me up.

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  75. P.S. I'm writing a post today that links to this post. It's too good not to share!

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  76. You've pretty much explained to me why I took up cooking at the early age of 8. (Plenty of disasters, but there was no lard, raw meat or powdered milk anymore.)

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  77. We had the healthy cereal--but sadly, no brown sugar. It was my aunt that served the powdered milk-is there anything more vile?

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  78. So funny! I am laughing so hard I am crying! My favorite part was about the cereal. My mom did the same thing! No sugary cereals, but heres your bran flakes and a cup of brown sugar!

    How about sugar sandwiches! Two slices of bread coated in butter, then sprinkled with white sugar...

    Or a real treat: two slices of bread, peanut butter on each side, and then a big lump of brown sugar in the middle...

    No wonder we were hyperactive!

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  79. one day when i was in high school ( and we were considerably more financially secure ) I came home and my dad was cooking meat... i asked him what he was making and he said, like my teenage self wouldn't jump out of my damn skin, " beef heart." So I dry heaved a little and was all flabbergasted and grossed out. he, ever so slowly, turned around and said, " oh, get it over it, katie. we used to call it steak fingers and you guys ate it up!" i loved his steak fingers when i was a kid. now when i see them on a menu i heave, just a little.
    oh, and on the milk front... my mom milked the goats instead of buying milk. she would strain it to get out any bugs that flew in while she was milking or any dirt that the goats shook off, then she would put it in the fridge and that was the milk option. i could tell you with 95% accuracy which goat produced what milk by the taste... you could taste their smell... i still don't drink milk... even from the store...

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  80. "NO WIRE HANGERSSSS!!!!!"


    Sorry, but after reading these comments, I couldn't help but think of Mommy Dearest.
    My kids will be writing a book/blog about me someday too. Whatevs.

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  81. This is laugh out loud hillarious. We learned really, really early not to even ask what the meat was on any given day. Now, my dad likes to watch me clutch at my stomach when he tells me the things they fed us as kids.

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  82. I bet I can win the gross food department with this concoction: Peanutbutter, mayonnaise and lettuce sandwiches (my grandpa used to make them for us, and there was no saying no to grandpa)

    and a close second would have to be tuna noodle casserole or beets - I will never make my kids eat either of those, unless of course, they start telling me how bad they have it and then - look out!

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  83. Oh Sue and Momofnine, thank you both for being good sports and providing us with a weekend of laughter! This was great!

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  84. I just told BorrowedLight about my mom's mac n cheese from a box (ALWAYS screwed up, undercooked but slimy pasta, sandy and greasy cheese-like stuff for lack of 2 oz of milk). I wanted to save the really good one for your blog....my mom got on a garlic kick that seemed neverending. She did not own a garlic press, nor did she properly handle the cloves of such herbal goodness. She'd get this little knife and SLICE the garlic in the thinnest slices she could get, which still make a can of sliced olives look thinly sliced. She'd use that garlic in EVERY thing. Her normally good chicken and egg noodles - gross. Her acceptable "helper" type burger meal - ruined. Her questionable-quality-anything-for-lack-of-culinary-basics *shudder* inedible to even the strays in the neighborhood. I think I lost weight from my already skin & bones body that year. An entire meal of uneaten GROSSLY garlicked chicken was put into the fridge (uncovered of course. who needs a lid?) and it sat there till the green mold literally resembled bean sprouts! I would have sooner gnawed my own limbs and those of my siblings than even OPEN the fridge. Dad learned of the new 'veggies' and promptly yelled at mom then cleaned out the fridge that night, a full 4 days before trash day.

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  85. I have to admit, I like Wheaties. To this day I still like a bowl of Wheaties. I used to like Kix, too, until they sweetened them. Kind of ruined it for me.

    A friend of mine came from a family of 10 kids. Her mom used to make huge batches of bread weekly and just start tossing leftovers from the fridge into the dough. They she would make pizza, bread, rolls, probably even cinnamon rolls out of it. Even if it was green because the leftover veggies from that week dyed the dough green.

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  86. Oh, and Sue, it wasn't normal brown sugar. It was raw sugar, from the health food store, as if that makes any difference. It would have been cheaper to buy a box of Lucky Charms!

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  87. Chicken livers.

    VOMIT.

    I still to this day cannot stand to smell them cooking!!!!

    I'm totally stalking your sister now.

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  88. Thankfully my Dad was super picky, so we didn't have to eat too much yucky stuff. BUT, they were always on a diet so we had to endure whatever "healthy", flavorless thing the diet master told them to eat. I can't remember too many of them, except the Neurological Path to Weightloss. Plain whole wheat pasta every night (before they made them to taste half decent...back then it tasted like dirt rolled out into pasta noodles. No joke)I know it doesn't sound that bad, but dirt every night? Come on!

    I love Mom's resoucefulness! I am not nearly that creative with my cooking.

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  89. My mom didn't make us eat wierd things. BUT on those rare occasions when she'd go to home-making and would leave us with dad, oh man. The favorite of all us kids...fish with a breading of Frosted Flakes. We were out of Corn Flakes. I don't really remember how they tasted, but the idea of them is just hilarious!

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  90. My mom didn't serve anything strange on a regular basis. But she liked to use us kids for "food experiments."

    I can remember once she tired a new "fried chicken" recipe. It was actually corn flakes on baked chicken. Even though I was about 5 or 6, I can still remember it and still get grossed out! Yuck!

    Thanks for the laugh!

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  91. I'm just laughing too hard to even think about the crazy stuff my mom did. My husband is looking at me like I'm retarded for laughing at my computer.

    But my brothers and I, we were always hording stuff in our rooms. Cause if you didn't, chances are you wouldne't get any. It was always a race to see who could get up the earliest and get the ONE box of sugar cereal mom bought. There were 6 of us! All boys.

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  92. I'm getting some really great dinner idea's here everyone, Thanks!!!

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  93. Stewed prunes would have to be the worst. Accckkk.

    Oh, and I hated eggs, and had to eat them every Sunday no matter what. Scrambled wasn't so bad, but when they did over-easy? Barf.

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  94. I just remembered one more. Lime jello made with a can of Veg-All. Yes. Mixed vegetables floating in lime jello. On fancy occasions, she would serve it on a bed of lettuce. Bleahh.

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  95. Oh my gosh, there were nine in my family, of the top five I am the shortest at 5'10". I joke that it's because of the Mormon food storage diet. The powdered milk, gag, the freshly ground wheat, full strength pancakes that stuck with you for days. We also got Liver and Onions, brussel sprouts, tongue sandwiches. We too had locked cupboards. It took me forever to stop nagging my husband about his large cheese and milk consumption. We were only allowed to have one glass of milk per meal and only one bowl of cereal, ever.

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  96. Sorry, just one more. How about ground venison? Your favorite hamburger dish, dig right in and then what was that awful aftertaste?!! They even did this for my birthday dinner. Blech.

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  97. Lemon jello with too much water - instant lemonade! At least until you put it in the fridge.

    Frozen milk - even after it thawed, there were still weird chunky things floating around just waiting to make you gag.

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  98. Cod liver oil.
    Liver n onions. (Oh how I rejoiced the day they announced that liver was high in cholesterol. I remember that someone came to the door to announce it, although that part might not be right. My mother had high blood pressure and she actually threw away some that she had in the freezer, and never cooked it again)
    aspirin crushed into a spoonful of jam, to help me swallow it.

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  99. I found your blog from a friends a few weeks ago and you are so hilarious. I am the oldest of nine kids and I bet my mom wished she had thought to lock the fridge on us. She tried to keep an eye on it but there was always empty food containers under the dining room table. Although it is kinda funny that we could ever find food to steal since she went shopping every afternoon for dinner for that night and breakfast the next morning and didn't really buy any thing else. And the nasiest thing to me that she ever made was "HASH" which was mashed potatoes with ground beef and ketshup on top. I want to puke just thinking about it.

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  100. We got homemade Wheaties, once, and homemade graham crackers. Nasty! One time my mom even tried to make Twinkies. We were not fooled. (They were really gross.)

    I used to sneak downstairs and get into her bags of TVP and grab a piece or two. Kind of like eating dog food. I can't believe I used to do that.

    And thanks for bringing back so many gross food memories....

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  101. Coming out of lurking mode to say I love your blog, and I'm going to put a direct link on my blog. You crack me up and are very real at the same time. I hope things go well with starting over. You're not (too) crazy for wanting to e-mail everyone in your ward. I've wanted to do the same thing and am just waiting for the list of addresses.

    Good luck. I wish you had moved to Spanish Fork so I could be your friend. And I'm going to sit by a new person in the back row this week in honor of you. I've also called mothers in my ward and asked to watch their children for an hour or two. And you chould be in the choir! It seems you have a great voice and it's a good way to meet more people.

    This is a novel. It's ridiculous. I don't even know you. I just relate to you.

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  102. tuna noodle casserole

    Liver and onions

    mac and cheese with tuna mixed in

    salmon patties.

    These all make me gag and want to run away... even now.

    BUT... revenge is mine. I love brussel spouts and my kids GAG and b*tch and moan whenver I make them (I don't make them eat it) because of the smell. BWHAWHAAA

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  103. So I just found a link to your blog from Azucar's blog and I found a link to her blog from another friend. But anyway I have never laughed so hard at the computer, I was crying. My two year old was watching me very worried because he just couldn't figure out if I was sad or happy. It wasn't only your blog that mad me laugh but the comments. Ahh the joys of eating food storage. I was lucky my mom was a good cook and she didn't inflict anything too bad on us. But then I do like wild game, like deer, elk, fish. And I only like Adams peanut butter. I do remember my mom trying to hide liver in gravy, and I remember trying to gag it down but I just couldn't swallow it. We did only have the healthy cereals and we wouldn't put sugar on them but I liked it that way because I didn't like to drink the sugary milk. I do remember having sleep overs at a friends house that only got cereal on sat. mornings and they were sugar cereals and they would add extra sugar. My friend and I would get in fights because she claimed that it was bad for you not to add extra sugar because you do need so sugar in your diet. And it seemed like every time I would have a sleep over her dad would come home from the store with one gallon of milk and like magic turn it into 10 gallons. Gross I'm so glad I always got real milk.

    My husband is the oldest of eight, and his mom really can't cook. He has some funny stories of eating wheat germ on ice cream and the wheat gum. And baked potatoes that she cooked so long that it was just the peal and dried bits of potato inside. She even tried passing off clam chowder as being a can of clams in stewed tomatoes, I had to endure that one.

    Thanks for the good laugh!

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  104. Here via AZ's blog. I cannot say that I remember being subjected to such treacheries of food storage when I was younger.

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  105. I loved this hilarious post and all the funny, funny comments, (even if I did nearly vomit several times, reading them.)

    My husband is a food experimenter -- I can totally imagine him using Frosted Flakes for the coating on fried chicken. Here's another of his exploits:

    http://myimaginaryblog.wordpress.com/2008/01/28/dietary-adventures-with-dean/

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  106. My house was known as the "Snack house" because we always had the good stuff. On that note you and my husband could have an awesome food deprivity conversation. His sweetener was honey and they had goat milk from the neighbors goat, and no they did not live on or near a farm.His Dad would buy himself Ding Dongs and duct tape the box under the dining table so no one would find them.

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  107. Nothing, thankfully. But, for some reason I'm now a vegetarian. I think it was the hot dogs with the slice of processed Kraft on top in the microwave. That smell will never leave me.

    Sick. Lard.

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  108. Anonymous10:13 AM

    This is funny but also a bit depressing!

    I'm due with #5 any day now.

    We don't "do" processed. Oh, don't feel bad for my kids. :) We do carmel popcorn and tons of homemade ice cream and pancakes with real maple syrup.

    And meat - I though eggs and some kind of bread crumb/oatmeal made it a more moist/less dense end product? We don't have a shortage of meat, either. We eat a lot of steak. It's always grand - we spend the first 15 minutes the meal cutting meat into tiny cubes for the (ungrateful) little people who outnumber us. LOL

    So ... my children are home. I make 3 meals a day. On rare occasions, we eat Chipolte's or with others, so let's say instead of 1095 meals a year I only make 950 ... sometimes my brain is just SO FRIED from coming up with yet.another.meal. I may have never worked in a restaurant but I have great sympathy for short-order cooks!

    950 meals x 5 different opinions =
    Um, I don't even want to know the odds that a post like this will be written about me one day. ;)

    Carry on!

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