We at Dinners with Love recently thought about our favorite food memories, either from our childhoods or our recent adult years. We hope our stories inspire you to recall your favorite meals, places, and loved ones. If you have a fond food memory you would like to share, we invite you to contact us. You might see your story on the blog.
All of today's stories feature grandmothers.
Sarah Audet, Program Manager
When I was little, I generally ate whatever my mother prepared. I was not much into “kid food." In fact, I absolutely detested the staple of kid food: hot dogs. But when I visited my grandmother for sleepovers, I always asked her to make me chicken nuggets with sweet-and-sour sauce, mashed potatoes with an obscene amount of butter, and steamed carrots. For dessert, a heaping helping of Gifford’s strawberry ice cream. The following day for lunch, she would make me “girl cheese sandwiches." You see, I did not understand that it was grilled cheese, and often wondered if grandmothers made their grandsons “boy cheese sandwiches.” The best part was when she cut my girl cheese sandwich into four triangles. This was not how we cut our sandwiches at home, so I regarded the triangles as an extra special touch.
When I was a child, my parents, uncles, aunts, and cousins would gather at one of our houses and spend most of the day eating. Uncle Joe would bring oysters. We had a lot fun opening the oysters, trying not to stab ourselves with the knives. My grandmother Marie would bring a platter full of stuffed cannoli, while my mother would have made one of her specialties, like rice with zucchini. One of my other uncles would have brought grilled lamb chops with potato gratin. My godmother Hughette would have purchased a beautiful cake from our favorite pastry shop in town.
The meal would start around noon and end somewhere around 4 or 5 in the afternoon. At that point, one of the mothers would always ask the most important question of the day, “So, what do we eat tonight?”
As you might imagine, the kids would eventually lose interest in the food, so we would go to play in the garden or in the bedroom. But the prospect of a magnificent dessert would always keep us close by. We did not want to miss it.
Carol Bertrand, Vice President
My grandmother’s spaghetti sauce and meatballs is one of my favorite foods. When I was about 20-years-old, I asked my grandmother if she would share her recipe with me. She did not have it written down, but took the time to make it with me so I could write it. Today, I not only have the memory of making her spaghetti sauce and meatballs with her, I have the recipe to share with other family members. I always lovingly think of her when I make this very delicious dish.
When I was a child, I always looked forward to Christmas morning because my grandmother would make bannocks. She would prepare the bread dough early in the morning, and I would watch her work it: let it rise, punch it down, flour it, and repeat the process. When it was ready, she would roll it out, fold it in half, cut it into strips, and then fry it. She served the bannocks with fried eggs--mine with a runny yolk--and bacon.