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Childhood clues that you'd become a foodie...


lia
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I used to read cookbooks as a child also. My mom wasn't very interested in baking so I made all the cookies, muffins etc in our house. I also had to cook dinner from about the age of 10 but I didn't usually have a choice in what to make, mom always left a note with very detailed instructions.

My favorite childhood treat....I would bring home puffballs for my mom to fry in butter for me. Mushrooms of any kind are still my favorite food. I also really loved freshly caught fish panfried in butter (even though I'm the only one in my WHOLE family that doesn't like to fish).

Summers in Peterborough, my sisters preferred to stay with my Grandpa, but I always went to Grandma's place. She was the worst cook ever, she was always on some weird diet that she had read about in the National Enquirer so her kitchen was full of strange stuff like Brewer's Yeast and horrible skim milk, but she would let me drink as much coffee or tea as I wanted, would take me shopping for proper food when I stayed with her, and would let me order whatever I wanted when she took me out for dinner, regardless of the price. This woman.........who lived on dark rum, cigarettes and coffee despite her "diet of the week" and who showed no signs of enjoying preparing OR eating food, bought me my first cappucino at the tender age of eleven.

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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I was quite a serious cake baker when young - partly because I had an affinity for it; partly because my grandmother and a great-aunt were willing to answer my millions of questions. By the time I was 9, I'd bake a cake from scratch after school just for the sheer pleasure of it.

Ellen

Edited by H. du Bois (log)
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I was the picky eater - but birthday dinner choices were scampi or duck!

Lunches were leftovers - like sticks of beef teriyaki (this was 1960's white southern california.) My Mom influenced me greatly.

I concocted interesting beverages for my afterschool friends - bubbling mixtures of soda water or with tang (!) and pistachio ice cream or something besides pop from the bottle.

Started cooking dinner pretty early - and liked to create hand written and decorated menus and centerpieces for special occassions. Amazing what you can make with tissue paper and glue.

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The first time I knew I was a little different gastonomically was in the third grade, when my homeroom was having a potluck lunch. Every student was to bring a dish. I made my mother go out and buy all the ingredients for a relish that I had never before tasted or made from the recipe in my new Betty Crocker cookbook (that I had mail-ordered, having joined a book club without my parents' knowledge). All I remember is that the relish combined celery, radishes, and onions in a creamy dressing, and that the other children didn't touch it at all.

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The mention of Tang brought back a memory I hadn't thought of in years. My next door neighbor and I, as kids, used to sneak into his kitchen pantry and scarf up a can of Hormel Tamales. We'd unwrap them from their thick paper wrappings, heat them up, and sprinkle them generously with coarse ground black pepper ( I mean a LOT) and hot sauce. We'd consume them with "Tangerinos" which were water glasses with just a couple of heaping TBSPs of Tang and either Wild Turkey or Beam's Choice. We'd stir them up and sip them down very quickly!

We'd swear that the Tang made them seem so much stronger, and the "end" results would burn off Hemorrhoids without surgery! :)

doc

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My next door neighbor and I, as kids, used to sneak into his kitchen pantry and scarf up a can of Hormel Tamales.

doc

Hormel tamales in the can, unwrapped from those paper wrappers then reheated in that modicum of red sauce they come with, this is my secret never before divulged in public, junk food delight (i consider anything in a can to be junk food with the exception of tomatoes, beans, or......not sure if there is anything else).

marlena

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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[...]Fave TV shows as a kid: Bugs Bunny, Yan Can Cook (that's one funny chef), Great Chefs, and that "funny-lady with the weird voice" whom I now revere, Julia Child.  :wub:

[...]

I was a fan of the Galloping Gourmet when I was in first grade. He put his food on fire! :biggrin::laugh:

I was also a fan of the Galloping Gourmet!!

And, Julia Child.

I starting reading Gourmet and Bon Appetit at age 7. Okay, I looked at the pictures. :rolleyes:

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Well, I had a couple of clues:

1) Had a friend in elementary school who had some woods with a creek behind her house. We used to take old pots and pans and make fake food (you know, muddy water with leaves and stuff in it) for hours...

2) Ordered "exotic" foods in restaurants as a kid (pressed duck) and tried sushi before my parents did

3) Read all my mom's cookbooks, cover to cover

4) "Doctored" prepared foods to make them taste better (added spices and such)

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Former lurker, new poster.

I grew up in WV and my grandparents owned the mountain that we lived on. I don't remember a time when we weren't involved in food. Spending humid summer mornings in the middle of the raspberry patch, scratched, sweaty, a berry pail attached to my waistband by running rope thru the handle and my belt loops. Eating every other berry until I was almost sick. Then picking strawberries in my parents garden, yelling when almost stepping on a black snake.

Weeding and hoeing and watering the corn, beans, rhubarb, squash, etc. Running around in then woods all day, taking sandwiches and a thermos of lemonade, picking pawpaws and nuts and persimmons. Hulling the black walnuts and hickory nuts. Picking fresh sweet corn just minutes before cooking it, and rolling it in a stick of butter (well, margarine, couldn't afford butter.) I remember my first attempt at elderberry jam, it didn't set but was good on ice cream! We would make homemade rootbeer every summer and I have yet to taste a commercial one that even comes close.

I began cooking for a family of nine when I was 10 years old. Of course I didn't get to experiment then. I began learning to cook when I was younger than that. I went through three pairs of beaters on the old Hamilton Beach mixer, and now that mixer is mine and still works.

I loved watching Julia and Justin and the Galloping Gourmet. I still have his recipe for blackberry cobbler just as I wrote it down. I still have my Betty Crocker Boys and Girls cookbook and still make the Hot Fudge Pudding on occasion.

But my favorite memory is of picking the sour green apples in the field next door and taking them to the horse barn and taking a bite of apple and then licking the salt block! Heaven!

Thanks for the memories!

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We also made the mud pies and wild berry concoctions when we were kids and pretended to eat them.

I read cookbooks from an early age, and always helped out my mom in the kitchen. We had a huge garden on the farm, and I shelled countless gallons of green peas in summer, hoed endless rows of potatoes, and stole small radishes and carrots to eat when my mom wasn't looking. Wiped them on the front of my shirt and devoured, who needed water to wash them? I remember watching the Galloping Gourmet and Wok with Yan with my mom in the afternoons during the summer when there was no school and drinking cold lemonade or iced tea.

My mom was a good plain farm cook, but she was up for trying new things, so she let me branch out into things like homemade pizza, lasagna and stir fries. When we went to the city to shop, she would always buy one new thing to try, usually a new fruit or vegetable.

I guess I've always loved food. I have one of my mom's old handwritten recipe books as well as some very old and not so old cookbooks of hers, and I treasure them. I read cookbooks just like I would a novel.

Edited by saskanuck (log)

I don't mind the rat race, but I'd like more cheese.

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I had my own food show when I was 7.

The kitchen window was my camera, and Mom's Betty Crocker cookbook served as my teleprompter. :biggrin: Snickerdoodles provided many, many repeats, and the angel food cake was something of a bloopers episode. (Hand-beaten egg whites with 7-year-old muscles not feasible. Much goo on carpet.)

When off the air, I invited my neighbor (same age) to come over for "gourmet" dinners, but since I couldn't cook, I'd take yogurt and serve it to him on fine china. My dresses and hair were always lovely, however.

Edited by Jennifer Iannolo (log)

Jennifer L. Iannolo

Founder, Editor-in-Chief

The Gilded Fork

Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Home of the Culinary Podcast Network

Never trust a woman who doesn't like to eat. She is probably lousy in bed. (attributed to Federico Fellini)

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Well, probably when I requested an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas at age 6 or 7. That was a serious clue. And not just that I'd become a foodie...

Edited by John DePaula (log)

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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LIME Crush! In glass bottles........I miss those glass bottles. As for your article, I don't quite get it. If feeding any of my 3 kids had depended on me stumbling down to the kitchen to mix formula or heat bottles, they'd all have starved! Bottle feeding is much, much more work. I can't believe you were brave enough to taste test baby formula! :smile:

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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Despite my father’s constant admonishings that I should keep away, I dragged the kitchen stool as close to the stove as I could to watch him cook dinner. Also, the highlight of my Christmas vacation when I was about eight was when I cut my finger helping with dinner.

Julia and the Galloping Gourmet were some of my childhood friends.

I ignored the Highlights magazines in my doctor’s office and went straight to the cooking magazines.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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First of all, my parents owned the first gourmet chef's equipment store in a backwards part of the state...

Our family field trips were to Gaia-Delucchi, the local italian deli, where I would, as a fat, geeky teen, order Teleme sandwiches...

Coming home from school in 8th grade, making myself the typical afternoon snack of a Ribeye, seared, with a black pepper, dijon, cream sauce...

While on a boat that was literally on fire, while the adults put out the fire, I figured it was the right time to bring out the Salame and bread... I will never hear the end of that.

Edited by Narcissus (log)

Taco Truck or Per Se - No matter as long as passion drives the food

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When I was in grade 1, I set up a "bakery" in the sandbox. I would form round "chocolate cakes" with the wetter sand, then sprinkle the drier sand (lighter coloured) over my cakes for decoration. Then I added bits of grass and flowers to my pastry case (drawn into the sand with a stick.) The other kids paid me in rocks and pebbles for a cake. :laugh:

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Earliest childhood memory--

"Ma, me help?"

Ma lifts child from hip to countertop,

proffers stick of butter.

I peel it like a banana and contentedly and greasily gnaw and watch.....

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Thank you racheld--this site and everyone associated with it are awesome :wub:

Also a bit cathartic--I hadn't thought of that in a long while! My mom was an excellent cook within her own limitations and I've always tried to fly a little futher because of her. Even if she did give me the butter just to shut me up :laugh:

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  • 4 months later...

Hmm...I was in third grade and all I wanted to read was cookbooks. I began collecting recipes from the LA times, saving money for recipe collections, and watching cooking shows when I was 8 or so. Ah...I still continue to this day. ^^

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