Thursday, June 9, 2011

Strange Eating Habits

My daughter is an awesome eater.  She always has been.  We have a rule in our house that no one has to clean their plate, but you must at least try a little bit of everything offered.  Because of this she eats (and likes) broccoli, salad, all fruits, sushi, grilled tuna or salmon and  a lot of other healthy offerings.  She does not like chips, potatoes or heavily fried things.  I envy her taste buds.  I even remember once, when she was two and we were traveling to Florida, we stopped in a Wendy's and I got a potato with broccoli and cheese.  She systematically picked off all of my broccoli and ate it.  A mother at another table with two kids very loudly pointed out that "that baby is eating broccoli!" as her two kids stuffed another fry into their mouths.  The mom really made it seem as if E was doing something wrong.

However, I am not knocking bad eating habits.  Chrysalis and I have put away more goopy cheese and potatoes than should be allowed in a human body.  My go to comfort food is nachos or mashed potatoes.  I have slowly had to retrain my lousy eating habits.  But when I observe E, it makes me think about my own upbringing.

When I was an elementary student, my favorite thing to take for lunch was a sandwich.  But not just any sandwich.  This sandwich consisted of salami, pickles and ketchup on white bread.  That's it.  I ate that almost every day for a year.  Occasionally I would switch it out for a brunsweiger sandwich, another favorite.  E has never had either of these meats and would never have had bologna if my mom hadn't given it to her..once.  She didn't like it, thankfully.

Another thing I remember eating was City Chicken.  Now, this was really weird to me.  City chicken is meat skewered on a stick, soaked in milk, breaded and then baked.  I remember liking it, but I always thought it was chicken.  When I asked my mom one day why she called it City Chicken she told me it was because it was made from veal!  I have never made veal...isn't it expensive?  I can't figure out why we ate it so much when we were so poor.  But I have to say, I have never found anyone else who knows what it is.

Then my grandma would make porcupine.  For years I thought I was eating real porcupine until I grew old enough to know that there is no such thing as a Pennsylvania porcupine.  It is a Polish dish of ground beef, rice and tomato sauce all rolled into one.  I don't remember liking it that much, but it could have been because I was afraid of choking on a quill.

There was something else my grandmother made...milkshakes.  I hated her milkshakes and she always made me drink one whenever I arrived at her house (as if I wasn't overweight enough as a child.)  The thing is, the milkshakes were made with one raw egg (from HER chickens) and marshmallows. NOT marshmallow cream or flavoring, marshmallows.  Have you ever tried to swallow a milkshake with raw egg and the added chunkiness of gooey marshmallows?  It's making me a little queasy just typing this.

All of this is brought on by a squirrel story I heard a few days ago.  Tune in tomorrow for the next episode of Southern Victuals!


Anonymous said...

Living in Muddy Waters said...

Thanks anon. That so totally makes sense because my mom is fron right outside of Pittsburgh!

Jean said...

Heck -- I'm FROM Pittsburgh, and I've never heard of this. Then again, both my parents were from A small town in Bedford County, and were from PA Dutch ancestry. Most of my friends growing up never had scrapple, or would touch creamed lettuce.

Oh, crap. Now, I'm hungry. And I want scrapple....mmmmmmmmm

Living in Muddy Waters said...

Creamed lettuce?

Jean said...

Creamed lettuce -- wash and dry green leaf lettuce. Add a small amount of finely chopped onion. Make a dressing of mayonnaise, canned evaporated milk, white wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and shake to mix -- pour over lettuce and onion and toss well to coat. It's part of your 7 sweets and 7 sours of the family meal of a Amish/Mennonite family. My mom was from Mennonite, Amish and Dunker heritage. PA ancestry on Mom's side from 1738, from both her parents.

By the way -- tons of recipes on this -- most use cream or sour cream instead of canned milk. But for some reason (maybe her mother did it this way) we had this salad when we had mashed potatoes and my mother HAD to use canned milk in the mashed potatoes. I think our recipe evolved using canned milk because you had to use the rest of the can of milk up.

And from my Dad's side of the family came potato candy -- which is why we NEVER add garlic or pepper to our mashed potatoes. Potato candy is a small bit of mashed potato to which you add a large amount of confectioner's sugar to, to make a dough. When you start adding the confectioner's sugar the potato goes all liquid and it just looks wrong, just keep throwing in sugar. You roll out the potato dough and coat it well with peanut butter (smooth works best as the chunks crack the potato dough) and roll it up. Cut into one inch pieces and eat.

This is SO sweet your teeth will hurt. But it SO good....

Do you need any other reasons to know that I am a large happy woman?

Knikki said...

Milkshake with Egg and Marshmallow? Is that a drink or just one lump of goo? :-)
After reading this I am now humgrey coffee and biscuits anyone? My kid was the same never eat anything green now he eats anything stuck infront of him.
Oh and I love Polish food.

rockygrace said...

Binghamton, NY chiming in - I can confirm that city chicken is carried in most old-school delis around here. Yum.

I don't know what creamed lettuce is, and I'm fairly sure that I don't WANT to know.

RV Vagabonds said...

The city chicken I grew up with had some sort of ground meat in it; possibly pork? And my mom made porcupines, too, which were simply stuffed green peppers without the peppers in our family. The name came from the rice, I guess.

Must be an Ohio thing, huh?

Living in Muddy Waters said...

Catherine, I never saw your comment. I usually post everything unless it is spam or really offensive, (you've never been offensive). I think blogger just ate it.


And I know what it feels like to be beaten up by life. I would never do that to another person.

catherine said...

Thanks. I'm going through a bit of a hard time right now and most of my RL friends arn't here for me. They want the old me back and they can't understand why not. I can't handle any more rejection.