Monday, September 03, 2007

Common Tastes

Tonight, we continued our Labor Day tradition by grilling some hot dogs (low-fat turkey dogs and Hebrew National reduced fat dogs--great taste with less of the strange mystery meat filler found in most hot dogs). I've always been a hot dog fan, ever since I was a kid; of course, back then we ate the juiciest, most full-fat dogs money could buy, and we didn't care that each hot dog got about 115% of its calories from fat.

Two hot dogs, some baked beans seasoned with chopped onions and cubanelle peppers, some cole slaw made with a fat-free mayo dressing... it was as good a meal as any I've had, although there are many who would turn up their noses at my plebeian tastes.

Truth is, I've always had very plain tastes. I grew up in a home where out menu included, on a regular basis, fried baloney (it wasn't good enough back then to be known as bologna) and eggs and biscuits; hot dogs and sauerkraut; salmon patties; sausage patties and baked beans; pan-fried vienna sausages; banana sandwiches with mayonnaise... They may sound like plain food, but they're part of my childhood, and I have fond memories of each. I also remember macaroni and cheese with crushed pineapple (the only way I would even consider eating a bite of macaroni and cheese), canned pears with a dollop of mayonnaise, and the occasional bowl of cereal for dinner. Never once did I think of these as any less than the other wonderful meals that Mom made us; they were part of the adventure of childhood, and I still have fond memories of every one of them.

So tonight it was hot dogs and baked beans and cole slaw. Tomorrow will be grilled salmon and baked potato and salad; I tried on several occasions over the past six years to convince Dad to try some grilled fresh salmon, but he just wouldn't do it. "I like salmon patties okay," he alway said, "but I've had 'em enough." I tried to convince him that there was a major difference between salmon patties and grilled salmon, but he wasn't interested; in his mind, salmon and tuna were always intended to come from a can, not from a seafood case.

And showing how tastes are set early: I still prefer a can of Campbell's tomato soup or chicken noodle soup to almost any fresh soup, and I still consider a can of brunswick stew to be a taste treat...


Lanny said...

I've known few people who, like myself, grew up eating banana sandwiches with mayonaise!

I still like them!

How about the pineapple sandwiches with mayo?

And I still like Campbell's Chicken Noodles soup better than about any other soup, but you must have saltine crackers with it.

One of our 'festive' weekend meals as I was growig up was - pork chops grilled outdoors, potato wedges dipped in egg, rolled in flour and deep fried and the SAME pear halves with mayo you mentioned. At my house were EXTRA fancy, though. The pear half sat on a lettuce leaf and the dallop of mayo was adorned with shredded mild cheddar cheese.


Of course I seldom eat pork these days, but I would make an exception if I could sit down to one of those Saturday dinners with the folks one more time.

Good stuff and good memories. Thanks for helping me reconnect.

Lanny said...

Oh...and one more...

Peanuts dropped into a bottle of Coca-Cola!

Man oh man!

cliff said...

Apparently we are brothers!

Yes, indeed, I loved pineapple sandwiches with mayonnaise. And you are correct as well regarding pear halves; if the meal called for the deluxe version, we got the lettuce leaf and a little bit of cheese on top.

And it goes without saying that you have to have saltines with Campbell's chicken noodle soup... but you have to ration them out, because if you use all your saltines up front, they end up too soggy before you finish!

Anonymous said...

still eating banana and mayo. sandwiches, and eat an acassional peanut butter an banana. i can eat salmon patties, but dont like salmon filets, tomatoe soup and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, try dunking the sandwich in the soup.yum, yum. uncle paul

cliff said...

Susan and I have peanut butter and banana sandwiches every now and then--and we even have peanut butter and banana on a cinnamon raisin bagel as a breakfast mainstay.

I like tomato soup and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, but haven't tried the dunking thing--thanks for the recommendation!