Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Tag! I'm Mad and I'm "It"

The indescribable mrs d at Belly Timber selected me and a few other jerks she's acquainted with (oh, wait, that ain't fair -- I'm the only jerk I can vouch for) to participate in the meme of childhood memories. So, forthwith:
Five Childhood Food Memories You Miss. OK, or I miss.
1) Smoked Oysters. Usually packed in cottonseed oil or soy oil, they're no longer on my OK list. But my dad was a Navy guy. ("Navy": Word derived from the Old Saxon "naphaugh," meaning "cocktail parties every night.") Our larder was stocked with booze, mixers, and canapes. Off limits to my brother and me. So we developed a superstitious affinity for smoked oysters, and were usually allowed one taste, on a wooden toothpick, per can opened to appease the happy-hour crowds that gathered at our house often.
2) Tuna Casserole. Made from creepy, oil-packed, undistinguished canned brown tuna shreds. Layered with Campbell's mushroom soup and a whole bag of potato chips. The chips turned into soggy "potatoes." Ooh, salty. I loved that stuff. My mom could get me to do anything for that dinner.
3) Hunter's Eggs. This is actually special. It was a recipe from one of those spiral-bound community cookbooks of the 60s. And it was rather sophisticated. A kind of Welsh Rarebit -- melted cheese, sauteed mushrooms and onions, Worcestershire sauce and curry powder, cream (!), and eggs poached in the whole mess -- broken up into pillowy chunks at the last minute, and the whole stew served over toast. I've asked Mom for the recipe, and will attempt it soon.
4) Teriyaki Chicken Skewers. Beef, too. I lived in Hawaii as a kid, and feasts often included these satay-like delicacies threaded on bamboo and barbecued over coals. Still haven't found anything like them.
5) Oh, this is a "You Had To Be There." Li Hing Mui. Hawaiian cracked seed from Lick Yee company (or was it Yick Lee? I was young; I forget). In this case, white plum, cured with saccharine, licorice and salt. If I was feeling particularly adventurous, I'd skip the sweet ones and go straight for the "salty seeds," which could really put a pucker on my helehelena. I'd buy them in little cellophane bags from vendors on the beach for about 25 cents. I think they're close to a dollar an ounce now.

(Now I'm supposed to add this part, and I screwed it up yesterday and published without changing the names, so the list is now amended.)
Choose 4 bloggers to tag (none of whom are obliged to take part):

1. dr. biggles at MeatHenge
2. rae at BunnyFoot
3. Jennifer at The Novato Experiment
4. Greg at Life's a Picnic

Now, remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place; add your blog's name in the #5 spot; link to each of the other blogs for the desired effect.

1. Tasca Da Elvira/Tarzile.com
2.Pumpkin Pie Bungalow
3.Once Upon a Feast
4. Belly Timber
5.I'm Mad and I Eat

I don't know what effect that will have, but I'm playing by the rules.


drbiggles said...

Hey Cookie,

I should be able to participate. But I can't say how many rules I will be attending to. Sometimes I do it on purpose and sometimes I just go off on my merry way.
Need to find me some pictures, hey.


Greg said...

Cookie.. some days I can't remember what I had for breakfast but I'll try to play along. Heck I don't know any bloggers that aren't on you list.

mrs d said...

Okay, that Welsh Rarebit sounds soooo much better than Chopper's mom's Welsh Rarebit!

I still like canned smoked oysters (though I don't eat them here since we get the fresh babies right up the road), but I have specific fond memories of Smoked Baby Clams, if only because of a trip with friends where we obsessed over them, spending the weekend doing store runs, crying about running out of "SBCs."

So glad you could join in the meme-fun!

cookiecrumb said...

Oh, mrs d, thank YOU for including me.
We're thinking of smoking some local oysters soon, but around here they let them grow so huge, it's kinda obscene.
And: Tell Chopper the junior high cafeteria lunch of hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes tasted of NOTHING. He asked. I ransacked my memory. No flavor reminiscence. Just creepy mouth-feel.
Didja know my mom and dad used to harvest geoducks, while I was shivering in our unheated cabin with pneumonia? Life. Funny.

rae said...

hey cookie,
back from my summer idyll and ready to play! by the way, i hope that's not a picture of your actual kitchen, else i might have to kill you....

cookiecrumb said...

Yay, rae.
No, that's not my kitchen, but here's a picture of the kitchen in the house we sold in Mill Valley.
(Now we're in a dreary 70s condo.)