I learned a lot of food habits from my dad. He could make a meal an adventure from the bazaar to the sublime. I learned how to eat a lot of foods his way and some of them make people shake their heads.
Dad’s favorite cake was the buttermilk chocolate cake. I learned to bake it when I had to stand on a chair at the counter. It is a very moist cake and we always used a fluffy white icing on it so it only added sweetness and not extra flavor to the cake.
Dad would never eat one of the outside pieces; he always wanted one on the inside where it had not touched the sides of the pan. What always made mom mad, and me too if I had been the one making it, was what he did to it before eating it.
Getting cake ready to eat for him was almost as big a deal as fixing his coffee. He would take the piece of cake and turn it up on its side. Then he would poke at the side with his fork a few times. When he was satisfied with that he would pour cream all over the piece of cake, but tried to keep it on the top so it soaked all the way through. I did not inherit that bad habit.
When mom served canned peaches for dessert, it was not enough to satisfy his sweet tooth. So there was always a bowl of Oreos or Hydrox cookies on the table too.
Dad would break up about 6 Oreo cookies into the peaches and juice. Of course that meant he had to have a bowl that was actually to large for the peaches that she served him. Once he had all the cookies broken into little pieces and swimming in the peach juice, he would start to stir and push them around in the juice. So now he had black peach juice and cookie chunks and peaches to eat.
I love peaches and Oreos, but I even loved Hydrox cookies (do they still make them?) or the store brand they are good too in a bowl of peaches and juice. Now…. don’t turn up your nose at this until you try it. There are many converts out there that thought the same thing but love it now.
Here is another habit from dad that I can’t seem to break. He hated for any of his food to touch on the plate. He didn’t even like the juice of something to get into another food. Most of his meals were eaten with his knife or something under one side of his plate so juice from a vegetable would not get on something else on his plate.
He loved chili so I guess once an item was mixed and cooked it was okay. I am not a big soup eater but like my dad I do like chili. He was not a fan of casseroles. I don’t make casseroles but my shopping buddy makes some mighty tasty casseroles that I love when we eat at their home.
Dad had a thing about hot dogs. When mom served hot dogs, he preferred his without a bun and would cut it up in bite size pieces. Then he would dip each bite in mustard. But he always left the ends of the hot dog on the plate when he was finished with his meal.
Mom decided off one day that she’d cut the ends of the hot dog so he wouldn’t leave the two ends on the plate. But when she cleared the table after lunch there were two pieces of hot dog lying on his plate. So from then on she left the ends and let him cut them off because he was going to waste the end pieces no matter what.
Mom loved Angel food cake and she made it often. I love it too and Dad taught me the proper way to eat it, according to his way of thinking. There was never much icing on the Angel food cake that she made, just a thin layer on the top that drizzled down the sides. That was just fine with Dad and me.
When she cut us a piece of the angel food cake we would scrape off what little bit of icing was on it and then spread some sweet margarine onto the slice like a piece of bread. That is really the best way to eat Angel food cake. Just something about the sweet margarine that enhances the cake. I think mom used IGA sweet margarine in a stick, but I now love the sweet margarine from Braum’s on my angel food cake.
When I have radishes with a meal it always makes me think of my dad. Mom rarely put a table cloth on the table for the family meals but I am sure it wouldn’t have made any difference to Dad. He was going to fix his radishes his way no matter what.
Once the radish was sliced he would lay the slices on the table directly in front of his plate. Then he would sprinkle salt on the slices as they lay on the table. I slice my radishes but I do it on my plate and salt them there. What a mess that must have been for mom every time she served them.
When we traveled Dad always looked for a pancake house for breakfast and he ordered the waffles supreme or deluxe, what ever that particular place called it. They had strawberries all over the two waffles and then whipped cream on top of the strawberries.
Once the waffles were placed in front of Dad, he would add 3-4 pats of butter on top of everything and then syrup. I could hardly stand to watch him eat them because it looked like it would make your teeth ache.
Amazingly with all his wild eating habits he was never heavy. He was about 5’9″ and weighed 135 pounds soaking wet with all his clothes on. He must have had a raging metabolism to eat like he did. I did inherit some of dad’s food habits; but thankfully not all of them. To contact Sandy: [email protected]