If you read my previous post, you know I’m home in St. Louis for the holidays with my family for my last winter break from school. As I mentally prepare for the day when I am finally no longer a student, I have been drumming up old school memories from when I was younger…starting with the conversation I had with my brother in our basement when I was 4 years old and told him I couldn’t wait to have homework. My brother was much too engrossed in whatever game he was playing on SEGA Genesis to pay much attention to me, but he probably said something along the lines of me being stupid because homework is stupid.
Nerd alert: I liked homework most of the time.
Here on Eating Up, I like to document my growing taste buds as I grow up. It should be known, though, that I am one that holds on to memories way too long. So, when I came home on Saturday and made my routine inspection of the pantry, fridge and freezer, I couldn’t help but smile when I saw some things that have never changed in my family’s kitchen.
1. Our cereal box to person ratio is off the charts. The amount of boxes shown is actually significantly less than the normal quantity stocked when there were three kids in the house to feed. Since my siblings and I have grown up and moved out, Rice Krispies, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cocoa Puffs have disappeared from the shelves as well.
2. M&M’s are a pantry staple, just like bread. Our family doesn’t discriminate among milk chocolate, peanut, peanut butter and dark chocolate. We like them all. My mom always buys the seasonal ones too. This may actually be the reason why M&M’s are my favorite candy.
3. I have never been to New Orleans, but I’ve had their beignets. We have always had a box of this beignet mix in our pantry to make on special weekends. My dad started bringing it back when he went to NOLA for work, but we always ordered more when we ran out (by phone? by mail order pre-Internet? I’m actually not sure…). Cafe Du Monde is famous in The Big Easy, and I’ve never had better beignets. Order some for yourself!
4. This crazy dome contraption pops popcorn. And does it well. It has served my father for about every other night since as long as I can remember. Well, that’s not true. I’m not sure how many he has actually gone through all these years. Anyway, this nighttime ritual always impressed my friends who came over for sleepovers. It actually impressed my now roommate just last year. She told me to steal it for our apartment this year. I told her that may just break my father’s heart. And probably my mother’s too since some nights she asks for the popcorn too.
5. This is a picture of our freezer. The top shelf contains assorted Nestle Tollhouse chips (semi-sweet chocolate and butterscotch are pictured). No, they were not going stale. My mom buys a bag and intentionally puts them in there to snack on. This is my fault. I gave her the idea when one of my friends gave me the idea a long, long time ago. Turns out, I prefer the taste of room temperature chips more (you can actually taste the flavors better, no?). My mom on the other hand lives for these frozen morsels. As a teenager, I used to sneak the bags back into the pantry to thaw. As an adult, I let my mom have her fun. After all, it’s not always about me and what I like anymore. (Life lesson: It never was! …Or should have been.)