So we eat pretty healthy in our household. We are not dieters and are not crazy all-organic or anything. But we eat a pretty well-rounded diet, and we avoid processed foods, mostly. We do occasionally have junk food nights or eat fried things. And there are a few things I haven’t taken to making on my own 100%, like perogies or taquitos. Those are pretty unhealthy but are not a significant part of our regular diet. However, I got to thinking about my eating habits over the years, and I find it interesting the things I have eaten in the past that I would not eat today. So I thought I would share some of these lovely memories.
When I was in high school, one of my favorite things was Velveeta cheese dip. To be clear, a couple of times a year, I still make this and eat it. But, not like I did back then. This is gonna gross some people out, but I would literally take it cold from the fridge and put a big old slab of it between two pieces of white bread and then get on the school bus. My bus driver was always telling me I should eat a healthy breakfast. While I still like the Velveeta version, I’ve recently tried some really good cheese dips made using real cheddar, and they are good and feel a lot more healthy. Well, as healthy as eating chili-cheese fries can be!
My sister and I used to make beanie-weenies all the time. We would cut up some of the cheapest, who-knows-what-is-actually-in-them hot dogs, and fry them up in a pan. We then added pork-n-beans from a can and barbeque sauce. We would generally serve this with some of the boxed Kraft mac-n-cheese. I also no longer buy boxed mac-n-cheese. Ever. I have so many recipes for mac-n-cheese from a simple cheddar cheese sauce to the more complex French onion recipe from NYT Cooking, and they are just so much better.
On the subject of boxed foods, we really don’t buy any of them anymore. However, when I was a kid, I’m pretty sure we lived several years on a diet of Hamburger Helper. I think ground beef was pretty cheap, and you know those boxes of preservatives and salt were cheap. Also, my sister and I started making dinner at a young age, and they were easy to make. I think the cheeseburger macaroni got the most play in our house, though I do remember a dish that had almost like a biscuit crust on the bottom that we really liked.
Oh and the TV dinners. My grandmother used to keep them in her deep freezer. I’m pretty sure they were just for us grandkids. There were a lot of us, and we ate a lot. I used to just love the one with chicken nuggets and corn and apple sauce. And cheep frozen pizzas. I’m talking the really cheap ones that sort of resemble what we would get in the school cafeteria. I’m not even sure that was real cheese. But we loved them! We do still buy frozen pizzas, but of a much better quality. Actually, now that I think of it, we haven’t bought any during quarantine and ate the last one in the freezer when we moved back in August. Pizza is just so easy to make, and we love my homemade Italian sausage so much that we just make them at home. But I am getting a craving for take-out pizza. We have this great little pizza place with one of those wood fired ovens over here.
Honestly, on the subject of pizza, I have become such a snob. I grew up on the likes of Pizza Hut, Dominoes and later Papa Johns. Then I moved to Chicago and oh my god, the pizza options are so good. In my humble opinion, even one of the cheaper chains here is better than anything I had before I came to this city.
I’m sure this list could go on and on. I’m pretty sure I ate some super gross stuff at my grandparents. My grandfather was very old-school southern. But these are just a few more things I can add to my “sometimes you outgrow things” list.