Childhood food envy?

angelaidAugust 13, 2012

We were not allowed soda pop as a child, so I was envious of friends that could get in the fridge and have a pop any time they wanted.

We had cold cereal for breakfast every morning. I would leave early to go pick up my best friend to walk to school together. They were Hispanic. Her mom always handed each of us a warm, home made, flour tortilla rolled up with beans and rice to eat on our way to school. Still remember the smell and taste of those!

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triciae

Nope, I grew up believing that I ate better than anybody in the world - couldn't imagine food could get better. Same thing with my clothes. Mom made my clothes right up until her death. I always thought my clothes were prettier ('cause I got to pick fabrics), fit better, and I had more of them than my friends.

The only semi-denial thing I remember is that Dad complained I drank too much orange juice. He didn't stop me from drinking it though 'cause it came from oranges grown on my sister's & BIL's 2,000 acres of grapes & various citrus. No cost to Dad.

I had an undiagnosed tyroid problem and ate like a horse until my early twenties when I had my thyroid removed.

/tricia

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 5:13PM
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grainlady_ks

I went to a very small rural school. The one spoiled "rich" girl in my class didn't like milk unless it was doctored with chocolate and she would bring chocolate milk powder carefully wrapped in a small sheet of waxed paper and added the Nestle's Quik to her bottle of milk at lunch. I thought she was the luckiest person in the world.... -Grainlady

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 5:32PM
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lindac

I also was not allowed soda....finally when I was about 12 I was allowed one 6 oz bottle of 7-up now and then...and no chocolate....no oreos, no chocolate chip cookies, no fudge, only my grandmother's penuche ( which was heavenly!).
But I had white bread and cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, and sirloin steak, and grandma's baked beans...I was not envious of anyone.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 6:45PM
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mustangs81

Food in general was envied! We had it pretty rough to the point where we still tease my brother about eating chocolate flavored Exlax laxative for a treat.

In my senior year of high school my dad got transferred and I was fortunate enough to have a classmate's family let me live with them my senior year. The dad of the family was regional manager for Morrison's cafeteria; they had a commercial freezer in the home and I could eat anything anytime. I gained so much weight that I couldn't fit into my cheerleading outfit and Raymond didn't recognize me when he got home from college.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 7:21PM
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carol_in_california

We are pretty well when I was growing up......we were poor but my mom had a way of fixing beans and potatoes.
When I had children I allowed no sugared cereals at all.
When my DD was about 12 and DS was about 13, I took them camping one weekend. (DH was working out of town and the campground was near so he could be home at night.)
On the way up the coast the kids and I stopped for breakfast and I told them they could order ANYTHING they wanted. DS wanted to know if he could have steak and eggs....yep. But he ordered ham and eggs instead. DD ordered a hamburger patty and a bowl of Sugar Frosted Flakes. And gave me a look and then said "You said I could order anything and we never get sugar cereal at home."

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 7:53PM
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dcarch7

May be it's just me seeing things. :-)

dcarch

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 9:21PM
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teresa_nc7

Oh my goodness! Look at you - a dead ringer for Jackie-O! That's amazing, dcarch.

When I was in Jr. High, my friend across the street and I would sometimes walk down to a nearby drug store and get some ice cream after school. She would raid her three older sisters' purses and come up with enough change to get a banana split - whereas, I could only get enough money to get a single cone. It happened every time.

Teresa

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:04PM
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KatieC

lol, dcarch...perfect. When I saw the pic I thought, "Oooo...grace and 'tude." (But I have met Cathy, hehe).

Angela, the first thing that popped in my mind was Mrs. Noble's bread. She lived next door and I'm sure attributed my skinny little body to my wacko mom's lack of proper food prep (she was actually a good cook,just wacko). She would invite me over to sit on the edge of her back porch and give me a thick slice of hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven white bread, slathered with real butter. And make tsk-tsk noises, lol. I think that's why I make plain old white bread sometimes. The smell.....

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:21PM
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shambo

Butter, mashed potatoes, and white bread. My dad insisted on Greek food, so all our salads were dressed with olive oil and vinegar and all our cooked vegetables tossed with olive oil and lemon. I was in junior high before I discovered that my friends put butter on their vegetables. When I finally tasted butter and vegetables, I was in heaven.

Mashed potatoes were only served at Thanksgiving and Christmas with roast turkey. So any kind of mashed potatoes was a treat, even the white blobs from a frozen TV dinner. Once I spent two weeks with dear friends whose mother was Swedish. I was so excited the first night because she served mashed potatoes. I was still excited the third night. But after a week of plain meat, some gravy, and mashed potatoes, I began to really appreciate my Greek heritage.

When I was two years old, we moved across the street from a lovely Seventh Day Adventist family. The mom became my mother's best friend and introduced her to whole wheat bread. My mom really didn't bake bread, so she ended up buying the closest thing to homemade whole wheat bread that was available in the grocery stores at the time -- Roman Meal Bread. I was the only person in my classes that had grainy bread for school lunch sandwiches. Every once in a while, I'd go to a friends house and have some white bread, whether it was as toast or a sandwich. It didn't matter, I just loved it.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:41PM
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cloud_swift

I didn't in general - I was pretty happy with food at home. But one summer I went to a Girl Scout camp where they made you eat at least some of everything. I couldn't (and still can't) stand canned peas which showed up at dinner some nights so I hated that. And sometimes at lunch we were given sandwiches with mustard already on them as the only option and I hate mustard.

There was another girl from my neighborhood at the camp and she didn't have to eat things because she had allergies. She got a special sandwich to eat while I was stuck with the one with mustard. (My plan was if I went to that camp again I'd have my mom put on the medical form that I was allergic to peas and mustard.)

At some point there was a fire near the camp and we had to be evacuated for some hours until they got it under control. They had lots of Girl Scout cookies for snack for us while we waited so it wasn't all bad.

Why do I hate mustard so much? I can even taste it if someone has cut my sandwich with a knife they used to cut a mustard sandwich with. I love mustard seed and use it all the time in cooking as well as turmeric and vinegar. Those are the only ingredients in French's mustard but something happens to the flavor when those are combined that makes me hate it.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 11:56PM
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ynnej

Kool Aid and candy cigarettes. And anything microwaved was just magical- my dad is quite the Luddite and refused to have one in the house until the late 90's.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:24AM
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compumom

I echo your sentiments about French's mustard. As an adult, I love different mustard sauces, but don't give me French's!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:37AM
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johnliu_gw

As a young boy, food cooked at home was Chinese food, so a fast food hamburger - in my case, usually White Castle - was a big treat.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 3:04AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

In middle school, I had to take the bus to school so often got there early and we sat in the cafeteria.
I would watch in awe and envy at the kids (free meal ticket kids) who got to eat Krispy Kreme doughnuts, bacon, etc, for breakfast every day.

Those were very rare weekend treats at home. We weren't poor, just healthy! I didn't know it or appreciate this fact until many years later.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 11:14AM
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dedtired

OMG, Cathy, you do look like Jackie. What a beauty. Good one, DC.

There was always plenty of food around when I was a kid and my mom really didn't regulate what we ate when, except three meals a day. She loved to cook and bake and always had that stuff around. We could help ourselves any time which I think led to poor eating habits.

However soda was a treat we were not often allowed. When I went off to college there was a vending machine in the basement and I was buying soda all the time.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:30PM
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teresa_nc7

Ah, yes..... the good old college days of crullers and Coke for breakfast from the ma-chines in the dorm. (We called them "the MA-chines," accent on the first syllable.)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:54PM
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noinwi

When I was in Jr High my best friends were sisters from a large family. Their father was a butcher. I always considered myself lucky if I had a sleepover there when they had beef heart for dinner. I loved it and I don't ever remember having it at home.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 3:26PM
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mustangs81

Thanks for the compliment DC--but that's a real stretch!

I showed the picture to illustrate what I was up against. I started the school year in my very form fitting outfit. Then after eating anything I wanted, I gained so much weight that come the first football game I couldn't fit into my outfit. My temporary mother ripped open every seam and sewed it back trying to give me as much room as possible--and this between school letting out for the day and game time.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 9:05PM
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dedtired

Cathy, I remember one summer that I spent working in a restaurant at the New Jersey shore. I lived on cheesesteaks and ice cream all summer. At the end of the summer I tried to put on a dress that I'd worn to my sister's dress rehearsal in June. I could barely get it over my hips and I looked like a sausage in it. I was an 18 y.o. stringbean in June and by the end of August I was having my first battle with my weight. What an awful feeling -- one I have become quite familiar with over the years! I have a tennis skirt in a drawer that I wore during one skinny time in my life and I swear it would fit one thigh now.

Very groovy cheerleading outfit, btw. We wore heavy letter sweaters and pleated skirts.

It's hard not to indulge those food cravings!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 12:00PM
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lbpod

My envy was of those kids who were given 5 cents for milk
during recess in first grade. My Mother was very frugal
and only would give me 4 cents for our daily milk at school. She said that I don't need chocolate milk. But I fooled her. I skipped milk altogether
on one day, and used the exra 4 cents to supplement my
chocolate craving the other 4 days. Ain't I smot?
And back then the milk came in real glass bottles,
and everyone used to save the paper disks that were
plugged into the top of the bottles. Boy, am I old.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 2:21PM
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triciae

lbpod,

Good story but I'm a think'in I've got one better...I didn't mess around with milk or chocolate milk. I went for gusto!

We lived in Ely, Nevada for a bit when I was in elementary school. Mom would give me lunch money. I would head straight to the back door of the Bank Club. The slots were in the back of the casino & I could sneak in to play a few minutes without being late for school. Some weeks, I'd make enough to get a soda on the way home every day. Other weeks, I had no lunch or soda! :)

/tricia

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 3:00PM
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bbstx

I begged Mom to pack my lunch and to fix me a cheese sandwich like the other kids had. At some point I must have traded lunch with someone and gotten a taste of the wonderful cheese sandwich.

Mom did everything she knew how, but it was never like the other kids. I think I was in my 20s before I realized that the other kids were eating a slice of American processed cheese. Mine were cheddar or colby or some other sort of "real" cheese. We never had American slices or Velveeta in our house. She tried to give me what I was asking for, but I had absolutely no frame of reference to tell Mom what it was that the other kids had.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 3:23PM
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mustangs81

Bbstx, my mom would pack an American processed cheese sandwich everyday. I would throw it away most days because it was so not cool to bring your lunch. I didn't have any lunch money so I would said I wasn't hungry. I'm sure my classmates caught on. Finally, I told mom I would make my own lunch; to save the cheese for my siblings I would just put 2 pieces of bread in the lunch bag.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 4:41PM
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bbstx

Too bad we weren't classmates, mustangs. I would have happily, gleefully, eaten your American processed cheese sandwich. I preferred that Mom pack my lunch, which was usually tuna salad sandwiches or pimento cheese sandwiches. Our cafeteria was noted for such delicacies as gray, mushy broccoli; mystery meat; and "dishwater," which was actually vegetable soup that wasn't too bad.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 4:52PM
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marilyn_c

The only "envy" I recall was my mother cut my sandwiches in triangles and my friend's mother cut hers straight across...so I got my mother to change how she cut my sandwiches.

When I was a kid, I don't know anyone who kept sodas around all the time. We had one once in awhile as a treat. When I was a teenager, I had a friend who had a weekend house in our little town and we used to ride horses together. I couldn't believe it, but they had cases of sodas, and you could have one any time you wanted. Strawberry Fanta.....was anything ever so good?!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:29AM
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rob333

Actually, Mrs. Mustangs is even more beautiful now. Better than Jackie O

We never went out to eat. Ever. We were just too poor. I didn't envy it though. When my parents split, daddy tried to take me to the Peppertree in San Fran, and instead, we drove around and drove around. He couldn't find it! The one and only time in his life, he got lost. You could drop him behind enemy lines with a map, sure fire, he'd meet the right point. Drive across country and get there at exactly 3PM on Tuesday like he promised? Sure! But find that restaurant? Nope. So I never really did mind not eating out when I was kid. Made up for it as an adult. I used to eat out four or five times a week. Now it's once a month, but it's when I want because now I can.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:50AM
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mustangs81

Robin, so you got the check I sent to you!

bbstx, That's what I was thinking too. I'm sure our cafeteria wasn't any better but the cool kids didn't bring lunches-not that I was one of the cool kids.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 3:29PM
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mustangs81

Robin, You never went out to eat...ha ha we did, 2 times!! Both times my mother was our waitress.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 7:43PM
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annie1992

We didn't eat out and we almost never had soft drinks. I remember my Grandmother would buy one can of Big K root beer from Kroger's and split it 3 ways between my brother, my sister and me. It happened three times a year, on our birthdays, and it was a very big deal.

Everyone in my small elementary school carried a lunch because there were three rooms, with three grades per room, and there was no lunch room. No gym either. When I started high school there was a cafeteria but it was very uncool to actually eat there, LOL.

I went to work in a chicken joint/sub shop when I was 14 and worked 60 hours a week all the way through high school. That was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and there were no work permits necessary. Safety laws must have been different too because I was cutting up chickens and using the meat slicer. At first I thought that job was great, I could eat subs and fried chicken for half price, just write them on my time card and it would be deducted from my wages weekly. It didn't take too long to cringe, just thinking about eating any of that stuff after being surrounded by it every day.

Annie

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 12:43AM
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