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Brett Robson
12-29-2013, 10:58 AM
When I was a kid, times were pretty lean for my parents and mom became expert in fixing simple/inexpensive but tasty meals for the family. One of her regulars was a depression-era recipe from my grandmother they had dubbed "Porcupine Meatballs".

It couldn't be simpler - ground beef meatballs with some minced onion, S&P, and dry rice, placed in a casserole dish and covered with tomato soup. Once cooked, it's served in a bowl with shredded cheddar cheese and if we were lucky, a slab of garlic bread!

Something reminded me of that old recipe I hadn't seen in probably 25+ years. I mentioned it to my mother and for fun, she made some for our Christmas get together the other day.

It was a real time-warp and suddenly I was a kid again, sitting at the dinner table with mom and dad asking how my day at school went.

It got me thinking it might be a fun to take a culinary trip down memory lane. What kinds of comfort foods or other lost favorites do you recall which you haven't seen in years?

Greg Peterson
12-29-2013, 11:54 AM
Easy, lefse.

bob svoboda
12-29-2013, 12:00 PM
My Mother combined ground beef, frozen corn and fried potatos-we named it 'sick dog'-I still love it today!

Judson Green
12-29-2013, 12:08 PM
It couldn't be simpler - ground beef meatballs with some minced onion, S&P, and dry rice, placed in a casserole dish and covered with tomato soup. Once cooked, it's served in a bowl with shredded cheddar cheese and if we were lucky, a slab of garlic bread!


That sounds pretty good. A suggestion/variation; put the mixture in a sweet pepper or go a little south and add some beans and swap out the sweet pepper for a poblano pepper.

Today I'm gonna make some ham and bean soup. My Mom used to make it on occasion in the winter time. I'm not going to follow her recipe though, don't think I have it. Soon I'm gonna make a casserole dish I have very fond memories of.

Go Pack!

Fred Perreault
12-29-2013, 4:05 PM
We lived in similar circumstances, as I (1 of 5 kids) was born soon after the war in 1947. We had salt cod and pork scraps over mashed potatoes. The other popular item was creamed tuna and peas over toast. And all of us kids are still alive even though my 4 sisters all smoke cigarettes. I don't smoke....... cigarettes

Jim Koepke
12-29-2013, 4:35 PM
What kinds of comfort foods or other lost favorites do you recall which you haven't seen in years?

Most of my old favorites are also my current favorite comfort foods.

My mom was great with leftovers. There were five boys growing up under one roof. She would usually by large hunks of meat knowing that none would be wasted.

First day after a meal leftovers were used in sandwiches for our lunches.

Then:

Left over beef became beef stew.
Left over turkey became soup.
Left over ham was put in a pot of beans that were soaked overnight on low heat.
We often had pork chops fried, drained and then covered with onions, peppers and tomato sauce. This was served with rice. When I make it mushrooms are added.
Grilled cheese sandwiches are still one of my favorites and is one of the times American cheese is enjoyed. If there is some ham and mustard in the mix so much the better.

For one that I haven't had in years is one my mom called "goopers." She would mix hamburger with dry onion soup make a patty on top of half a french roll set it under the broiler and cover it with a slice of cheese for the last bit of cooking.


Easy, lefse.

Easy for you to say. I seldom eat something I know nothing about.

jtk

Steve Rozmiarek
12-29-2013, 5:14 PM
Easy, lefse.

What is that? I'm kind of scared to ask...

Brian Libby
12-29-2013, 5:29 PM
Dried beef (comes in a small jar) in a cream sauce on toast. I still like I every once in a while!

Dave Richards
12-29-2013, 5:44 PM
What is that? I'm kind of scared to ask...

It's a Norwegian thing. Like a crepe made with potatoes. Very good with butter and sugar or lingonberry jam.
http://www.lefsetime.com/wp-content/themes/localpress/images/making-lefse-packaging-1.jpg

Split pea soup with smoked ham hocks is one of my favorite comfort foods. And corn chowder which I made Friday afternoon. Yum!

Brett Robson
12-29-2013, 5:59 PM
Split pea soup with smoked ham hocks is one of my favorite comfort foods. And corn chowder which I made Friday afternoon. Yum!

Oh that does sound good! I haven't had split pea w/ham in years!

Sal Kurban
12-29-2013, 6:06 PM
You guys are spoiled, all these entrees would have been a luxury to me! We were 8 kids and rarely we ate meat, or fish, perhaps 3-4 times a year, no kidding! Unless we went hunting that is... The easiest mom would make was take the leftover pita bread that was no longer good to eat but not moldy, and cook it in olive oil in a tomato sauce base together with onions. Yep that was it. I unfortunately cannot eat it now due to gluten intolerance. Well, perhaps I got gluten intolerance from eating a lot of it as a kid :)

Sal.

Rick Potter
12-29-2013, 6:31 PM
Three things hit the memory button for me.

1: Stuffed bell peppers.

2: Pigs in a blanket....which for my mom was the above stuffing, wrapped in cabbage leaves.

3: Mock chicken...which was cheap (at the time) veal, ground and molded into drumstick shape, with a popsicle stick for a leg...sold them locally (Cleveland).

Rick Potter

Rich Engelhardt
12-29-2013, 6:41 PM
Onion sandwich.
Yummmmm!

During the Summer, mom would add fresh sliced tomatoes to it - double yummm!!!

Curt Fuller
12-29-2013, 7:54 PM
Dried beef (comes in a small jar) in a cream sauce on toast. I still like I every once in a while!

You must be talking about Sh** on a Shingle!

Bill Huber
12-29-2013, 8:20 PM
Well I know I will be getting some laughs on this one but it was one we had when I was a kid a lot and now I have it now and then and still love it.

Potatoes, cottage cheese and apple sauce..

Boil the potatoes, then smash them on a plate about 3/4" thick, salt / pepper and butter them. Now put on a layer of cottage cheese and then a layer of apple sauce.

Don't knock it until you try it.....

Ed Aumiller
12-29-2013, 9:47 PM
Goulash... Macaroni, hamburger, lots of tomatoes (either home canned (best) or out of a can).... delicious....

Larry Whitlow
12-29-2013, 9:54 PM
Goulash, red beans and corn bread, and tuna casserole. Haven't had these in years. Not exactly comfort food, but Mom would also make salmon croquets from time to time. Good stuff.

David Weaver
12-29-2013, 10:01 PM
Fresh bread out of the oven, cut off a thick slice and cover it with loose ground beef and melted am. cheese. No clue what's so great about it.

Greg Peterson
12-29-2013, 10:57 PM
It's a Norwegian thing. Like a crepe made with potatoes. Very good with butter and sugar or lingonberry jam.
http://www.lefsetime.com/wp-content/themes/localpress/images/making-lefse-packaging-1.jpg



Close. Lefse is more like a soft flour tortilla, except it's made from potatoes and is generally thinner. Thinner is better. It does not require much dressing up to make it tasty. Butter and sugar/cinnamon is a standard topping in our house. Cardamom is another good spice to use on lefse.

Larry Whitlow
12-29-2013, 10:57 PM
Fresh bread out of the oven, cut off a thick slice and cover it with loose ground beef and melted am. cheese. No clue what's so great about it.


Aw man, now I am hungry.

Stephen Cherry
12-30-2013, 12:35 AM
GRAVY



yummy

Steve Rozmiarek
12-30-2013, 2:01 AM
Close. Lefse is more like a soft flour tortilla, except it's made from potatoes and is generally thinner. Thinner is better. It does not require much dressing up to make it tasty. Butter and sugar/cinnamon is a standard topping in our house. Cardamom is another good spice to use on lefse.

Greg and Dave, that sounds much better than the fermented fish based something that I had imagined.

Brian Libby
12-30-2013, 7:57 AM
You must be talking about Sh** on a Shingle!

Yup! That would be it.

Rod Sheridan
12-30-2013, 9:38 AM
When I was a kid, times were pretty lean for my parents and mom became expert in fixing simple/inexpensive but tasty meals for the family. One of her regulars was a depression-era recipe from my grandmother they had dubbed "Porcupine Meatballs".

It got me thinking it might be a fun to take a culinary trip down memory lane. What kinds of comfort foods or other lost favorites do you recall which you haven't seen in years?

Wow Brett, my mother made those as well, interesting that my mother who was northern Ontario Francophone made the same dish, it also was one of my favourites.

My favourite however remains Tortiere, traditionally served on Christmas Eve after returning from Mass................Thanks for the thread, it should be very interesting......Rod.

Matt Marsh
12-30-2013, 9:53 AM
Greg and Dave, that sounds much better than the fermented fish based something that I had imagined.

You must be thinking of Lutefisk. Fish soaked in lye, then dried. They then lean it up against the shed for awhile to give all the dogs enough time to check their Pmail, then it's re-constituted in wooden barrels. The Norskies eat it baked, and slathered in drawn butter. You can tell if a Norwegian is level-headed if the butter runs out both corners of their mouth at the same time.

Dave Richards
12-30-2013, 9:55 AM
Greg and Dave, that sounds much better than the fermented fish based something that I had imagined.

You're thinking lutefisk. It isn't fermented but cured in lye. If it is prepared correctly it is very good but if it is overcooked you can pass it through a screen sieve like water. It can be difficult to find it prepared correctly. And there's no lye flavor in it. Coupled with boiled potatoes it makes a great vehicle for eating melted butter. It's usually served with Swedish meatballs, too. ;)

Matt: We were in Norway a few years ago and I asked several people about lutefisk. I was told by every one I asked that they don't eat that stuff. They send it all to the US.

As to the lefse, the stuff we get around here (and that which my wife makes) is much thinner than a tortilla. More the thickness of a crepe.

We won't go into the gammelost, though. :D

Another comfort food from my childhood: chicken and noodles. A stewed chicken with homemade noodles (kluski noodles are the closest I can find to buy). I could eat a big plateful right now.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-30-2013, 11:48 AM
Lutefisk, that's the stuff! Love the butter remarks, funny stuff!

Kolache and cabbage burgers are common comfort food in this area.

David Weaver
12-30-2013, 11:58 AM
If we're going to go ethnic, then two from childhood...three, actually..

* ham and grean beans. Doesn't sound like much, but leftover ham cooked with the beans is spectacular. Salty ham flavor does obvious things. I'm convinced this is a precursor to the bacon craze.
* chicken corn soup - same thing, doesn't sound like much. As long as you don't skimp on the salt, it's great. Chicken and corn, salt/pepper that's pretty much it.
* hog maw - sausage, potato and onions + some spices (nothing fancy) cooked in a pig stomach. Up to you whether or not you eat the stomach, but the sausage and potatoes turn into a pile of goodness

A lot of the old german stuff in PA comes about due to harvest schedules (e.g., butchering a pig, harvesting corn, etc) or having leftovers in a culture where nothing at all is thrown away).

Some from my neck of the woods would add scrapple, but I'll leave that for the less suspicious types.

Dave Anderson NH
12-30-2013, 12:18 PM
At our house there were a bunch that are still my favoirites today including the Porcupine Balls though ours were served over a bed of rice.

Another was open faced sandwiches which was a slice of bread oven baked with a slice of cheese, a slice of tomato, and topped with a piece of bacon.

How about Welsh Rarebit which in our house was done over crumbled saltines instead of bread.

Saturday nights were what my Mom considered her night off from cooking so we always had beans and franks with brown bread.

Garth Sheane
12-30-2013, 12:58 PM
My family was Mom and Dad and 8 kids. We lived on a small scrabble farm in Alberta, and Dad worked out for minimum wage, so not much money to go around. My favorite meal was borsht soup and deep fried bread dough (which we called fritters). Home made root beer at Christmas would peel the skin off your tongue. We sure never thought of ourselves as poor.

Matt Marsh
12-30-2013, 1:52 PM
Of course everyone here in the states is familiar with the late Daredevil, Evel Knievel, but did you know that Norway also as their own hero? His name is Evel Knudsen, and his claim to fame is that he jumped 47 barrels of Lutefisk with a roto-tiller.

Jerry Thompson
12-30-2013, 2:10 PM
I just love Kim Chee and sardines.

Curt Harms
12-31-2013, 8:12 AM
If we're going to go ethnic, then two from childhood...three, actually..

* ham and grean beans. Doesn't sound like much, but leftover ham cooked with the beans is spectacular. Salty ham flavor does obvious things. I'm convinced this is a precursor to the bacon craze.
* chicken corn soup - same thing, doesn't sound like much. As long as you don't skimp on the salt, it's great. Chicken and corn, salt/pepper that's pretty much it.
* hog maw - sausage, potato and onions + some spices (nothing fancy) cooked in a pig stomach. Up to you whether or not you eat the stomach, but the sausage and potatoes turn into a pile of goodness

A lot of the old german stuff in PA comes about due to harvest schedules (e.g., butchering a pig, harvesting corn, etc) or having leftovers in a culture where nothing at all is thrown away).

Some from my neck of the woods would add scrapple, but I'll leave that for the less suspicious types.

Nuthin' wrong with scrapple. Cut it thin and fry it. I grew up in Wisconsin with the German influence but never heard of scrapple. We did have something similar, though. It was pronounced kanip though I'm not certain how it's spelled. Like scrapple, it is leftover pork scraps trimmed off the head and such mixed with steel cut oats and whatever else (I have no idea) then cooked. It was not formed into a loaf but left somewhat runny then frozen. Brothers & I liked it with syrup, father liked it with vinegar.

Bonnie Campbell
12-31-2013, 8:46 AM
I've enjoyed a lot of the foods listed, porcupine meatballs (just made them last week), goulash (need to make soon since I've been craving it ;) ), SOS (we usually stretched a pound of hamburger for 8 with that). Soups were a standard 'go to meal' when the meat budget disappeared while growing up. So potato barley, split pea, navy bean soups were regularly on our menu. To this day I still make a lot of the 'family favorites'. The only thing I couldn't cook right to save my life were potato dumplings. If you didn't grow up eating them, chances are you wouldn't eat them as an adult. They could look nasty lol

Matt Marsh
12-31-2013, 11:56 AM
I remember some of the old timers that lived through the depression talking about eating lard sandwiches. Sounds tasty doesn't it?

Belinda Williamson
12-31-2013, 12:07 PM
Okay, now I'm starving.
Pineapple sandwiches, and a cream cheese and pineapple spread we had in finger sandwiches cut out in a Christmas tree shape (only at Christmas).
Potatoes cubed and browned. Pour uncooked scrambled eggs over the potatoes in the pan and stir until the eggs are done.
Homemade Sourdough bread and homemade Chicken and Dumplings.
Cracklin' Cornbread.

Rick Potter
12-31-2013, 12:11 PM
Back when I was in elementary school, my mother would pack pickle sandwiches. Bread, a little oleo (oleomargarine AKA margarine), and pickles. Back then, the oleo came only in white, with a little packet of yellow coloring you had to mix in yourself. I imagine this was because of the butter lobby.

William Weathersby
12-31-2013, 1:26 PM
I remember homemade mac and cheese with hot dogs cut up in it that spells comfort food to me. my mom would also make salmon soup where she took a can of salmon, two cans of milk (made from powder), heated served with a pat of oleo, pepper and crackers.

Mike Chance in Iowa
12-31-2013, 2:40 PM
Chicken & dumplings, biscuits & gravy, chicken bisque soup, stuffing/dressing, cornbread with butter & honey, and scones with raspberry jam.

Brett Robson
12-31-2013, 5:03 PM
I remember some of the old timers that lived through the depression talking about eating lard sandwiches. Sounds tasty doesn't it?

Oh that sound awful! I think I'd just eat the bread solo. :)

Someone must be pretty hard up to recall that as a comfort food!

Bob Turkovich
12-31-2013, 5:10 PM
A few years ago (less than 10) I took a business trip to Germany. Our German hosts treated us to dinner at a restaurant where the pre-main course bread was served with lard, not butter or oleo. From what I remember, it was a pretty nice restaurant (could have been the beer...),