January 09th, 2019
Oh my Goodness! Do you see this? Squeeeeeee! A childhood favourite revisited. Happy Sigh!
Wow! Talk about a Flash from the past. I found these at the grocery store yesterday much to my surprise. I hadn't seen them in decades. Curiosity is the the blame for throwing them into my shopping basket. I wondered if I would still feel the same way about them.
The first time I ever tasted these I was maybe 6 years old. We had just moved to California and were living in a motel waiting to move to our rental house. There was a little Mom & Pop grocery store just walking distance away and my Mother bought food for us there. She brought home a bag of these very cute cookies as a treat. Joy and I were immediately captivated. We already liked animal crackers. Pink and white frosting and nonpareils can only improve upon a favourite in our opinion. I vividly remember laying on the floor of our hotel room, eating these out of the bag while playing with colorforms. Remember colorforms?
A few short years later we moved from California and then I didn't even see these in the stores for a very very long time. In fact it wasn't until I was married and had kids of my own. Joy had moved to...... Seattle maybe? (She has also lived in lots of places as an adult. It's hard to keep track). She had a similar fond memory of these cookies and was kind enough, bless her, to ship some to me! I immediately put them in the refridgerator because honestly, like revenge, they are best served cold. I hope I was nice enough to share them with my kids but in truth I do not recall. It's just as likely that I saved them for myself and pigged out when they weren't looking. I do remember that they were still delicious!
Have you ever done that? Revisited a childhood favourite food, I mean. Did you feel the same way about that food? I've only done it two other times that I can recall. The first was Twinkies.
When I was a kid, Twinkies came two to a pack. If I was given a package of Twinkies at home, I shared it with my sister. It wasn't begudging at all. Seriously, it wasn't. We were just those two kids who 99% of the time got along great. If she had two cookies, she gave me one. If I had a package of Twinkies, I gave her one. No resentment or jealousy. However, if our Mother put the entire package of Twinkies in my lunchbox, you better I believe that I scarfed both of them down. I might not have eaten my sandwich but I absolutely ate both Twinkies. "Crapfood like that in your lunchbox?", you say in surprise. You have to remember that this was in the days before the School Lunchbox Police.
I so clearly remember the spongy texture of the cakey part. The smell of that golden delight. The taste of that sweet cream filling. I even remember the crinkley sound of the wrapper. Yummmmmm. Then of course I stopped carrying a lunchbox as I got older in school. And eventually officially became an adult and Twinkies were but a vague and distant memory. Until my own kids were in school. By this time, Twinkies came in a large box and were individually wrapped. I could pack them one pre-wrapped Twinkie at a time. On very rare occasions I would succumb to the boys requests and buy a store bought treat instead of the homemade ones I usually provided. The boys were always so excited about Twinkies. Which reminded me of how much I used to love them. So I tried one. Yuck. I didn't even finish one bite. I spit it out and then had to brush my teeth to get rid of the taste. All chemically and harsh and just nasty. Did the Twinkie change? Did my tastebuds change? Or both?
It was such a disappointment. The same thing happened with Hostess Apple Pies. That was something my Dad and I both enjoyed. Every once in a long while, when I was a little kid, I would go out running errands with my dad. Just he and I. That was a treat on it's own. And sometimes, during the course of running that errand, he would buy a Hostess Apple Pie and break it in half and we would share it. The wrapper was green, so you would immediately know it was the apple one and not the lemon or cherry. It was half moon shaped and fairly heavy in my hand. There was evidence of a crackly glaze all over it that would flake off into my lap. The apple pie filling was so good (And I still love apple pie). The crust was not flaky like real pie crust, but firmer as it was a hand-held pie. Still in my memory, it was a wonderful treat.
Didn't have another one until one random day when I was in college. I was in a small convenience shop in line working my way to the register. At the register, there was a rack of Hostess Pies. Surprise! At the last minute, I added one apple pie to my purchases. I was so excited to eat one of these again that I broke into it right way, sitting in my car in the store parking lot. Aaaannnndddd.....disappointment. It was okay. It was edible but only just barely. I was able to eat it (and at that point in my life I was usually so broke that if I paid for food, I damned well ate it no matter what!) But it certainly wasn't the yummy snack of my childhood memory. I haven't tried one since.
I was concerned that this would be another of that situation. Had I set myself up for disappointment again, measuring a childhood memory against grown up reality? Nope! Not the case at all :) Hurrah! These are still Wonderful! Still Delightful! What a nice surprise! And yes I know, they are terrible for me. Junk food. No nutritional value whatsoever. Bad news food. Guess what? I don't care one single bit. I will eat these. I will relish every single one of them. No wait, I will share them with Joy. She will appreciate them as much as I do ;)
And I just now realized that all of my happiest childhood memories seem to be centered around food. " Very Interesting" as Arte Johnson used to say. I guess I've always been food-centric. Explains a lot doesn't it. Hah!
Anyway, frosted animal crackers. Yummmy! Have I enticed you to try an old favourite again for the first time in a long time? Do it! And report back ;)
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Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.