Friday, May 08, 2009

Top 5 Childhood Meals

One of the girls I used to baby-sit didn’t care what was for dinner—all she wanted to put into her system was chocolate milk. That was it. The daughter of one of my colleagues spent three or four years of her life ingesting nothing but desserts. That was it.

The point is that children are picky about what they eat. I’m not as bad as I used to be, but I can remember rooting through my Manwich to pick out all the non-meat additives, like the onion and pepper chunks. Needless to say, Manwich was far from my favorite childhood meal.

But there were some meals that I couldn’t seem to get enough of, and the following five are the best of those meals.

#5 – Chicken and Dumplings – More than anything I’ve just always enjoyed the rich, starchy taste of a good buttermilk biscuit, especially when it’s drenched in butter, jelly, and/or honey. And so in the context of a good chicken and dumplings meal, the dumpling is what makes it golden. I’d always save the bread part for last and savor it.

#4 – Macaroni & Cheese with Cut-Up Hot Dogs – Instant classic. Just try and argue with the delectable nature of this five-star dinner. On their own, hot dogs and Mac & Cheese are pretty solid, but together they form like Voltron to create an unstoppable mutant robot dinner that any kid would love.

#3 – Hamburgers on the Grill – It’s hard to screw up a burger, but dad has always had a really fantastic way of putting them together. He adds A1 steak sauce and an onion soup powder mix before slapping big third-pound meat loafs on the grill. Add the tasty hint of charcoal smoke, and you’ve got yourself an instant classic. Probably my all-time favorite summer meal.

#2 – Spaghetti – The secret was adding a pinch of sugar into the sauce, and also a pound of hamburger meat. Sauce alone on spaghetti just isn’t hearty enough. Add garlic bread and a tall, sweating glass of milk and it’s a picture of the all-American dinner. Except for the fact that it’s technically Italian.

#1 – Breakfast for Supper – If I was being truly diplomatic numbers one through five would’ve been some variation of breakfast for supper because there’s just so much to love about this. Let’s face it, 90% of breakfast foods are essentially desserts, so when you get to eat them for an actual evening meal you’re pretty blown away. Pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, French toast… there are so many ways to go about it, but all of them are awesome. And delicious.

Honorable mentions for this include my Grandma Brigham’s goulash and porcupine balls. If you’re confused about what either of those is, goulash is a sort of soup/pasta hybrid, and porcupine balls are essentially seasoned meatballs with rice rolled into the fray. All good stuff.

Now, who’s hungry?

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