March 5, 2012
Foods I classed as acceptable when I was a kid:
Spaghetti without sauce, raw hamburger, cookie dough, cake batter, peanut butter sandwiches (no jelly), red Jell-o (no whipped cream topping), chocolate milk made with Quik, Boston-style brown bread, Boston baked beans, and Boston cream pie. Pineapple juice.
Fried clams at Howard Johnson’s restaurants. Souvlaki at The Torch, a Greek restaurant in the Dallas neighborhood where I grew up. The sugar cubes given to me by the doting waiters at The Torch. Cabrito (kid — as in “baby goat”), first offered to me at a Mexican restaurant in San Antonio when my father explained to the waiter that I was a fussy eater but would eat things that were plain and lightly seasoned.
Also, strangely enough, baked flounder. I think my mother used to bake what were called “filets” of flounder, which my father referred to as “flat flounder.”
“What’s for supper tonight?”
“Mother’s making flat flounder.”
Oh! And those store-bought cookies with a layer of something like a vanilla wafer topped by a pink or white coconut-encrusted marshmallow topping. Kind of like a Hostess Sno-Ball on a plain cookie. My Connecticut grandmother used to buy them as a treat for me — a “smack” (her term for “snack”). There was always a package in the mahogany sideboard when we visited in August. Her maiden name was Stonebridge. Her parents were English. I liked her roast beef and her Yorkshire pudding.