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Food Rituals: Questions on Life and Food

13 July 2010 2,045 views 31 Comments

A few months ago, Addie Broyles shared a story about her great-great-grandmother and the knife and rolling pin still in the family that she brought to this country with her from Sweden. The blog post included tips from Dawn Orsak, an expert on Texas and Czech foodways who shared a list of questions to ask loved ones to learn more about our past.

For the past several months, I’ve asked the same dozen or so questions to my parents, Adam’s parents, Adam’s grandmothers, and finally myself, Adam, and my brother. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share what I learned — mostly for my own records and those of my loved ones — but I hope you enjoy the history as well.

Each blog will include the first name and last initial of the interviewee, along with their year of birth and relationship to me.

bag lady

Late 1970's: Playing dress up

Jodi B. – Born in 1978 (daughter of Andy and Linda; sister of Jeff; lady friend of Adam)

If you were given a dollar to buy treats when you were a kid, what would you buy?

There was a jar of change in the kitchen cupboard and whenever we would hear the ice cream man come during the summer, we would grab a handful and run to catch him. For a while, my favorite was the strawberry shortcake bar but I also liked the Mickey Mouse bar and the red, white, and blue firecracker popcicle.

Was dessert a special treat or a nightly ritual?

A nightly ritual. It was often canned fruit if we were eating at home or leftover pies or cakes from a dinner party. In the summer, we would often go out for Baskin Robbins ice cream and I would get mint chocolate chip or pralines and cream.

What food do you throw out? Do you eat leftovers?

I throw out food that goes bad but try to eat leftovers before they pass the point of no return. On my second date with Adam, I cleaned out his fridge.

What kind of cooking did your father do when you were growing up?

He would do the grilling mostly. He also made toast and tea for breakfast.

Who did the grocery shopping?

Mom for sure. Most groceries were purchased at the regular grocery store (Giant). It seems so foreign to me now to do most of my shopping at one store! She made dinner every night — even when she was working full time. We would eat together as a family when dad came home from work.

Did your family say grace before meals? What was said and by whom?

We didn’t unless it was Friday night. On Shabbat, we would say a prayer over the candles, wine, and challah.

Where did your family get meat from when you were a kid? If you don’t eat meat, why and what prompted that decision?

Meat came from Giant or Price Club (now Costco). My mom didn’t make pork, a non-kosher food,  but we did enjoy bacon, shellfish, and cheeseburgers. My dad would order pork products every chance he got when we ate out.

Me at 6 or 7 years old with pet rabbit, Cuddles (aka "Stu")

Mid 1980s: 6 years old with pet rabbit, Cuddles (aka "Stu")

What was your first candy bar?

I don’t remember what my first candy bar was but my first chocolate might have been Ferrero Rocher since my grandparents always brought us some when they visited. I never liked it and still don’t.

What did your mom make you when you were sick?

Chicken soup and tea or hot water with honey for a cold. If it was cramps, she would give me a bit of Canadian sherry with tea.

Additional posts on “Your Life in Food” can be found here.

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  • Linda Bart

    This is so adorable. I love the pictures and the memories that you have, Jodila. I sure hope social services doesn't come to get me for serving you Canadian Sherry for your cramps! I love you.

    Mom

  • linda

    i think the scarf you “dressed up” with was one that i shared with you mom in college…
    how cute are you…
    & how absolutely wonderful this trip “down memory lane” is for you & your family & those
    that love you….:)
    i believe keeping a blog “fresh” & “interesting” is a challenge…one you met & brilliantly surpassed!!
    look forward to these upcoming posts!!

  • Ilyse

    I love this!!! I think these details are the most interesting and revealing of a family and history in gen. Good work Jod!

  • jodibart

    We're very lucky that CPS didn't bust you for that. However, I might not be so lucky with my daughter when I carry on the tradition!

  • jodibart

    That scarf must have helped keep you both warm during those freezing cold Buffalo winters! Did one of you make it?

    Thank you so much for your comment, Linda. You are one of my very favorite commenters and I'm glad you are enjoying the direction of the blog :-)

  • jodibart

    Thank you, sweet Ilyse! One of my favorite food memories of you will always involve a very special jar of peanut butter.

  • linda

    i think the scarf you “dressed up” with was one that i shared with you mom in college…
    how cute are you…
    & how absolutely wonderful this trip “down memory lane” is for you & your family & those
    that love you….:)
    i believe keeping a blog “fresh” & “interesting” is a challenge…one you met & brilliantly surpassed!!
    look forward to these upcoming posts!!

  • Ilyse

    I love this!!! I think these details are the most interesting and revealing of a family and history in gen. Good work Jod!

  • jodibart

    We're very lucky that CPS didn't bust you for that. However, I might not be so lucky with my daughter when I carry on the tradition!

  • jodibart

    That scarf must have helped keep you both warm during those freezing cold Buffalo winters! Did one of you make it?

    Thank you so much for your comment, Linda. You are one of my very favorite commenters and I'm glad you are enjoying the direction of the blog :-)

  • jodibart

    Thank you, sweet Ilyse! One of my favorite food memories of you will always involve a very special jar of peanut butter.

  • sharon

    You are so creative..I so enjoy all you write about.
    Brings back tons of memories about my children which I sometimes forget.
    love ya sweetie,
    aunt sharon

  • sharon

    You are so creative..I so enjoy all you write about.
    Brings back tons of memories about my children which I sometimes forget.
    love ya sweetie,
    aunt sharon

  • Pingback: Tasty Touring » Blog Archive » Andy B: Questions on Your Life in Food

  • Andybart99

    Jodi,

    I love your memories. So cute how you wrote yours. The greatest art work accompanying your answers I love dearly.

    Love

    Dad

  • jodibart

    Thank you for reading and I'm glad you enjoy it, Aunt Sharon. I'm still marveling at J.J.'s awesome baseball accomplishment and miss you all!

  • jodibart

    Glad you enjoyed and noticed the inside joke just for you!

  • Andybart99

    Jodi,

    I love your memories. So cute how you wrote yours. The greatest art work accompanying your answers I love dearly.

    Love

    Dad

  • jodibart

    Thank you for reading and I'm glad you enjoy it, Aunt Sharon. I'm still marveling at J.J.'s awesome baseball accomplishment and miss you all!

  • jodibart

    Glad you enjoyed and noticed the inside joke just for you!

  • Broylesa

    Love this series! I'm so glad that those questions are being put to use, and those pictures are just too cute.

    Can't wait to read more!

  • jodibart

    Thank you for the inspiration, Addie!

  • Pingback: Tasty Touring » Blog Archive » Linda B: Questions on Your Life in Food

  • Paula

    Dear Jodi, such a creative woman you are! I do love your blog, and all the different things you write about as well as the pictures you always include. Your answers to your food questions was great, especially the one about leftovers and how on your 2nd date with Adam, you cleaned out his fridge! I laughed out loud. I can't wait to read your parents' comments and then all the rest!

  • Paula

    Dear Jodi, such a creative woman you are! I do love your blog, and all the different things you write about as well as the pictures you always include. Your answers to your food questions was great, especially the one about leftovers and how on your 2nd date with Adam, you cleaned out his fridge! I laughed out loud. I can't wait to read your parents' comments and then all the rest!

  • Pingback: Tasty Touring » Blog Archive » Jeffrey B: Questions on Your Life in Food

  • Pingback: Tasty Touring » Blog Archive » Adam H: Questions on Your Life in Food

  • Dawn Orsak

    Just found these posts and, like Addie, am so glad my questions are being put to good use. Keep up the good work… food is a wonderful, accessible way to get your family talking.

  • jodibart

    Thanks so much for the inspiration, Dawn!

  • jodibart

    Thanks so much for the inspiration, Dawn!

  • jodibart

    Thanks so much for the inspiration, Dawn!