Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Food Memories Both Gross and Good

As a small child I had regular bouts of earaches that alternated with days of throwing up. 

As a result, my parents went to great lengths to spark my appetiteTheir worries were heightened by the fact that their many siblings had spawned a bunch of robust, plump kids. 

But as an only child, my having those dozens of healthy cousins was a joy.  

As I remember it, I went my merry way playing with my cousins and enjoying a diet of berries of any kind, fig preserves on buttered toast, and occasional bites of meat.

With parents who loved to fish, at some point I must have succumbed to the lure of mother's fried fish. During frequent fish fries with family and friends, I was surrounded by cousins and adults who approached the meal with unbridled enthusiasm. 

They consumed the fish and hush puppies accompanied by sides such as coleslaw, field peas, fried okra, fresh creamed corn or all of the above.

The meal was served with tall tales and stories from the adults' pasts with lots of jokes, kidding and laughter. I think those extended family gatherings seduced me into liking fish. 

Oh, and developing a love of catsup. Growing up in that extended family, catsup was one of the major food groups.

When I was about nine years old, though, some internal switch activated, and I turned into a voracious omnivore. 

I still failed to gain weight. The upside for me was that on summer stays or day visits to relatives who had farms, my anxious aunts and uncles plied me with fresh foods from their vegetable gardens, orchards, chickens, milk cows and smokehouses.  

On winter day trips to relatives' homes, it was delicious preserves and veggies they had canned, or in later years preserved in their freezers. Like my mother and father, they had mastered what worked best to maintain fresh flavor and texture from nature's bounty. 

Fast forward to early motherhood when Hubby, our two sons and I joined my mother in a summer visit to Uncle Levi, my mother's oldest brother. He watched my two sturdy offspring romping with their young relatives and exploring Uncle Levi's barn and extensive garden. 

Later, as I was rounding up those two happy, sweaty kids, I heard him tell my mother, "I never thought that little girl would survive. Just look at her now with her boys."

These days I still love fresh veggies, fruits and most other foods. But my desire to keep blood sugar in a good range without medication guides my food choices now.

December holiday gatherings among our friends and families present major temptations. The fact that everyone brings delicious contributions makes it difficult for a food-loving Type 2 diabetic. I try to taste but not binge. 

I also pray a lot, too--for help in exercising restraint!

May your 2022 be filled with daily blessings.  



  1. Wonderful memories! Too bad about your appetite though! ButI have heard that the less we eat, the longer we can live!

  2. Linda, I love hearing your stories about your youth.
    I find that I really love all the "bad" foods far too much. This holiday season was a slippery slope for me and my self control went out the window. Now if I don't get back to my diabetic diet i will be in BIG trouble. Prayers appreciated..9 pounds seems so daunting to me..Sigh...

  3. Well I already know about Sue the problem and my problem but did not realize that you had the same problem or know that you had the opposite problem when you were a child. It seems most of us have had a battle with food in one way or another some that were too thin and some that were too fat. I enjoyed reading about your struggle and enjoyed your fond memories. I'm glad you have fun doing my memories of my childhood are not that fund and my relatives or just like yours except they did the opposite to me they tried to make me stop eating not start eating. Hello my name is Sandra and I am addicted to food.

  4. Ah, Linda! I love your memories!!! So sweet and precious! I was skinny as a child and could eat but never gained much. And I ate so much salt my mother would tell me, “You’re going to dry up and blow away!” Once the wind really did pick me up for a fraction of a second. That scared me.
    I try to keep my weight in check while keeping an eye on Louis Dean’s diet as he is borderline diabetic.
    Thank you for your sweet comment today! I’m going back now to see some of your posts that I’ve missed!

    1. Loved seeing your name pop up on my comments. And it is a real treat for me to read your posts and see your photos and art!!

  5. You probably just had a great metabolism. It is funny how we get our eating habits and enjoyed your memories. So glad you did not live up to some of your family's worries and prospered. Smiled at catsup being one of the major food groups:)

    1. Definitely another blessing to be thankful for! Thanks for visiting.

  6. These are great memories. It seems that so many memories are made around food.