Saturday, January 23, 2010

Elio's and Other Favorites

Last week, I Tweeted about how easy my crock pot Middle Eastern lamb stew was. I actually said that it was as easy as Elio’s Pizza was back in the day. Apparently, I struck a chord. Food bloggers, photographers and chefs alike Tweeted back about their fond memories of Elio’s. If you didn’t have Elio’s, a McCain product, I’m so sorry for you. Because it was delicious. There was nothing quite like breaking that frozen pizza slab into 3, carefully repositioning the pepperonis for maximum pepperoni-to-bite ratio and popping those little beauties into the toaster oven – till they were almost – but not quite! Burnt. Then you’d have to wait a few minutes, because God help you if that hot Elio’s cheese hit the roof of your mouth. That was a 2nd degree burn right there.

All of this got me to thinking about some of my other fond food memories. From back before we were foodies and food-talkers and chefs. When we were just kids who loved frozen, rectangular pizza. Here are a couple of mine. I’d love to hear yours!

Hoodsie Cups
Oh, that sacred combination of chocolate and vanilla in a sugary soft serve. The meltier the better. And when you got one, you couldn't forget to get the little eating stick! I feel like growing up, a lot of the foods I loved involved an implement that was included right there with the treat. Which brings us to…

Handi Snacks
Always in the lunch bag. Back before I could put a name to my anal retentive qualities, I would spend the better part of school lunch making sure that I spread just the right amount of yellow cheese on those buttery crackers so as not to get a skimpy schmear for the last cracker. Delightful.

Fun Dip
Raise your hand if you tired of the eating stick after a few passes and just dumped the sugar down your gullet! By the way, in searching for a photo of this item, I discovered that the candy stick that came with the sugar was called a “Lik-M-Aid.” Nice.

Tuna Casserole
This was one of my favorite Mom dishes. She used to make it for my best friend and me. One time she forgot to add the tuna. We thought that was a riot. Sorry Mom, the story still circulates to this day!

"The Good Cheese"
After school, we used to go to my best friend’s Dad’s house and head straight for the fridge for “the good cheese.” Now today, this would hardly qualify. But back in the day, “the good cheese” meant the Land O’ Lakes deli slices – NOT the Kraft singles. We thought we were so elegant eating cheese that didn’t have to be separated from its plastic sheath!

So what about you? What did you grow up on? I’ll treat the bearer of the best answers to a box of Elio’s Pizza and a Capri Sun!


Elizabeth @ the manhattan food project said...

Ah, Elio's pizza: my favorite weekend lunch as a kid and in college. And I loved "the good cheese" as well, especially paired with the good pickles from the barrel.

kris said...

Omaiyes! Elio's pizza (I'd burn the cheese on purpose NOM NOM NOM) and lemon Italian ices in those wee cups and - AND! - Steak Um sandwiches with Doritos as a side. Drooooling.