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Food for Thought: Kiddie Food Memories

Nancy gives a positive review to her first fine dining experience.


This story originally aired March 7, 2018.  

In this week’s Food for Thought, Nancy Leson and I dredged up our earliest memories of food.  Nancy recalls wolfing an entire stick of butter.  I tell how years later I learned what my grandmother’s “special” soup was really made of.

All that plus shopping for live chickens, Nancy’s lima bean phobia, wax flakes in the milk and collapsing straws in this week’s Early Food Memories show. 

Below,  KNKX staffers recall their earliest childhood food memories.

Simone Alicea, Reporter and Online Editor on her grandmother’s tomato sauce: “I remember the bright orange oil it left on pasta. And I remember the taste -- it doesn't taste like any other pasta sauce out there. My theory is she used to add adobo and/or sazon, which are central to Puerto Rican cooking, but I've never confirmed it.” 

Abe Beeson, Evening Jazz and New Cool host: "Man, I loved watermelon, but the seeds got in my way. Then a friend challenged me to a seed-spitting contest. Now I miss the seeds!"

Stephanie Crouch, Listener Services on making Julekake, Norwegian Christmas bread:  “...covering our hands with butter and Crisco to shape the dough into little rounds and let them rise, while talking and laughing and sharing in our love of bread. As a kid it was fun to go and hang out with the grown-ups and my cousins, and as an adult it has morphed into this beautiful, almost ceremonial occasion. Three generations of women are together, and it isn't just the bread that ties us there, but our ties to each other.” 

John Kessler, BirdNote producer and All Blues host: “The smell of freshly made pancake batter. When you're little, your nose is closer to the action!”

Robin Lloyd, Midday Jazz and Jazz Caliente host: “Mom cracks open the jar of STRAINED PEAS, dips in the spoon, and with a big smile and a 'Here you go!' shoves it into my mouth.  PT-tooey!  I spit the green mess back in her face and start to cry.  She sticks a finger in the goop, tastes it and says, "I don't blame you, that's pretty damned awful.  OK, we're done with that."   

Matt Martinez, Director of Content: “The smell of Mexican chorizo in the morning. A staple of my youth mixed with potatoes and served with fried eggs and a tortilla. My grandfather started most days with this breakfast, and it’s a common Sunday morning meal when I visit family in Arizona. It’s my Proustian dish.

Ed Ronco, All Things Considered Host: "When we were very young, my best friend Jon and I made a batch of Rice Krispies Treats without adult supervision. We also ate them without adult supervision. All of them. We were so sick and to this day, they still make me feel slightly ill."

And you, dear Eater?  Please share your earliest food-related memories below.

“Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.” – Marcel Proust.

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.