Saturday, September 13, 2008

Comfort Food and Trader Joes

Do you live far away from where you grew up? If so, do you have favorite childhood foods that you can't buy where you live now? I do. There are two childhood foods I can't find here in New England. Actually I've never been able to find them outside of Minnesota. Every time I go to MN I have to stock up on these two products.

Malt-O-Meal is a hot cereal that has a smooth consistency and is super yummy. There are three flavors: original, chocolate and maple & brown sugar. I just checked the search engine on the web site and it says my grocery may carry it, but I've never seen it. It also says Wal-Mart carries it, but I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart. Anyway, my favorite flavor is chocolate. If I have mini marshmallows on hand I put a few of them on top and swirl them into the hot cereal. Breakfast this morning was so yummy!
The other food I have to buy when I'm home in Minnesota is Creamette macaroni rings. When these little rings are cooked they make the best tuna salad. The salad "holds" together perfectly. It's easy to scoop up the salad with a spoon or stab a forkful and slide it into your mouth. I have tried other macaroni ring products, but nothing compares to using Creamette macaroni rings.

Here is my basic recipe for Tuna Salad. It's so easy to make.
7 ounces macaroni rings, cooked as directed on the box
1 cup celery, finely chopped
2 - 6 ounce cans tuna, drained
1/4 cup onions, finely diced
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and chill. Sometimes I add other herbs like parsley or dill to the salad.

I could eat this salad every day during the summer.

A new Trader Joe's opened up that is on my way home from the airport. I've heard a lot of people talk about Trader Joe's and thought I would check it out last night. I don't know what I missed, but I don't understand what makes the store so special. I didn't see a lot of products I can't get at my local grocery store. The prices were comparable to what I pay for food. What did I miss?

Anyway, tell me what your childhood food was and can you still make it.
Sweet P


Melinda said...

My Mother (the terrible cook) used to make creamed tuna on toast whenever we were going to have a babysitter. We used to love it and my sister talked about it a year or so ago. I made it recently and it was as good as I remembered.

About Trader Joes - it will grow on you. What I really like is the frozen foods section and the deli section with quick quality ready-made meals. Also the 3 buck Chuck (wine).

Linda said...

Never been to Trader Joes, never seen one in our area! lol
I make potatoe salad and tuna salad every other week in the summer, and have one or the other for lunch every day! lol Love it!

Libby said...

I love shopping at Trader Joe's - its small and friendly, unlike the local MegaMart. The frozen aisle has all sorts of delights, dairy products cost much less and best of all . . . I don't have to unload my cart at the checkout counter.

One Christian Mom said...

I actually miss trader joes, they don't have them out here. I used to live in a city, and we would go every week. they have food that is generally a much healthier choice than what you can find in a grocery store.
I love malt-o-meal. I never did as a kid, but as a grown-up, I love it! LOL
My favorite childhood food was chicken and dumplings. My mom made the best chicken soup with bisquick dumplings on top. I have never been able to make it as good as her, but she still makes it from time to time!

SweetT said...

Have heard about Trader Joes but have never been in one - glad I'm not missing anything - lol
My mother was not the best cook but I do miss her salmon patties. I have made them once or twice but since DH will not eat any sort of fish or seafood - I continue to miss them. Also, the local super market made the best chocolate covered glazed donuts and mom used to go down early and buy them fresh out of the oven about once a week - I MISS THOSE and have never found one that you could even compare to it.

LouAnne said...

Hey, I stock up on Creamettes when I visit Minnesota (my birthplace) too! Trader Joes is MY favorite store! And ours has a poster up on their wall comparing prices and showing that they are cheaper than the Winco-cheap store down the road. That chocolate MaltoMeal is strange to me. I abhor hot cereal, but I might be game to try that. With the mini-marshmallows in it how BAD can it be? I come by my prejudice quite honestly. Was raised by a woman who could only eat Cream of Wheat if it was topped with a scoop of ice cream!

Lori in South Dakota said...

Favorite childhood food? Hmm--that's a long list!! My mom made the best caramel rolls. Alas, I don't think I can make them quite like her. But I CAN make her homemade potato bread. Ahh--fresh, or toasted with homemade apple butter! Or a favorite meal, homemade cocoa (not the mix) with bread and butter--that was a meal at our house.