Childhood Treats

Tasty Memories

About this Activity

What Was Your Best Childhood Treat?

Food is always a favorite topic of conversation in the nursing home. Reminiscing about childhood favorite meals always brings back memories. Of course, these foods differ from country to country and person to person.

As a child, I grew up in Sweden, where there is a tradition that the dinner every Thursday evening consists of pea-soup followed by pancakes. Pea-soup is traditionally the main course, but my memory is totally focused on the delicious thin Swedish pancakes served with fruit preserves made from lingonberries, blueberries, cloudberries, or other fruits. Pureed stewed apple was also commonly used as a filling. If we were very lucky, we also got whipped cream or ice cream. Many people in Sweden still stick to this tradition. I often wonder how many pancakes my mother made in her life!

Another thing I particularly remember is the Princess gateaux. This is a layer cake with cream, vanilla custard, and raspberry jam. The outside of the cake is covered with a thin layer of green marzipan and dusted with icing sugar. On our birthdays, we were allowed to choose the type of cake we would like for the birthday cake, and this one featured a lot. To this day, when I visit Sweden, I always make a point of buying at least one slice of Princess torte and indulge.

I also think the two desserts that I mentioned both reflect highlights in my life. We all looked forward to Thursday evenings, and birthdays were always celebrations. The fact that both dishes bring back memories of pleasant occasions probably influences my choice of featuring two sweet dishes. As a rule, I don’t eat many sugary foods, but it is what they say: A little of what you like is good for you!

Reminiscing About food

When I ask about favorite childhood foods to the residents in the nursing home (here in Ireland), the most common favorite dinners are boiled ham with parsley sauce and vegetables or a wholesome stew. For dessert, apple pie and custard and cherry trifle seem to be what most people remember fondly.

So, for you this week, think of one of your favorite dishes from childhood. Then go ahead and give yourself a treat with a bit of reminiscence attached.

Bon appetite,

Maria Brady