Family Stories: Remembering Unusual Food Combinations Eaten

Family Stories

Remembering Unusual Food Combinations Eaten!

food combos

I’m still not sure what sparked this remembrance of food combinations, but the more I thought… the more I remembered family members having their unusual favorite foods… whether appetizing to all or not!

My father’s quirky food combo I’ve always remembered was a can of Vienna Sausages and saltines… or “soda crackers” as we called them in the South… not sure why we call them that. Even today, I can still picture my father sitting at the kitchen table with them both… and as always, there was a beer on the table. Being a man of the South, a beer seemed to go better with most things! I will admit that I’ve eaten them, but I don’t quite remember what they taste like… I’m thinking more like bologna… guess I’ll have to buy myself a can in the new year and give them a try… again.

I don’t remember my mother eating anything odd, unless it was one of those pickled eggs she’d buy when we stopped on our weekend travels to my grandparents. I never even liked looking at those large jars of pickled eggs sitting on the counter… they weren’t for me! Even today, if I see them somewhere… those memories return; I was never a fan of pickles or anything pickled.

When I was small, mama would get up in the middle of the night just to eat peanut butter sandwiches and drink milkshakes… as she was very thin and trying to gain weight; what a problem we’d all like to have! When she first married, she had such a tiny waist that she could fit her hands around it… I’m still trying to figure out if that’s possible!

My grandmother Bryan had some peculiar food habits… at least they seemed that way to me as a small child. She always kept a package of Pecan Sandies in her kitchen cabinet… but she wasn’t a sharer! There was also several glass bottles of Coca Cola in her fridge at all times… those small bottles sold in 6 packs. She enjoyed a Coke usually every afternoon, but they were hers… I think she viewed them as some type of medicine as she didn’t like sharing them; she’d always tell me “I’ll save you the ducks“… which meant I’ll save you a couple swigs at the end! I never understood if saving me the ducks was an old saying or what… have you ever heard?

At one time, I remember my grandmother only eating baby food… but no one ever explained why… other than she had a stomach problem. I thought it odd, but never paid much attention… as I didn’t want any! My cousin recently asked me if I ever saw her eat sliced bananas on Ritz crackers. That was a new one to me, but I’m told it’s very tasty… I’m definitely going to give that one a try.

I remember when we ate Sunday dinners at my grandmother’s house… there would usually be a German Chocolate cake sitting on the sideboard in the dining room. You didn’t dare try swiping a taste either… or she’d swat you; sadly no one ever found her recipe! At Christmas I remember her small plastic tree with gumdrops stuck on the branches… always displayed on the dining room sideboard, but I don’t remember anyone ever eating one… we probably weren’t allowed to!

Granddaddy McKinley’s favorite late snack was cold coffee… left over from supper… so black and thick that it could walk off the table by itself… as Mama always said. And if there were any leftover biscuits, he’d fill them with jelly or sorghum syrup to accompany that black coffee; he often sat out on the back stoop in the evening to enjoy that snack.

My father in law’s odd lunch to me was when he sat down with a can of sardines and Saltines… he’d offer me one… but I always passed! What I did learn to eat from him was jelly on Ritz crackers. Even today, I’ll make a few for an afternoon snack with my coffee… and I’ve made myself hungry for one right now! I remember him also making something called “head cheese” once… I definitely passed on that! His morning breakfast was always a cup of coffee at the kitchen sink with a morning cigarette… leaning on the counter as he enjoyed both, while looking out the window over the sink; a morning ritual that was never broken.

The only quirky food remembrance of my mother-in-law was that by the time we sat down to eat… she was finished. She often picked as she cooked, hardly ever eating a meal with us. She never liked to cook  or eat spaghetti… saying the long noodles reminded her of snakes!

My food curiosities and oddities… I love bacon sandwiches… just bacon (crispy only) and white bread… nothing else! I’ve eaten them from a young girl… and still enjoy them today! Being a girl born in the South, you’d think I would have added lettuce, tomato and Mayo… the dreaded Mayo… but never! I have since added lettuce and tomato to other things, but the Mayo, mustard and pickles have never made my “like” list. Just watching someone lick Mayo off a spoon… gives me the shudders!

A few more of my unusual food pairings:

  • Banana sandwiches… just bananas and white bread… definitely no Mayo!
  • Peanuts poured into my Coca Cola… better if using a bottle
  • Boiled peanuts… cooked till soft with lots of salt!
  • Dunking potato chips in ketchup
  • Potato chips and chocolate
  • Popcorn eaten with bites of Caramel (I just can’t go to the movies without a bag of Caramels)
  • Cornbread crumbled in a glass of milk… or sweet milk as we call it in the South.
  • Salt on my watermelon…  tastes so much better!
  • Sugar and salt on my grits… never sugar… only Yankees do that!
  • Jan. 1st, New Years Day, is only for eating black eyed peas and turnip greens. You eat the peas for the coins and the greens for the bills… to ensure money in the New year! Mama always said it’s bad luck not to eat this combination on New Years.
  • I eat “dressing” in the South… but in the North it’s called stuffing! Dressing is made from scratch… from biscuits and cornbread.


Who hasn’t in the South enjoyed peanuts in their Coke bottle?

Another odd sandwich I enjoyed as a child was just a plain jelly sandwich… no peanut butter, just jelly! If I wanted peanut butter, it was eaten separately. Not sure why I didn’t blend the two together! My new favorite pairing with peanut butter today is a green apple… wedges of peanut butter loaded on apple slices… yummy!

I remember at Grandmama Bryan’s house, how I’d slice open one of her homemade biscuits and fill it with creamed style corn… oh it was so good! She did make some of the best cream corn I’ve ever eaten and the corn was always fresh from granddaddy’s field. Those Sunday dinners were the best! The first time I took hubby there, he ate himself silly… bowls of every vegetable they grew… and all those bowls were filled to the brim. There were usually always two meats, fried chicken and beef. My favorites were just the fried chicken, corn and biscuits… and always sweet tea! If we were lucky, there might be a sweet potato pie or cobbler for dessert… also grown in granddaddy’s field.

My husband is like the little boy “Mikey” in the TV commercial… he eats everything! I can’t wrap my head around eating oysters or his new favorite… beets. I’ve tried the beets several times, but they taste so earthy to me! And as to the oysters… never! There hasn’t been too much he’s passed on… and even then he’ll give a try. I learned to like broccoli rabe from his grandmother, which he never liked, but if it’s served on the table today, he’ll add it to his plate.

So What’s your quirky food combinations?


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2 Responses to Family Stories: Remembering Unusual Food Combinations Eaten

  1. Antoinette Truglio Martin says:

    My dad, who was surrounded by incredible all of his life, would make himself a mustard sandwich if left to his devices.

    Liked by 1 person

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