The Foods Of Our Youth - The Ultimate And Sometimes Ethnic Comforts - Barefoot Infanta Blog at - 296325

Barefoot Infanta

The Foods of our Youth - The ultimate and sometimes Ethnic Comforts 
Jan. 29, 2013 7:44 am 
Updated: Jan. 30, 2013 8:11 am
Picture it.

Shamokin, Pennsylvania

February 1978

It was the coldest and most ferociously snowy winter of my youth where I was created and formatted into the adult I am today in a small small town in Northeast Pennsylvania.  These days due perhaps to global warming or perhaps on the flip side to cycles in climate we just don't get snows and cold like that any more.  Obviously on most days we are glad as we enjoy a warmer, more gentle and forgiving old man winter who no longer tortures some us quite so badly as we remember. 

On one such Blizzardly day I walked home from school (uphill both ways mind you) frozen and wet to the bone.  School at this point was rarely closed as we had grown accustomed (Or the Administration and Parents had grown accustomed and much less lenient on the kids) to all the snow and ice and the genes of our Polish and Germanic ancestry "kicked in" and we hunkered down as best we could.  With a nod to these ancestral roots, I remember fondly the smells of the house as I arrived home.  It was supper being prepared by my family members.  Across the neighborhood depending on the traditional influences of  family and tradition, you had the smells of Cabbage, Ham, Bacon, Tomato Sauces, Onion, and various hearty roasts being prepared.  It was likely the comfort of family that gave us repose from the cold but the food on the table we sat down with also had great impact.

This is why, today, when the weather turns a little bit, or seemingly turns a little bit, to those weathered conditions of memorable years mentioned above that I feel that inner yearning for recipes of dishes prepared by grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and even older siblings to comfort me in my perceived "distress" ( which is never as quite as bad as it truly was ) from the tortures of mother nature about us.

Food nourishes our soul, the very emotion that drives us to comfort and sustains us through periods of hardship.

This week I am reviewing the cookbook of my family and sharing the recipes that gave me the most joy and peace.  Have a look in my Recipes and reminisce with me. 

Country Residence of the Barefoot Infanta

Kluski and Cabbage

Visiting the Region of my ancestry in Central Europe. October 2008
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Recipe within: Kluski and Cabbage
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Jan. 29, 2013 11:06 am
So true, something about the changing seasons(esp winter) conjure thoughts of family, those near and far and gone but not forgotten. There's a reason they call it "comfort food" and the older I get the more I appreciate it. Read your "About Me" and agree, I get the best lessons from my cooking tragedies. Already saved your orange herb chicken recipe-I love using whole chicken or cut-up parts. I'll be happy if I never see another boneless, skinless, tasteless (soul-less) chicken breast!
Jan. 30, 2013 8:11 am
When I was in high school I had a 1 mile trek to my high school from my house in very mild California weather but I would complain on cold or rainy days. My parents always came back at me with their stories of walking to school 6 miles in the snow, uphill each way. Your story brought that back to me. It is a true feeling of comfort to enter your house while people are busy at work in the kitchen. My husband is of German heritage so I look forward to seeing more of your family recipes.
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Brian E. Nahodil

Home Town
Shamokin, Pennsylvania, USA
Living In
Catlett, Virginia, USA

Member Since
Jul. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Frying, Slow Cooking, Southern, Gourmet

Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Photography, Reading Books, Music, Wine Tasting, Charity Work

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About Me
Nice Guy, Gay, Anglican, and Partnered
My favorite things to cook
Bread, Julia Child, Jellies, Jams and Preserves.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I love to make Jams, Jellies and Preserves as well as Pickles and Relish. My Grandmother used to "Can" and I'd spend many days watching and helping her.
My cooking triumphs
Julia Child - on Recipe 25 of 512
My cooking tragedies
There are many, but a "tragedy" means simply that you've learned something.
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