Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



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Friday, December 30, 2016

Puffed Up

How do you spell 'delicious'?
There was a bright spot to every school day.
And no, it wasn’t that magical moment each morning when we first stepped into the hallowed halls of learning and knowledge.
Ick.
No, it was that moment, when the whole thing was safely in the past.
The long bus ride to school.
The sweat and toil.
The long bus ride home.
Ta-da!
That moment.
When Mom would usher us into the house and the smell of warm deliciousness would sweep over us like a welcome blanket.
Snack time.
The wonderful reward for having made it through yet another school day.
And mom made it special. Homemade snacks like pudding, cake or pie.
Hot chocolate.
Sometimes the extra-special spudnuts.
Fresh, warm bread with melty butter.
It made all of the pain and drudgery worth every drop of effort.
Then, as we grew older, Mom stepped back a bit and let us create our own snacks.
In the process, something was lost. But something else was definitely gained.
Our snacking of preference grew and changed as our skills did.
At first, my brother, George, would simply spread cheese on crackers and create a giant stack.
Which was then happily consumed, layer by layer.
I would toast bread – just barely – and spread it with peanut butter.
Peanut butter is better all soft and melted.
Just FYI.
Then Mom got a new invention, a Teflon frying pan and I discovered the magical world of omelets.
With lots of melty cheese.
Hmm . . . I’m beginning to see a pattern there.
Mmmmmmelty things.
Moving on . . .
Then George was introduced to tapioca pudding.
Made from scratch and eaten while still warm.
And sometimes shared with his sister.
Until she was shown the amazing chocolate wonderfulness of puffed-wheat squares.
I should explain here that the puffed-wheat is simply a medium to get the chocolate syrup to your mouth.
And it does it well.
Did you know that a hungry teenager can eat an entire pan of puffed wheat squares and still have room for supper?
It’s true. And I proved it on many an occasion.
Moving forward many, many years.
Yesterday, I dug out my tattered old recipe for puffed-wheat squares.
It was stained.
And worn.
But still readable.
I mixed and cooked.
Added, pressed down and cooled.
Then, with my daughter and granddaughter, sliced and consumed.
And, just for an instant, relived the best part of growing up.

15 comments:

  1. I don't have these kinds of memories but...does that ever sound good. I have never had puffed wheat squares!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you MUST try them! They taste like memories . . .

      Delete
  2. Recipes from childhood all bring back fun memories. but those forgotten and then found again are every bit as good as finding buried treasure.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Could you still scoff the entire pan? And supper?
    Wonderful memories to share. And from this side of the screen the calories are absent. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly, my scoffing days are done, done, done. One square. And even then I can hardly get through supper. (But I can dream...and remember!)

      Delete
  4. My mom was a teacher, so we arrived home at pretty much the same time; therefore, no such memories here. However, that was probably a good thing since I tended to be an inactive child. I didn't gain weight until *I* was the mom, making sweets ... where was I? ... these squares sound delicious! And mmmmelty things are my favourite things ...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Replies
    1. But it poses a question: Why can I remember the past so very clearly. And can't remember this morning?! )

      Delete
  6. Any recipe containing chocolate just has to be good. I probably would have scoffed a whole pan of those too. I remember scoffing many pans of brownies and then having to make extra for when the kids got home.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Replies
    1. But, sadly, after sixty, the body never forgets either! :)

      Delete
    2. Oh for that childhood metabolism.... eat it all and burn it off no problem!

      Delete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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