My Berlin Kitchen Giveaway + Spiced Plum Butter

My Berlin Kitchen

I first discovered The Wednesday Chef sometime in early 2006. I had become an avid reader of blogs about a year before (they were a great way to keep my mind off my terrible day job) and was always on the hunt for new sites to add to my list of bookmarks. Luisa’s voice and perspective on food resonated with me immediately. I spent a morning engrossed in her archives and once caught up, tried never to miss a new post.

My Berlin Kitchen spine

In fact, it’s fairly safe to say that I’ve read nearly everything that Luisa Weiss has ever posted to the internet (I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a stalker. I swear, I’m just a fan). And, when an advanced copy of My Berlin Kitchenย arrived just before the mini-vacation that Scott and I took few weeks back, I tucked it into my travel bag and proceeded to read it in a single, giant gulp.

dog ears

As I read, I dog-eared recipes I wanted to remember. I marked the Pizza Siciliana and the Poppy Seed Whirligig Buns. I’m hoping to make the Yeasted Plum Cake before their season is entirely gone and, come Christmas, I’m definitely planning on making the Fruit Bread on page 161. It sounds dense and divine.


As I read, there was one recipe that jumped out at me more insistently than the rest and cried out to be made immediately. The Pflaumenmus or Spiced Plum Butter on page 237 had my name written all over it (particularly since I had the necessary four pounds of Italian prune plums at home, thanks to the Washington State Fruit Commission and their Canbassador program).

Italian prune plums

Of course, I’ve made plum butters before, but never with this particular technique. Luisa has you quarter the plums, stir them together with a bit of sugar, a cinnamon stick, and a couple cloves and let them sit overnight. The next day, once they’re nice and juicy, you pop the pan into the oven and bake them them at moderate heat.

After their time in the heat, the plums are incredibly tender and fragrant. The liquid has thickened a great deal and the slumping fruit just smells incredible.

post roasting

Once pureed, she has you funnel the prepared butter into sterilized jars and use the inversion method to seal. This is the only place where I diverged from the recipe as written and I chose to run my jars through a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Because this is a relatively low sugar preserve, I wanted to ensure that all bacteria was killed and the best way to do that is with a hot water bath.

Now, just a note about the yield. The recipe says that it makes four to five jars, but doesn’t specify the sizes of those jars. I found that after pureeing, I had exactly enough butter to fill three pint jars. I imagine the jars Luisa used were a bit smaller than a standard pint and so figure my yield was just about right (I did the math and found that had I used the 1/5 L Weck jars, I’d have filled exactly five jars).

finished butter

I plan on applying this same overnight maceration and oven roasting to other fruits, because it made for such a nice finished product and filled my apartment with the most delicious smells.

Thanks to the nice folks at Viking, in addition to getting to share the plum butter recipe with you (it’s after the jump), I also have a copy of My Berlin Kitchen to give away. If you’d like a chance to win it, here’s what to do.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share your favorite food memory.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Friday, September 21, 2012. Winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog over the weekend.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.
Disclosure: Viking sent me an advanced copy of My Berlin Kitchen and are providing the copy for this giveaway. However, Iโ€™ve not been paid to host this giveaway and my opinions are entirely my own.

Spiced Plum Butter


  • 4 pounds Italian prune plums
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves


  1. Pit and quarter the plums and put them in a heavy 4-quart pot. Add the sugar, the cinnamon stick, and the cloves. Stir well and let sit overnight or four 8 hours.
  2. The next day, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the pot, unlidded, into the oven and cook for 2 hours, stirring the mixture occasionally.
  3. Sterilize the glass jar and lids in boiling water.
  4. When the plums have broken down and the liquid has reduced to a thick jam, remove pot from the oven and fish out the cinnamon stick (if you can find the cloves, fish them out too).
  5. Puree the jam with an immersion blender until it resembles a fruit butter, and then fill the sterilized jars with the hot puree, screw on tops and immediately turn the jars upside down. If you prefer a jam with discernible chunks of fruit, however, don't puree the jam; simply ladle the hot jam into the sterilized jars.
  6. Let the jars cool complete before turning the right side up again and labeling them. The jam will keep for at least a year.

(Marisa’s note: You can also process the jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes if you’d prefer to do it the American way.)

Recipe from My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes) by Luisa Weiss, published by Viking, 2012.

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500 responses to “My Berlin Kitchen Giveaway + Spiced Plum Butter”

  1. I discovered Luisa’s blog pretty early on and have read consistently since. Her voice is so genuine, so real, and so approachable. I’ve heard so many amazing things about the book and have been meaning to pick up a copy…though winning one would sure be great ๐Ÿ˜‰ As for food memories, I have many, but one of my favorites is making blinis with my grandmother, who passed away nearly 2 years ago. She has always been my inspiration in the kitchen–a fearless cook and a do-it-all type of lady.

  2. growing up, every sunday after church we’d head over to my grandparent’s house (my mother’s parents) and my grandfather would make pancakes. every week. it was a tradition for as long as i could remember, until one sunday we decided to pick up tacos instead, and a new tradition was born. it’s funny how you remember things like that so vividly.

  3. the first time i canned – i made strawberry mint jam with my great-grandmother’s canning supplies. i don’t think i’ve ever felt such satisfaction in something that i made or such a connection to someone i’ve never met.

  4. My favorite food memory is Gravenstein applesauce. My grandmother used to make it every day for dinner. When I grew up and moved to the desert I forgot about that wonderful aroma of the apples. Now whenever I get a chance to get some of those wonderful fragrant apples, I buy as many as I can, bring them home and make my own applesauce. My mind swims with those memories of my grandmother and her applesauce.

  5. My favorite food memory is eating a slice of my grandmother’s (Bohemian) Hoska bread, lightly toasted and dripping with butter. Imagine brioche, studded with blanched almonds and golden raisins. Outstanding. She would gift everyone with loaves at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we would look forward to it for months, and practically mourn when it was gone.

    Hm, I think I’ll be trying to make some this year. Thanks for prompting the memory!

  6. My favorite food memories are of family reunions at some warf mounted restaurant where I learned how to eat crab by watching my parent, aunts, uncles and cousins. I love a giant pot of steaming crabs with Old Bay to this day even though I live so far away my crab eating is limited to the rare summer trip home or the amazing shipment my brother sent me for my birthday this year.

  7. My favorite food memory would have to be putting together the family dessert table every Thanksgiving. Everyone wants to make something, so you never end up eating much of any of the dishes, but it’s so nice to be together and have everyone participate.

  8. favorite food memory… sheesh. just one? an early one is my mom letting me drink all the “corn juice” in the serving dish once the corn was all eaten. I had been sick and sletp thru dinner, so I missed the actual corn, but the juice was so sweet and good. I do make corn broth now sometimes and think of my mom that day, she was surprised that I wanted it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. favorite food memory? I think we make one every day. Tonite it was picking blackberries with my kids at dusk… mouths purple and sweet, fall chill drifting into the fields from the ocean, a total delight as the kids debated which recipe to use on our bounty on the way home. What better memory could I give them than that? Food, love and fresh air.

  10. Fav food memory is measuring all the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies with my mom. Then my dad would cream the butter and sugars by hand and we would all plop the dough on cookie sheets and enjoy them hot out of the oven. Runner up memory…annual canning of green beans. It was a family affair!!

  11. A fond food memory is my discovery of how much I loved homemade dill pickles at 5 years old. My godfather had made a batch which everyone else found too sour…I on the other hand thought they tasted divine and got to sit on his knee eating nearly the whole jar while everyone looked on and laughed. My mom fretted I would make myself sick…! Lol. I was fine and to this day love a good dill pickle.

  12. My favorite food memory is,
    garden fresh tomatoes that my
    Dad would cut up into a bowl
    Add a little olive oil & salt.
    He’d get 2 forks and a loaf of
    fresh Italian. We would sit
    down and share the tomatoes
    and torn bread. He passed away
    a couple years ago. The first summer
    after I cut up my tomatoes and grabbed
    my bread the first taste I burst into
    tears. He isn’t with me to enjoy that
    tradition any longer. I still love my
    tomatoes with bread but something
    Is missing…….him ๐Ÿ™

  13. My favorite food memory would have to be makeing christmas goodies with my Mom. She made almost all of our Christmas sweets, breads, cookies, fudges, candies. I still carry on the tradition of makeing just about all of our christmas sweets. We also have a tradition in which everyone in our family makes each others gifts. I just think it makes it more personal.

  14. My favorite food memory is helping to make homemade soup with my Slovenian grandpa every Saturday morning. Also, helping grandma make Potica and homemade noodles for the soup!

  15. My favorite food memory has to be just about anything I helped my grandmother cook/bake. But there was one time when, as a family, we went berry picking – for elderberries in some spot a buddy of my dad’s had told him about. We took all these berries home – my dad juiced some to make wine, the rest went to jelly. The jars were all filled hot and then topped w/ paraffin. My dad took some of the berries to work w/ him that Monday to give to the guy who told him where to go pick. Turned out they were NOT elderberries! Eeek! They were thankfully edible, but were some kind of Indian Ink Berry.

  16. When I was a small child, my Italian grandmother–who was THE best cook–would top her incredible baked ziti with sliced hard boiled eggs as a “treat” for me and my sister. ๐Ÿ™‚ We thought that was great!

  17. My mom making pizza and telling me that it needed to look as good as it tasted. It looked wonderful but when she took it out of the oven she dropped it. We looked at each other and just laughed.

  18. I have several food memories especially from my gramma back in the 1960’s but the one I have as an adult was the first (of two) dates I had with hubby. He didn’t know I was vegetarian!So he took me to the best steak house in town. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I ordered fish and only nibbled the crispy coating. I took it home, confessing I was too nervous to eat. My dad loved it! Next month, 40 years!

  19. Ooh, I’m a Canbassador too! Hurray for canning, and thank you for always sharing so many inspired recipes! This one sounds like an excellent destinations for plums, and boy do I have plenty. At the moment, unrelated to any official duties, I’m listening to jars of Greengage plum preserves ping shut (plums from a friend’s tree) and just finished off an Italian plum cake (plums from my tree)–not Luisa’s plum cake recipe, although I look forward to trying it as well! So thank you for this recipe and helping me to keep up my plum-processing enthusiasm. ๐Ÿ™‚

    A favorite memory of mine from growing up–since I do want that book and haven’t ordered it yet–is the smell of my parents’ canning kitchen (yes, it’s a separate kitchen–not at all fancy, but it avoids heating up the whole house all summer!) as they juice/jam/can the produce from their orchard.

  20. I am so interested in trying plum butter with this method. The whole discussion reminds me of a fond food memory: being with my grandmother in her kitchen for hours and hours as she stirred her apple butter. Nothing smelled better than that.

  21. I would love to win this book for two reasons; I am a voracious reader and it sound marvelous and I am a beginning canner and want to try that plum jam.
    My favorite cooking memory was when my husband’s grandmother set out to teach me how to make perogies. “you start with a pile of flour”โ€ฆ. What an experience.

  22. When I was a kid my dad worked nights. A couple of times a month he would bring home a pizza from the best pizza joint ever, wake me up (this was at around 2:00 am), and the two of us, just my dad and me, would sit in the kitchen and eat pizza and talk. Just the two of us, none of my siblings (I’m the oldest).

    I have a lot of great food memories, but this is hands-down my favorite.

  23. This is one cookbook that really sounds interesting. I would love to try some of these.
    My favorite food memory was the first time I canned. It was tomatoes and they all turned out great. And of course the first time I pressure canned anything. I sat in the kitchen the entire time and prayed I had done it right so it wouldn’t explode. The best canned green beans I ever ate that winter for sur. LOL

  24. This would be a great book to share with my Dad, who lived outside of Berlin when he was a little boy right after WWII. He is fruit crazy, and I remember him drying and preserving fruit all throughout my childhood…even making a fruit dryer out of an old refrigerator and drying all of our Italian prunes. I guess that’s what you do when you nearly starved to death as a child…

  25. wowsers! What an awesome givaway. One of my favorite food memories in relation to canning is being 8 or 9 and absolutely amazed that my 90+ yr old great grandma could peal a peach with a knife and peel it in 1 long continuous peel. Talent…and practice. Yes, I can do it continously now, but I use a peeler =) Hope to win!

  26. I am so excited by this method~ looking forward to trying it out. A favorite food memory is my grandma’s peach pie for my 12th birthday dessert at her house. I’ve always loved pie and fruit desserts more than cake, and she was surprised that I asked for something other than a birthday cake.

  27. My favorite food memory is helping my Grandmother prepare Christmas dinner when I was a little kid. I mostly peeled potatoes and cut up beans and so forth, but I still loved it.

  28. My favorite food memory is while living in California we had the most prolific apricot tree we used to can like mad and still gave away laundry baskets full of fruit to others. I have never again tasted an apricot as delicious as those.

  29. My mom used to make spiced walnuts every Christmas, which were not only tasted heavenly, but made the house smell wonderful, too. I make them for my family and friends today.

  30. I have so many great food memories, it’s hard to single out one. What comes to mind first is baking pies with my mom. She taught me how to make a perfectly crimped crust when I was about eight.

  31. The food memories are mostly from my Mom’s side of the family; we lived upstairs of my Great Grandma so we were exposed to her traditions. I think my earliest memory is Saturday morning shopping; going from one grocery store to another to buy what was on sale. In the summer we would add the farmers market and then the last stop every Saturday was the bakery. Ah, those special days when we would come home from the marketing and have some special tidbit to eat. Maybe fresh bread and some lunch meat or a piece of Grandma’s homemade kuchen. Just thinking of this warms my heart.

  32. My mom used to make corned beef hash from scratch. This was my favorite. I love to watch her grind everything up and then cook it and top each serving with egg. Thanks for the memory; I haven’t thought of that in quite a while.

  33. It would be having boiled dinner with my mom and now with my daughter.
    Boiled dinner is a ham, potatoes, carrots, turnips, and cabbage all boiled together

  34. I think my favorite food memory is eating fresh caught fish in Mexico. They served a giant flounder with lots of lemon juice and herbs… We were at a little hole in the wall that looked horrible, but was heaven on earth.

  35. My favorite food memory is making peanut brittle with my mom. Everyone asked her for the recipe, but no one could make it like my mom. Now, I’m carrying on the holiday tradition at my house.

  36. Food is my #1 way to make memories so there are so many… but one of my only memories of my grandfather, who passed away when I was very young, was sitting at his kitchen table together eating jam directly out of the jar and giggling with guilt that we would get caught!

  37. I have been addicted to canning for the last few years. Your Yellow Tomato Basil Jam is my absolute favorite. My friends hope that it is part of the menu when they come to my house for dinner.

  38. So many memories! Learning how to make all those savory and sweet Greek foods with my Mom. She spent literally hours teaching me how to make home made philo dough. Wish she were still here to see how much I have progressed. She was the first to introduce me to canning, too, back when we used those big jars with the rubber bands and metal bales.

  39. Favorite food memory? How to choose? I was only 4 when my grandfather died. Because he was so sick for a couple of years before that, Mom would pack us up and go spend half of almost every week at her parents house. Some of my food memories from that time are the sweetest. Like the time that I was shucking corn with Grandpa before dinner and he let me eat half of one raw. I was only 3 and it was so exciting. Or that he always let me slip my egg yolks onto his plate at breakfast because I didn’t like them.

  40. I just recently got taught to make taschana from scratch from a 90 year old woman who didn’t speak English. After the first session involving pungent sheep’s yogurt she made from her son’s sheep, she shooed me out and I didn’t even know when she’d come back for me ( now I know, overnight the taschana needs to rise). She’d talk to me in Greek as I’d rub the taschana between my fingers on her bed hoping she wasn’t telling me I was doing it all wrong. A few hours later, I returned to do it again and an orange-aid later I finally got the small crumbles of taschana you need. I only need to glance at the small jar on my desk to remember the cool dark environment of her summer kitchen/bedroom.

  41. My daughter’s father made me saltcod stew with cream of coconut and cabbage. It was served with brown rice and roadside flowers in a can on the table.

  42. Hands down, my favorite food memory has to be home made chicken soup. It’s medicinal value is priceless. Nothing else can make me feel better when I am under the weather.

  43. Goodness, that plum butter sounds good!

    It’s hard to come up with THE greatest food memory ever, but one that I will always love will be the vegetable soup from a restaurant in the town where I used to spend summers. I was always happiest with a bowl of that soup, and I associate it with my favorite place.

  44. I just saw this book at the bookstore this week and was hoping to read it! The plum jam reminded me of my Oma who used to make a delicious plum tart every fall.

  45. I just plain old stink at cooking…and I imagine my family would love some yummy creations presented to them at the table, rather than Burger Helper. One time. they all said they weren’t hungry, and I caught them making PBJ sandwiches an hour later. I felt terrible, and have since tried to be a better cook, but it’s hit and miss. I need some hits!

  46. I can’t say that I have one exact food memory, but when I visit my sister Kath in Maine, (who is a wonderful cook AND baker!) my vacation is almost all about food. Daily we start with discussions – over coffee and her Jewish Apple Cake – at breakfast about what we’re having for dinner that night to heading out on adventures and going from little bakeries to the big grocery store shopping for yummy items. Then of course we have to stop somewhere for lunch and then head home to rest up and have another cup of coffee or tea with a little sweet. Then its prep for dinner time! No matter what my sister makes, it’s delicious and it’s mostly about love and how she shows it! Looking forward to visiting her for Christmas…the first time in about 25 years we’ll spend the holiday together!

  47. my favorite food memory: my mother’s pork roast dinner with crispy brown potatoes. We used to come home from church on Sunday to the delicious smell in the house. Now, she can get us all home for dinner by just mentioning that she is making pork roast.

  48. My favorite food memories are all the times I’ve spent in the garden, harvesting, then bringing things in the house and making jam or canning. It’s a slow, deliberate process that I get to repeat regularly and that I get to enjoy year round.

  49. A favorite memory-“helping” my grandmother bake scrumptious pies. She rolled out leftover scraps of dough and sprinkled cinnamon sugar on them for the grand kids.

  50. One of my favorite food memories, was when my parents I still lived in Germany. Every year before Christams we would go to the Christkindlmarkt (Christmasmarket) eat the freshly grilled Nurnberger Bratwurst (basically the same as a regular Bratwurst, but smaller and you usually eat three on a roll) along with Kinder Gluehwein (mulled juice). That plus the smells of the roasting nuts and gingerbread, were the sure signs that Christmas was around the corner.

  51. My favorite memory is my Dad and I sitting on the porch eating pumpkin butter on crackers. It was our quiet time on Saturday mornings from the time I started school until I moved out. I still can’t eat pumpkin butter without thinking of our fun times together.

  52. Love the Plum Butter recipe and will check out her blog today.

    One of my early food memories is of my German grandmother saving the peach peels (and pits) from canning peaches to use for an infusion to make peach jelly. I was very surprised but don’t remember the finished product! She also saved potato peels to plant the tiny “eyes” instead of larger pieces one could eat. This was in the 40’s.

  53. One of my favorite food memories is the stove top jam my grandmother made from her canned summer berries. She made homemade biscuits and poured the jam overtop. It was delicious! So she only used the sugar when needed and canned the berries whole w/o the sugar. Saved her money initially during canning season.

  54. Favorite food memory would be eating cookie dough in my grandma’s kitchen … looking back, this was where my love for baking began.
    I love fruit butters. I can eat them with just a spoon or my favorite is slathered on crackers. Such a comfort snack.

  55. Most of my favorite food memories have to do with my grandmother and her speaking to me in Cajun French. When I was very young I thought we had our own language. One memory in particular is sitting in her kitchen learning to make fig preserves after I’d spent the entire morning picking figs from her tree. Buckets and buckets of delicious figs! Oh, she also made the best split pea soup I’ve ever had.

  56. My favorite food memories also include memories of my mother, especially cooking with her over the holidays. And I loved her chicken and dumplings!

  57. Before we and our friends had children, we used to have seasonal meal get-togethers. A theme was decided upon, and the host would create a great meal based on that theme. Amongst the group we have lactose intolerance, vegetarians and meat lovers, and it was always a challenge. We all live in different locations, so everyone would have to travel and we’d spend the weekend together. It’s been much more difficult with children, but we do manage a dinner and a brunch every year.

  58. I love this overnight and oven-roasting idea!

    My favorite food memory is just being around food. Both of my parents cooked and baked and they always found a way to let me and my siblings help.

  59. I have a plum tree but have no idea what kind of plum it is. Would you be able to tell me the difference in an Italian plum. These are a bit tart which I love. This recipe sounds like one I would love to try if the plums I have are the right ones!!

  60. I always loved going down south to the grandparents’ and gorging on canned peaches!
    That plum jam looks fantastic, and the book sounds fascinating!

  61. How to pick just one…. Every year my grandmother would make enormous amounts of candy around Christmas time. While I was in college, she would send me a box of it. My friends figured this out and would come by to “help” me with my “problem” because she’d just send a little bit of everything and I never told her that there were some kinds I didn’t like. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have a colleague who, when she can find Italian prune plums, makes an old family recipe for prune plum cake. It’s so delicious that I know this butter has to be amazing.

  62. I remember my mom making strawberry jam that way once, years ago… she didn’t mean to either! she had sugared her berries and let them set over night, but she put them in the oven to keep the ants she says, but had the oven on very low. the resulting product was almost a fruit leather…. very dense and surprisingly good… thanks for an interesting jam recipe..! the book sounds great, by the way, the perfect combination, novel and recipes!

  63. My grandparents had an old ice cream maker, and one of my favorite part of summer family gatherings (4 generations worth of folks) was the sound of that ice cream maker, helping my grandfather add rock salt and ice, and the taste of the ice cream. Always made with fresh Colorado Rocky Ford peaches. Yum!

  64. My favorote food memory is watching my great grandmother cook in her kitchen. She had no recipes and didn’t use measuring cups. She made her biscuits and cornbread by sight and feel. Miss her.

  65. My favorite food memory is my grandmother’s concord grape juice – homemade, home canned, and always served out of this tiny little amber glass tumblers…!

  66. My favorite childhood food memories are of saturday morning baking: cake, pie, coffee cake, cookies, doughnuts etc. Yes, mom had a sweet tooth!

  67. I have too many to choose one! I will say, however, that some of the best involve cooking with my mother and grandmothers and learning at their sides.

  68. Hot cocoa and toast with peanut butter, made on a camp stove and enjoyed while watching bald eagles nesting on a nearby island, at our campsite at Acadia National Park in Maine.

  69. One of my favorite food memories is of the restaurant that my sister and two of our friends created when we were 10 or 11 years old. We planned the menu, typed it up, sent invitations, did all the shopping and cooking for a one night restaurant for our parents. There were lots of messes, some burned spaghetti, and a very imperfect meal but it was successful enough that the restaurant opened again the following summer.

  70. Eating waffles with powdered sugar on the beach in France with my cousins — I must have been about 4 years old as I was wearing the most fab 70’s giraffe printed pants.

  71. I have an awful lot of them, but most recently, spending the evening of my birthday on the porch, eating homegrown fried green tomatoes, and listening to my husband play his guitar.

  72. I have so many favorite food memories but this peach that I ate in Italy when I was a teen still occupies a lot of space in my mind! This peach butter sounds delish and I love italian plums. gotta get to meat farms!

  73. In most families, the holiday meal seems to revolve around the turkey, in ours it is all about the stuffing! More specifically, the greek stuffing. It is only served twice a year, once on Thanksgiving and once at Christmas. As with all of Grandma’s recipes it was not written down. When I was a teenager, Grandma told us all that making the Thanksgiving meal was getting to be too much for her. At my mother’s insistence, I went to help grandma and it was actually really fun to spend that time with her. That year I learned how to make the stuffing. Grandma is gone now, but I still make the stuffing every year and it brings back my memories of her and makes me glad I took the time to learn how to make it and can pass the recipe down.

  74. My favorite food memory would be my late grandmother’s dumplings. She was a wonderful Czechoslovakian woman who made the best dumplings. They were not potato dumplings, but rather flour dumplings and they were fabulous. We made a tape of her maiing them once, which embarassed her terribly. And when she was almost done, she realized she had left out one ingredient, so she insisted she start over! I treasure that tape and the memory of her dumplings…and her!

  75. Chicken Soup! My mom used to make chicken soup for my two children every time they were sick. By the time my son was 8 he was convinced he only got better because of grandma’s soup.

  76. Hands down, my favorite food memory is my grandfather, hauling out that giant enamel pot (which now seems quite small compared to the various stock pots I use, but was enormous when I was little), and making halupkis in it. Halupkis, or as I grew up calling them, pigs in a blanket, are simply stuffed cabbages. I never liked the cabbage growing up, and would just pick out the meat and rice filling. Now, I clean my plate!

  77. When I was little, we lived around the corner from a bagel shop, and I remember that I always ordered a plain bagel with butter. They were always the most amazing bagels – there was something about that butter!

  78. One of my favorite food memories is dining at a very nice Italian restaurant with my husband and two children. The food was absolutely divine!

  79. This book looks amazing! One of my favorite food memories is of my husband and I churning out about 100 4oz jars of strawberry jam for our wedding. My apartment kitchen was TINY and it was a hot, hot day in mid June. I only had one little fan so he drove over and hour to his apartment to bring up his window fan which offered us a little relief.

  80. One of my favorite food memories… Mom’s venison stroghanoff with onions & morel mushrooms from our property. It’s the only time I will happily eat mushrooms! Us kids asked for that for Thanksgiving instead of turkey.

  81. One of my favorite food memories is the time my husband and I went to Florence Italy and we didn’t know where to go to eat, so we asked the hotel recep. where to go. She mention this little off the wall place that was about about a 10 min walk from where we were at. So my husband and I went off and walked and walked ( it was more like 30 mins ) and finally found this place ( wish I could remember the name ). No one spoke very good English, so we told the owner our food choices would be in his hands and we would eat whatever he gave us. So, with that said we ended up eating a 6 course meal with the most amazing food we have ever eaten. He made everything himself, serve us himself, catered to us like we where the king and queen of England. It truly was an amazing and something I will cherish forever.

  82. I fondly remember coming home after school to my grandmother’s fried peach pies. I remember eating three of them once. They were so good, I remember the taste still.

  83. My favorite food memory (that’s also a canning memory) is making jams with my grandma in the summers. We would make pints and pints of wild grape. Sometimes we would harvest her garden and can pickles or squash. I still remember her standing in front of her stove stirring a pot bigger than me and her yelling, “MOVE!MOVE!MOVE!” when it was time to take them out and I was a little slow on the uptake getting my bottom out of the way.

  84. This recipe sounds fabulous – wish I still had that Italian plum tree in my father in law’s yard from the 1970’s!
    Just finished reading your book, Marisa, and loved it! I dog-eared quite a few pages and plan on filling my pantry with your delicious recipes.
    I would rather read a cookbook than a romantic novel (Bodice Ripper, we call them, lol) any day!

  85. My favorite food memory would be when my mom and grandma came to visit me (after hubby and I moved from Germany to the US) for the first time and we baked “Schneeballen” together. It’s pretty labor intensive, but we had so much fun baking together.

  86. I am so intrigued by both this method for fruit butter and the book. As to a favorite food memory, what came first to mind was staying at a cabin down the road from my Grandad’s house in Mendocino, and the traditional spaghetti dinner my mom would make. Thanks for the giveaway!

  87. Favorite food memory is baking Christmas cookies with my mom, sisters, and cousin every year. We make it a weekend event, usually in October. People gather on Friday with new recipes they want to try, cookie cutters, cooling racks, snacks, and adult beverages. We mix up doughs that need to chill so they are ready for us Saturday morning. We mix and bake, eat, drink, and laugh, then pack up most of the goodies and put them in the freezer until December. It is done and relieves some of the stress at holiday time and is a great time we look forward to each year.

  88. My favorite food memory is clam chowder every Christmas Eve. Same recipe, every year. I can’t eat it without looking for someone to start handing me gifts afterwards.

  89. One of my favorite food memories is going to my grandma’s house and having her make bread pudding, with a lemon sauce. It was her speciality, and it was delish!

  90. hard to know my fav food memory — but I sure do remember my mom making brown-sugar toast and caramel popcorn for me a lot as a kid. the book looks great!

  91. I love making holiday cookies with my mom. We spend most of the day making way too many kinds of cookies, but we have so much fun!

  92. My favorite food memory was being about 8, and my sister and I helped my mother to can peaches (half peaches in light syrup). We thought it was such a good joke – for one can we put a pit into each peach half. It was about February when my mother got to that jar, and boy was she mad! I think she was worried about chemical leaching from the pits (there is a tiny bit of cyanide in the nuts inside the pits, so I guess she had reason to be concerned). That is not only a great memory, but it was my introduction to canning – and now, about 40 years later – I’m trying to teach this art to my kids.

    We all lived just outside Berlin for 6 months – I’d really love to win that book!

  93. My favorite food memory is holidays at my great-grandmother’s house, where she would make yeast rolls and set out her canned dill pickles. The dill pickles were HUGE (at least to me as a kid) and were so dilly and delicious! I’ve never tasted a pickle as good as hers though…

  94. My favorite food memory is going to my Memere’s house and her making Chicken and Dumplings for us. I miss the winter lunches but I’m proud to say she passed the recipe to me and I now make it for my children and hope to one day be able to make it for my grandchildren.

  95. My favorite food memory is watching and learning from my dad as he tasted and tweaked recipes on Sundays. He would make 4 or 5 batches of something until he got the exact taste he wanted and it was so cool to explore the realm of recipe testing with him as a kid.

  96. Getting the box of Christmas food from my grandmother, you never knew what kind of sweets might be packed in it that year–the constants were peanut brittle and fudge though.

  97. My favorite food memory used to involve my own childhood memories of cooking with my parents, but has lately evolved to involve me and my own girls- I absolutely LOVE having their help in the kitchen! One of the best is our ritual Friday night pizza- rolling the dough and slopping on the sauce and catching them nibbling on the cheese in the process of sprinkling it on… no pizza anywhere in New York can top it!

  98. Ice cream has always been my favorite indulgence. When I was young I fell off my bike at my grandparents house and flipped over, head first, onto a brick. Fear and pain combined, it ruined my day. Until my grandpa showed up with six pints of Baskin Robbins ice cream. He told me I could have some of every flavor. Somehow the pain just disappeared after that ๐Ÿ™‚

  99. Leave a comment on this post and share your favorite food memory>>

    Favorite food memory is probably very recent. My family is eating healthier and we’re having a good time exploring new foods together.

  100. My favorite food memory is of my husbands paternal Grandmother teaching me how to make jellies and preserves. Now as a grandmother myself, whenever I’m canning, I think about how fortunate I was as a young bride to have such a loving teacher.

  101. I love food too much to only have one memory! But my favorite one is Christmas dinner, and it happens every year ๐Ÿ™‚ Being from Canada, I have my very specific food I need every year and thankfully, my family here in the US loves it all. We all look forward to Christmas to gather around the dinner tavble and eat this great meal: meat pie, ragout (meatball in a brown gravy), turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans (just so it’s a little healthier!), followed by sugar pie and cream fudge. And that… is only for the 4 of us!

  102. My mom and I used to make no-bake cookies (the chocolate, peanut butter, rolled oats kind). These were the first cookie I learned to make, and I remember staring at the wax paper, poking them until they set, and always eating one a little too early, when it was still warm and soft and gooey.

  103. One of my favorites comes from my childhood: on the occasional evenings that my dad would have to work late, mom and I would ‘have breakfast for dinner,’ which usually meant waffles and eggs. Such a breaking of the traditional rules of meal order made it feel more than a little special.

  104. Best food memory ever was about a food so simple, yet so comforting…. While vacationing in Florence, Italy we happened upon a little hole in the wall restaurant. The smell of garlic just absolutely filled the street! They had this amazing focaccia that had the best flavor of garlic in it and the perfect light sprinkling of coarse salt on the top. I could eat this till near explosion it was so tasty! To this day, nothing quite compares to this simple bread…. oh man, now i totally hav a craving for it!

  105. My best food memory is eating at Hosteria Giusti in Modena – where the owner took pity on this lone traveler – took flowers off the side table since all others were full and served me the most spectacular meal. I had never tasted some of those lovely regional dishes – unbelievable.

  106. When my mother was alive she made the best chili in her Revere Ware Dutch oven. She gave me her Dutch oven before she passed. Now I make her famous chili which is a hit with my kids and always think of her when I cook something in that pot.

  107. It’s so hard to pick a favorite food memory! I am currently vacationing at my very-small-town childhood home. I grew up around all these amazing cooks that grew (and canned) their own produce, raised and butchered their own meat, and milked their own cows. I moved 600 miles away to go to college and ended up settling down there. When my hubby and I bought our first house 4 years ago, the kitchen sink of all things reminded me of my mother’s (my house was built around the same time as my parents’ house). It was amazing how something as simple as an enameled cast iron kitchen sink could bring a flood of food memories – recipes that I had not even thought about in years. Recipes that I had once looked down my nose at because they were not “authentic” (like my mom’s version of enchiladas) or recipes I had simply forgotten about in my quest to broaden my culinary horizons. Of course, I have since made some of those dishes for my husband… and we have thoroughly enjoyed them!

  108. One of my favorite food memories was my dad teaching me how to cook sooji ka halwa and other recipes that his had mom taught him. While standing over the stove and stirring, he’d tell me all about his early adulthood and his adventures with learning to cook for himself.

  109. My favorite food memory is just something simple. When I was little and I would spend the night at my grandparent’s house I would wake up early with my grandpa. He would always make me toast spread with butter and Amish Blackberry Jam. Then he would cut the toast ont he diagonal and call them “Blackbird Wings.” My grandpa has many wonderful dishes and is by far the best cook that I know but this simple thing was our morning ritual and I’ll always remember it ๐Ÿ™‚

  110. I loved going to my grandma’s house, alone without my siblings then I could have her attention all to myself and she would cook for me. I LOVED her potatoes, sunshine pancakes and tuna patties. I can still hear the news on in the back ground, she had to watch the news and her brightly colored yellow walls. It all comes back when I make any of those foods. I love how nostalgic food can be, it’s really a blessing.

  111. One of my favorite food memories is kind of recentโ€“My parents came up to visit a few years ago on Labor Day weekend and we went apple- and peach-picking. Then my mom showed me how to make peach preserves with our freshly picked fruit. I cherish that time.

  112. My favorite food memory is from one summer during college when I was living at home. My mom bought me my first cookbook and she spent the summer teaching me the basics of cooking!

  113. My earliest food memory would have to be when my family and I were living in Port ‘d Pille, France. My dad was with the US Army.

    My mom and I would walk into town and buy very long (to a little kid), skinny loaves of warm French bread.

    We would eat some of it right after we arrived home…..slathered with creamy butter.

    Never found anything that would come close to that crusty outside, chewy inside loaf!

  114. OMG that plum butter sounds DIVINE. I missed the season for Italian Prune plums here, but I have a load of yellow plums in my fridge that I’ve been itching to do something with…

    My favorite food memories will always involve Christmas. My grandmother used to have us all over for three days, and my aunt took over after my grandfather died. Christmas has always been pretty food-intensive for us (we’re French-Canadian). Tourtiรจre, turkey, pork roast (for my uncle who hates turkey), sucre ร  la crรจme, baked beans, homemade fudge (mine) and so many other dishes we have every year. A few years ago, my aunt introduced us to a new favorite – Pรขtรฉ du Lac St. Jean. OMG SO GOOD. It’s like tourtiรจre in the way that a hand-frosted ganache cake compares to a Joe Louis.

    I have a lot of bad food memories from childhood (don’t get me started) and I’ve had some major ongoing battles with food that I’m still working on. But Christmas? It’s all about the food and the family, and it has nothing but happy memories for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  115. One of my favorite food memories will always be my mothers mac and cheese. Even though it’s a simple dish, she made the cheesiest, yummiest, most perfect homemade mac and cheese. With crushed crackers sprinkled over the top. My siblings and I beg her to make it all the time, even now. Soon, she’ll be showing me how she does it. Can’t wait!

  116. My Grammy’s fresh baked bread. It’s the most perfect bread for grilled cheese – gets crispy fast and the insides stay super soft and fluffy and light. Nothing like it!

  117. My favorite memory is watching my paternal Grandmother roll out pie crust. She used this heavy weight pastry cutter (metal, shaped like a tear drop with a handle, cut the pastry & had cutouts on the side of flowers to make vents), a rolling pin with a cloth liner on it (the crust never stuck to it!), & a shortening which came in a can, was southern, & had no preservatives to it. She made the best crust! (if anyone knows what sort of shortening this is, please post it! )

  118. One of my favorite food memories is of my grandmothers layer cake. My cousin and I used to fight over it whenever the family was together. My grandmother baked the most buttery yellow cake, separated into many many layers, sandwiched together with a rich fudgey frosting. One year, she made two, so that my cousin and I could each lay claim to one (even though we shared with others of course!). I treasure the recipes for that cake and for her special pound cakes and think of my grandmother every time I make one to share with others. Isn’t that what great food is about? Sharing the love.

  119. I think my favorite food memory was eating langositino risotto in the Cinque Terre in Italy. Sitting along the water with local wine, my 8 year old son and significant other. The fresh food, the ocean breeze the sweet wine all made for a magical evening.

  120. Having lived in Berlin till the beginning of my teens, I will never forget splurging on a piece of cheese cake at allowance time. Many times I have tried to duplicate this cheese cake but it never tasted as wonderful as what I bought in that little deli store.

  121. I canned around fifty jars of sweet Colorado peaches last fall. We stood in the kitchen of our college co-op and listened to African music while the lids sealed. Beautiful!

  122. My favorite memory is going to my grandparents house on Sundays after church. We got a piece of german pumpernickel bread with butter and were told to sit quietly on the horse hair couch and watch tv until dinner was ready. The smells of Sauerbraten wafted from the kitchen.

  123. During canning season we used to beg my mom to let us turn and shove the tomatoes into the large saucer machine. I used it this year myself and it brought back so many memories!

  124. It has to be the time my mom took her hand off the blender when she was making chocolate milkshakes for my brother and I. Ice cream went everywhere, and we ended up laughing in a sticky mess as we cleaned up the kitchen together.

  125. My Gram’s pork and sauerkraut with potato dumplings drizzled with melted butter and her green beans. When I was little we would sit on the wooden swing under a huge maple tree and string those beans…lovely memories…thanks for helping me remember.

  126. One of my favorite food memories is of this spontaneous, late-evening meal I threw together when we had some close friends call late, say they were in our area and could they come over? Basically, I just emptied out my pantry and spread out everything that looked good on our coffee table …. crackers, cheese, nuts, salami, apple butter, chocolate bars, a few mandarin oranges (it was the holiday season) and a bottle of red wine – it was festive, simple and yummy! Now it’s my go-to meal whenever we have guests over in the evening. ๐Ÿ™‚

  127. Favorite food memory? That’s next to impossible, so I’ll write *one* of my favorite food memories: apricot croissants on Saturday mornings with my dad. Heaven!

  128. My favorite food memory is making Christmas cookies with my mother. We always doubled and tripled batches because their were so many of us in the family. We started shortly after Thanksgiving and baked, baked, baked and froze them after baking to bring out on Christmas Eve. However by the time Christmas Eve rolled around there was only half as many as we started with because everyone had their favs and couldn’t wait for the holiday! LOL

    I make new memories everyday that my grown, 23yo son and I make a new recipe together.

  129. one of my favorite food memories is helping my grandmother make concord grape jelly – I’m just about to harvest my first crop of concord grapes and she has been very much on my mind. I’d love to have her old chinois!

  130. While working for a farmers’ market as a young teen, being introduced to Muenster cheese (previously to that, I had only tasted Velveeta!). And about that same time, teaching myself how to make jam.

  131. My mom usually did the cooking growing up, but on occasion, my dad (who worked as a cook several times in his life), would take over the kitchen and makes stacks of soft, buttery pancakes, crisp bacon, and mounds of golden hashbrowns…

    It wasn’t until I got to college that I discovered that most people make pancakes from box mixes. Go figure!

  132. It’s so hard to pick one memory! A more recent memory is going to Mitchell’s Fish Market (I know, I know, it’s a chain! but it’s yummy!) for the first time, and getting engaged that same night! I’ll forever have a love for pecan-crusted whitefish that I never thought I’d have!

  133. I live in Canada, so this isn’t an entry! ๐Ÿ™

    My earliest food memory.. is either my Mom making homemade chicken soup (which Dad and I would always try and get her to make with just broth and egg noodles.. none of those other vegetable goodies!)… Or! Mom making pizza sauce with the bounty of tomatoes from the backyard. I’m not sure which would be first.. she stopped doing the latter years ago, too much work. Though, now that my brother and I have “grown up”, maybe she’ll find time for it again.

    Also, this post has given me a reason to go visit a certain Farmers’ Market tonight – that one always has the best fruit! Plum butter sounds fantastic ๐Ÿ™‚

  134. You had me at plum butter. My folks used to have an Italian prune plum tree, but it caught black knot from the peach tree, and both died. I’ve only made plum butter once since then, and clearly need to do it again!

  135. I read this recipe at the perfect time! Just earlier this morning I was wondering what I was going to do with the basket of plums my husband picked this weekend. I’ve already made the plum star anise jam and spiced plum jam. Can’t wait to try this one.

    My favorite memories (and ones we still laugh at) involve my dad “building” salads for family dinner. They were never small. In fact, by the time he was finished, he had used the largest bowl available! The dog loved leftovers as long as it had salad dressing on it!

  136. I remember the very first time I baked something on my own: I was 10 years old, baking a triple chocolate cake (with cake mix and pudding, natch) on New Years Eve. Right Said Fred was playing on the radio, ’twas a grand time! I was so impressed with my parents to trust me in the kitchen alone. Ha!

  137. My favorite food memories are related to the Thanksgivings I hosted over the years. When my parents were living, they came to town for the day, and we always had an eclectic group of friends and friends of friends join us so it was always a different crowd. My dad used to tell stories of coaching football in 1950’s reform schools and being a repo man in Montana when they were young newlyweds. Great food with friends and family always makes the best memories.

  138. Thank you, thank you for posting this recipe! I have a large bag of plums in my fridge and wanted to make something other than the spiced plum jam I just made last week. My favorite food memeory is more of an ongoing ritual. Every Sunday my boyfriend grills while I chop, sautee, and prepare the rest of our meal. We sit outside by the fire and enjoy it. Great cap to a weekend and start to a new week!

  139. Oh, so many food memories! One that sticks out in my mind right now is helping my mom make cinnamon rolls and then eating them warm with a cup of hot chocolate.

  140. When I was in elementary school, my mom let us play hooky from school to spend the day making Christmas cookies every year. (The first year, we had to have a discussion about how no, I probably shouldn’t tell everyone including the cashier at the grocery store that we were playing hooky.)

  141. My mother baked a pie every Sunday for dinner. Strawberry rhubarb was always my favorite. I make a pretty good pie, but it isn’t the same…

  142. I’m not sure I can pick one food memory, but I’ll go with eating fresh applesauce with cinnamon and sugar, in my parents’ kitchen as a child.

  143. Eating an apple cider donut in a park in Charlottesville, VA on my first vacation with my girlfriend. Perfect day. The donut was too hot to eat at first because we had just watched it roll off this contraption the guy who owned the donut truck had set up to pull them out of the fryer. He seemed really in love with making and selling donuts.

  144. I remember canning watermelon rind pickles with my grandmother when I was a little girl. She canned everything. But I remember that one the most.

  145. I worked at a resident camp for many summer. While roasting s’mores is a good memory, I remember Wednesday night cookouts more. It’s more about the friendships and memories than the food (isn’t it always?), but we did pretty good for a bunch of late teen, early twenty- somethings. A favorite recipe from camp is Bag’s of Gold. Basically, it’s tomato soup (yes, from a red can) with dumplings that are filled with cheese. A favorite meal that I still like to make on snowy days when school is cancelled. And you would think we invented waffles with ice cream, but those square frozen waffles with the neopolitan ice cream slices- they were the best!! And evening snack of Applesauce Gingerbread, moist, warm, spicy and delicious.

  146. My favorite food memory is actually a scent. The smell of dinner roasting when I used to walk into my grandparents house is printed indelibly on my brain. Whenever that smell is encountered elsewhere, I’m instantly transported back in time to family gatherings. Love it.

  147. One of most favorite food memories is hearing my dad cooking Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, pans clanging and steam rising out of the kitchen and smelling all of the good things he was making- such a great chef; one of the things I still make is his famous stuffing- we would have it for breakfast and watch the parades.. I miss those times so much.

  148. oo! i need a new good read. pleasepleaseplease.

    all my favorite food memories are times when a food i previously didn’t enjoy was revealed to me as completely awesome: rhubarb tea cake at Baker & Spice in Portland, my first homegrown tomato (courtesy of my grandfather), justhowawesome refried beans are when combined in fried egg breakfast burrito.

    being picky when i was little made for a lot of awesome discoveries these last few years.

  149. Making old-fashioned fudge with my Aunt Frances. I was so excited that the candy turned out well, when my uncle came home I ran to him and told him that Aunt Fudge and I made Frances! She was Aunt Fudge after that. Very fond memory.

  150. I can’t wait to try this receipe!

    My most favorite memory of cooking and sharing is when my son moved out on his own and I got a phone
    call saying he didn’t feel well, he was at the market and wanted to know all the ingredients in my homeade chicken noodle soup..We shopped together (I was on the phone) When he got home he called me back and we made the soup together.
    He was happy and healing and said his soup tasted just like mine…he
    contined to enjoy we’re teaching his bride..Sharing receipes is love,Patrica

  151. I loved eating dinner with my family growing up- didn’t really matter so much what we were having, although, Sunday dinner was my favorite, just being together around our table in our home is a memory that I still relish and want to replicate all the time.

  152. My favorite food memory is decorating my birthday cake with my grandmother when I was five. She had flown to NC from Texas to celebrate with us and I was just captivated by her. She is movie-star beautiful, warm and gentle, and just seemed to know everything. She is still my favorite person (outside of my own family!). The cake was a beautiful chocolate three-tiered heart shaped affair. Delicious!

  153. Earliest and favourite food memory. The bacon my Father would cook for me while we were out camping together. He would wake me up with a big plate of it every morning. Nothing has ever tasted so good as sitting with my Dad in the middle of nowhere, just the two of us eating bacon and eggs as the sun rose.

  154. My earliest food memory probably dates back to when I was 3-4 years old. After spending the night at my grandparents’ , my grandpa and I would wake earlier than the rest of the house, go into the kitchen and make toasted cinnamon bread. The smell of cinnamon still brings me back to that happy memory. The weird thing is that my second food memory is toasting English muffins with my other grandparents. It’s no wonder that I love all toasted things.

  155. My mother was born and raised in Berlin. This has her name written all over it. Thanks for letting me know about Luissa. I will be adding her to my blog reading!!

  156. There are lots of food memories but a nice recent one for me was taking my kids to a sushi bar and having want some of everything including my favorite – broiled eel nigiri. I love that they are such omnivores.

  157. On our honeymoon, my husband and I went to a small olive oil shop in Grenada, Spain for a 13 course meal featuring different types of olive oil. It was several hours long including amazing food, plenty of wine, and the most amazing conversations. We will still talk about that meal to this day and it has never been topped.

  158. While I couldn’t necessarily pick out my absolute favorite food memory (so many to choose from!), I suppose my most nostalgic one is from when I was a kid and my siblings and I would go out to the garden patch where my family had red raspberry canes. We would go through the rows and pick only the ripest, most sun-warmed berries and gorge ourselves until our mouths were stained red. Even our dog would join us, peeling back his lips like he was going to growl and then using only his teeth to pluck off a juicy berry.

  159. My Favorite food memory is learning to can with my grandmother. We make apricot jam and at the end of it all we sat together and ate biscuits with jam on top. It was so good! Ever since them we still make time to get together every year to pick and can apricots and treat ourselves afterwards.

  160. Mixing dough in the stand mixer with grandma, playing “this is snow!” with the sugar and “dust storm” with the cocoa….you get the idea!

  161. Favorite food memory??? Wow, my life is filled with them but the ones I probably look back on the fondest would be shopping at the outdoor markets in Germany when I was a child. I loved the sights, sounds, and smells but to a child the best part was probably all the “treats” given out by the vendors.

  162. My favorite food memory is of my Papa (grandfather). Each year at Christmas we would have a huge family gathering at his and Mama’s house. It lasted all day. And it would start with opening stockings and eating a HUGE southern-style breakfast. Mama did all the food except for one thing: The grits. Papa would get out a 10 quart stock pot and pounds of butter and cornmeal. He cooked it for what seemed like hours. And it is the gold standard for all other grits that I have ever eaten. It has to be buttery yellow, smooth and creamy and not remind me of dried grain in any way, shape or form.

  163. One of my favorite food memories is my Hungarian great grandmother coming to visit. She would make all our favorite Hungarian pastries that we didn’t get very often. Now I am trying to record all the recipes to pass down to my daughter and niece so they aren’t lost. Thanks for the giveaway!

  164. One of my favorite food memories is canning with my mom and my sister. I love it. They live in Nebraska so the produce is garden-fresh.

  165. Favorite food memory? That’s a tough one! I’ll go with this:

    The first summer my mom and I made jam is such a wonderful memory for me. We used the plums that grew in our yard – my brothers helped pick the fruit, but after that it was just me and my darling mumsey. She is gone now but every batch of jam that I make reminds me of her…

  166. one of my favorite food memories is the holidays at my grandmas house… specifically christmas eve dinner when my family would cook several fish dishes…. i remember going with my grandma to arthur ave in the bronx to buy everything on christmas eve morning… then spending all day preparing dinner for the whole family… it is still one of my favorite meals to prepare..

  167. Hmm, my favorite food memory? I think that would have to be decorating Christmas cookies with my mom when I was a kid. If you knew my family that would be a funny memory. My mom does not cook. She somewhat cooked when we were little out of necessity, but since we were old enough to fend for ourselves, she largely quit cooking. But she liked to bake and we would make sugar cookies and decorate them with different colors of vanilla icing and various sprinkles. It was always a lot of fun even if they didn’t look much like the beautiful sugar cookies people make these days. Thank you so much for the chance to win!

  168. One of my earliest food memories is bottled home-made root beer, fermenting in the shelves of the wood-working shop in the back yard. We loved root beer, esp with popcorn, and it was so hard to wait for it. It was strong but sweet and full of bubbles, and the most delicious root beer I’ve ever had.

  169. my favorite food memory is my grandmother making a huge pot of Italian sauce (aka: gravy) for Sunday dinner. She would always allow me to dip the freshest softest sliced bread in that pot. the sauce was so thick and my mouth literally waters at the thought of that first bite! yum!

  170. My favorite food memory is of the homemade 2-layer birthday cakes that my mother made, and hand-decorated, for us when we were kids.

  171. My grandmother always made her food way in advance and froze it. So when she died, my grandfather had all of this food already made in the freezer that lasted him for a few months. But the specific meal that she had made was Rosh Hashana dinner, and she died a few days before the holiday (not this year). So she had already cooked the meat, and there wasn’t time to get new meat anyway between the funeral, shiva, the butcher being closed for Saturday, and the holiday starting. So we wound up just eating the meal that she had already made. To this day (actually exactly today, since we had brisket for Rosh Hashana), we refer to that meal as her “memorial brisket”.

  172. My favorite food memory is a family story rather than an actual memory of mine. When I was about a year old my grandfather gave me a chicken leg bone which had been cleared of all meet and gristle. I can see myself gnawing on that bone in my high chair.

    After re-reading that memory it sounds a little strange, but believe me in my head its a great memory.

  173. My favorite food memory is making Spritz Cookies for Christmas with my mom and brother using a cookie press. They were my favorite cookie and so much fun to decorate.

  174. One of my favorite food memories has to be when I was 3 or 4 years old – I was in Disneyland with my family and my Dad bought me one of the giant pickles on Tom Sawyer Island. It was almost as tall as my face! I have had a deep-rooted love of pickles ever since!

  175. Just one favorite memory…it is too hard to pick just one as my favorites always revolve around those whom I love. My father making waffles before church, my brother and me eating hot rice with milk and honey for breakfast, or my mother making plum blackberry jelly in the summers.

  176. My grandma always had a candy dish and a nut dish, but best of all, she kept in stock, especially for me, a little crock full of what she called “stinky cheese” (bleu cheese).
    She would rave to her friends how, even as a toddler, I would prefer the stinky cheese to the sweets! As an adult with wee babies I lived 7 hours away from her, but when she came to visit, she always brought me that little crock of stinky cheese and a homemade lasagne and a beer cake! I miss my Grandma!

  177. So lovely!

    My favorite food memory is the last Thanksgiving when my grandma was alive. We did it at her house (it’s almost as if we knew it would be her last one) and she was so happy to have everyone in her house. She was beaming with love. What a great memory.

  178. My favorite food memory is making Christmas cookies with my family. Every year we gat together and make a giant batch of sugar cookies, them frost and decorate them. Everyone gets to take some home and Grandma keeps the rest at her place for visitors.

  179. Most of my food memories stem from hanging out at my parents’ restaurants over the years. I still remember the smell of pizza in the oven while sitting at a booth with a coloring book and crayola.

  180. Food is such an important part of so many fun memories! I think my favorite is from the yr My husband & I were married. We had a rare southern snow that was a few inches deep but in the south enough to shut everything down. My midwestern husband was thrilled. He packed us a picnic, took me to the top of a nearby mountain overlooking the city & laid it out on a large flat tree stump. We had hot soup with crackers, fresh sandwiches & hot chocolate. I remember being so cold, laughing & enjoying the gorgeous winter views. We’ve shared a lot of meals together since then that have been just as special.

  181. My favorite food memory is making seven apple pies with my mother over the course of a weekend in an attempt to use up the bounty of our trees that were perfectly ripe. Our house smelled delicious for days!

  182. my favorite food memory is my mothers bread pudding. We would eat it warm with half and half. Yum !! My mother was killed in a car accident 12 yrs ago and I have tried making it – it is good -but never as good as hers !!

  183. I love your website and check it every day! I can a little here and there, but would like to do more and love your concept of canning in small amounts. I am interested in trying some of your plum canning recipes and the idea of cooking down the fruit in the oven would allow me to do other things at the same time – like take care of our four daughters.

  184. My favorite food memory isn’t so much as a memory as a continuing tradition. My Oma makes plum jam, pretty much exactly like your recipe, every year. We eat it all year long. On New Year’s Eve she makes what we call pummelschens. They are yeast donuts (without the hole) filled with her plum jam. They get fried to a golden brown and rolled in granular sugar. We have them on New Year’s Day. The last several years my sisters and I have helped make the pummelschens. We want to carry on the tradition.

  185. My grandmothers and their friends would get together during the holidays for ‘cookie exchanges’. I remember baking all kinds of different treats for these parties and we brought home even more than we took. I miss those days. Just to have the time…..

  186. Having made many jars of plum butter, preserves, sauce and syrup in August, I have to agree that it is a wonderful treat now and will be even more so this winter. I would really enjoy reading the book now that my canning evenings are slowing. Thank you for all of your insights and help.

  187. So many in mind, but plum cake is one of them. I had been
    trolling the web for the perfect recipe that matched the one
    my Mom made growing up. Luisa’s looks amazing and is on
    my to do list.

  188. My grandparents would hang long sweet red peppers in their garage until they dried out and then would fry them in olive oil until crispy. Then we would put a ton of salt on them and eat them with eggs. They were one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life and have never been able to duplicate them.

  189. My favorite food memory is when at christmas time we would have fresh polish kielbasa, and love the cheese pierogi what a treat. and all bake goods of course!

  190. My favorite food memory – just 2 weeks ago I taught my daughter how to make peach butter. Since I had it in the crock pot overnight the whole house filled with the fragrance of peaches and cinnamon. She woke up the biggest smile on her face that I had ever seen. Much better than waking the kids to the smell of bacon!

  191. one of my favorite food memories is my dad letting me pick out the pickle from the enormous barrel at the deli. he’d slice it when we got home and we’d eat all of it with our sandwhiches. happy birthday dad! i miss you.

  192. When I was a little girl, my grandmother worked at a small German bakery. My mom used to take my brother and I there to see “where Gramma worked” and we would get to “help” put pastries in the oven and of course we always got a chance to sample the yummy treats. My favorite was the sour cream kuchen and the apple cinnamon filled donuts they made in the fall. Yum.

  193. my favorite food memory is cooking with my grandmother. she is an amazing cook and i hope to pass on her recipes to my kids someday ๐Ÿ™‚

  194. I grow up in the 50’s on a farm in Nebraska and as soon as school was out, we began canning, preserving, freezing. My favorite smell was that of the dill blossom and stuffing cucumbers into huge jars. And then there were times when my mom found a choke cherry tree and so there was jelly. And wild strawberries along the back roads. And chickens to butcher and put up in the freezer. The best day of the year was when our Saturday dinner came from our garden and the chicken coop. Good times.

  195. My favorite food memory is of my whole family making tons and tons of cookies for christmas. We’d give plates away to teachers, the bus driver, dad’s barber, the mail man, and neighbors.

  196. Honestly, I think my favourite food memory is the first time I had dinner at my now-husband’s place. He’d promised to cook me dinner, and I was expecting something a la Rice-a-Roni, like every other boyfriend I’d had. Instead, he cooked a four course feast, all the recipes were from the Caribbean (May 2005) issue of Bon Appetit. I knew right then that he was the one for me.

  197. My favorite food memory is watching my grandfather slice corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day dinner. He made the best corned beef and I got to steal the loose pieces!

  198. I remember being in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother as a very young child – maybe 3. They were chatting and making cream of wheat for me. I looked up and saw the cream of wheat box and now every time I see that box it takes me back to that moment and I feel safe and content.

  199. I grew up in Germany and my mother was an expert Pflaumenmuss maker though she did it on the stove top. My favorite use for Pflaumenmuss to this day is Rohrnudeln, a wonderful yeasted roll fill with Pflaumenmuss and baked in the oven and served warm with vanilla sauce. Heaven on a plate and certainly one of my fondest food memories. My mother would occasionally make this dish for dinner with a green salad on the side for good measure!

  200. My favorite food memory: The dish wasn’t really anything special, it was just the first time I followed a recipe all on my own and came out with a result that actually kinda looked like the picture in the book. Victory!

  201. A 17 year-old Palestine and Polish boy with carmel skin and blue eyes…
    A pottery studio…
    And my 16 year-old southern country girl self presented with Turkish Delight as a declaration of his love.

    He clearly didn’t know that a southern girl from Redneck-ville USA would have no idea what a treat this gooey-sugary delicacy is and I wasn’t about to tell him. I fell in love with food that day, probably more so than with him and began learning what a big place my the world is through my palate.

    I’ve enjoyed many food memories since then but the first taste of something beyond my comfort zone is still my favorite.

  202. My favorite food memory is spending summers when I was 3-4 years old with my “Mommom” in her skinny city row home. I would spend hours helping her make crunchy, buttery chicken cutlets and hand rolled pierogies.

    • Tia, I would love you forever if you could share your grandmothers rabbit stew recipe. I have yet to find one that isn’t too sweet, too bland and makes me sad i wasted a rabbit on it.

  203. My favorite food memory happened just last week- cooked for my parents, who are picky eaters and have never acknowledged my (growing) skills, and they finally complimented my meal with genuine enthusiasm. So nice to treat them after years of eating their food.

  204. My favorite memory is “helping” my mother while she canned green beans. She always canned everything we grew and whatever anyone would give her. She was fast at getting the beans in the jars and keeping everything hot. When I was learning, I was slow, so she would let me help a little then finish herself so the beans and jars stayed hot. Now I cherish those memories and wish I had paid more attention to all the other vegetables and fruits she canned!

  205. I think my favorite memory involves preparing peach cobbler with my Grandmother. (Using her canned peaches of course!) She never wrote down any of her recipes and I wanted to have them to make after she was gone. They way she taught me was by having me make it with her and her saying, add enough (insert food item) so it feels like this when you stir it. Cook it long enough so it looks like this, and so on. Although I would prefer to cook with a recipe, I have been able to re-create that peach cobbler by stirring it and cooking it just so.

  206. This recipe sounds so easy and delicious! I love the deep purple!

    My favorite food memory was way back when I was about 4, I carved out a giant pumpkin (that I just about fit inside at the time) with my grandma and then we roasted the seeds and baked some pie pumpkins and winter squash that we made into a puree and used to layer over slices of apples and pears for the most amazing pies. I still make the pie ever year for Thanksgiving and add some maple syrup and toasted pecans to the top!

  207. My favorite food memory is taking Home Ec (remember that class in junior high?) and already knowing how to cook the simple recipes they were teaching. Way to go Mom … you really were teaching me without either of us realizing it.

  208. Favorite food memory is probably playing swords with dried spaghetti as my mom would cook dinner in the evening. A close second is the first time I made jam (for my (now) husband’s birthday) and my roommate and I sat in the family room waiting to hear the jars “pop.” We’d do a little happy dance each time we heard one!

  209. My favorite food memory is making my first cake with my dad – I realize how he really is the person who showed me how much fun baking is!

  210. In my family, the expression “just like Grandma used to make” is usually a cause to run the other way. One grandmother kept her cookie jar full of Fig Newtons and iced oatmeal cookies. I don’t know if she ever baked. At least she knew her limitations.

    On the other hand, my other grandmother was a big fan of TV dinners and instant foods (cup a soup was a big deal, as were canned potato pancakes- just slice and fry!). She couldn’t understand why, when making up a box of mac & cheese, nobody would eat it after she sprinkled the dry cheese powder onto the plain, cooked macaroni.

    So, most of my favorite food memories revolve around the humor of some cooking disasters, like the time my mom decided to pick the gorgeous purple grapes from the arbor in our yard, but produced a green grape jelly. She had peeled all of the grapes. Or, the now famous Thanksgiving when the turkey cooked all night at 450 degrees, resulting in a pan full of fat and drippings, and a dried out turkey carcass (it turned out that the temperature regulator on the oven was broken). And, my grandmother’s sweet potato pie recipe? Take a pie shell (frozen, of course), open a can of sweet potatoes, mash them up, add a dash of cinnamon and stuff it into the pie shell. Bake it until it’s burnt around the edges. When I made a sweet potato pie a few years later (which was delicious, by the way), my brother, having been traumatized by tasting my gramma’s version, refused to try it at first.

    And so, we like to sit around the holiday table, after eating a delicious dinner (gramma is not allowed to cook, and mom sticks with what she knows), and laugh over the memories of culinary nightmares in the family history. And those laughs, shared by the entire family, are some of the best food memories ever.

  211. My favorite food memory? My grandmother’s pot roast dinners, followed by her signature layer cake. Sheer heaven, and one that’s been missing from my life since 1985.

  212. There are so many fond food memories. The best, however, is probably Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup, which myself and my siblings loved beyond reason. I once asked for the secret and found out she spiked it with extra chicken bouillon to enhance the flavor, but I think the real secret was the heap of parmesan cheese we ladled into it! Now that we are vegetarian she doesn’t make it for us any more, but I sort of wish she would.

    The runner up is making fudge. My great-Aunt Tubba (as a baby one of the cousins couldn’t pronounce “Ann” and ended up with Tubba — no lie) used to make fudge for every major family vacation. When she died I was 12 and my mother decided that I could carry forth the tradition, helping me make it for christmas boxes. When I moved to college, I decided to carry it on even when it required borrowing kitchens from friends while living in the dorms. The only thing I’ve changed is to take the walnuts out, which everyone has thanked me for!

  213. My favorite food memory is my mom’s canned fruits and vegetables. We kept them in our basement (which was made of fieldstone and was pretty creepy to a young kid), in the old coal room (even creepier because it had black walls from the coal). In order to eat the wonderful pickles, tomatoes, pears, and currant, strawberry and other jellies and jams, I had to get up the nerve to go into the basement and into the coal room to get them. It was always worth it.

  214. Since I usually just cook for myself some of the “bigger” meats (whole turkey) were a bit of a mystery. One Thanksgiving a group of friends organized a potluck, with the main course prepared in the church basement where we were celebrating the meal. There were enough of us that two whole turkeys were needed. I was reading the instructions on how to cook the turkey thoughtfully provided on the plastic turkey bag. Giblets bag? Couldn’t find it. I looked and looked. Asked my friend Greg, the other turkey chef. He said, ‘Oh, don’t worry about it, I didn’t find one either’. Proceeded to try to get the plastic leg binding thingy loose. It was an epic struggle and by the time I got it disengaged the turkey had been roughed up enough that the plastic bag of giblets fell out of …. the neck cavity? Who knew there was one? Greg had gotten his bird into the oven before I did. ‘The neck, they’re in the neck!!!’. Fortunately the plastic hadn’t melted yet and we retrieved them. If you need to hide something in a turkey, I know where….

  215. my favorite memory is baking bread with my mom when I was little. I had my own kid sized pans for my breads. my mom said it was necessary because I had weird flavor combinations (i remember christmas cookie sprinkles in one…), but I loved standing at the counter with her mixing and kneading the bread.

  216. My favorite food memory is of my grandmother going into the kitchen and telling her cooks what to do with the dishes. She would stand behind the stove and taste the dishes while telling the cook to add more of this or chop half of that. Although she had maids (she lived in the Philippines) to do the chopping and cleaning, she was the one who told them what to do and how to do it. And of course the she was the first taster!

  217. My favorite food memory is making peanut butter cookies with my grandma. I always marveled at the way the fork would make those perfect ridges. ๐Ÿ™‚

  218. My favorite food/cooking memory was the first time I followed a cookbook recipe (Fanny Farmer Cookbook) for pot roast. I was determined to make an adult dinner for my college friends and it took me an entire afternoon because I did a “dry run” first. I’m still hearing from friends who remember that dinner – linen tablecloth, candles, wine, matching china and silverware – salt AND pepper shakers, and the most incredible apple pie (also from Fanny). It did something to my self esteem as “a woman” – you see this was back in the mid-60’s and we were still going to college to get our “MRS” degrees. I lived in a small dorm and three married before graduation and one the day after graduation and four within a couple of years after that. And they all got a Fanny Farmer Cookbook from me at their showers!

  219. Tastingeach kind of apple at the orchards, first with my mother, and later with my son, tochoose the best ones to brin g home.

  220. Our small but mighty Italian family has a fantastic meat sauce recipe. I guess it’s what the rest of the world would call Italian Gravy. You simmer meatballs, sausage, and thin sliced pork chops all day in a seasoned tomato sauce. It’s amazing! My best memory of this sauce would be about ten years ago when I finally had the good sense to watch my mom make the sauce and write it all down. It’s a memory that I’ll forever treasure, writing and talking with my mom as she shared our family’s favorite meal. Now, I have a real recipe to pass down to the next generation. On a personal note, I made this sauce for my fiance on our second date, I guess it somewhat proves that the way to a man’s heart really could be through his stomach.

  221. The holidays with my mom cooking – to this day she insists on doing it all herself, and the menu never changes, but there’s something very comforting in the preidictableness of it all.

  222. Favorite food memory….that’s a tough one. I’m having fond memories of my grandmother’s macaroni salad, and fond memories of fresh-baked bread and fresh jam. Yum.

  223. My favorite food related memory is fishing and gardening with my dad. He was so passionate about both. I wish he were alive now so I could enjoy both with him. He passed just when I really started getting into food, preserving, etc. I’ll bet he watches me from above and smiles ๐Ÿ˜‰

  224. In high school I attempted my dad’s favorite pie- lemon meringue. I buttered up with pie dish too thickly and the whole crust came sliding down during baking and I was unable to salvage it.

  225. I don’t have one favorite, but a thing that has always been a joke in our family is that I love Thanksgiving dinner so much that I hurried out just in time. I was born on Thanksgiving day at 11:47 am and even the years when my birthday wasn’t on Thanksgiving I always wanted that meal. And the year we celebrated Thanksgiving early and spent the actual holiday in the rain roofing a garage I was a seriously upset girl. I remember we had pizza for lunch and lasagna for dinner and I’ve yet to forgive my mother for a Thanksgiving full of Italian food (which I normally love). And I still adore our traditional Thanksgiving feast!

  226. My yiayia made a squash pita that is, to this day, the most delicious and comforting dessert I’ve ever eaten. Go into a Greek restaurant and ask for kolokithopita and they’ll laugh, shake their heads, and say that no one makes it any more. But they should.

  227. Oh, so many! But the first one that came to mind was learning to make bread from a neighbor, then having fresh, warm bread with butter she had churned and honey her bees had made. Nothing will ever be quite so wonderful.

  228. My favorite food memory is from the summer of 1976 when I sat in the dark of night with a friend eating a mango. We both had juices dripping down our faces and all the senses we had available were taste and touch and sound. The taste was fabulous.

  229. What I think has become one of my most favorite food memories, is having an over-abundance of heirloom tomatoes from my own garden, searching the internet for what to do with them, stumbling across the Yellow Tomato with Smoked Paprika Jam recipe and canning for the first time in my life. That has been one of the most tastiest condiments I have ever tasted and every time I walk past my jars in the kitchen, I look at the beautiful jewel toned color with a sense of pride and accomplishment. I think that recipe alone has started a canning addiction I’m not quite sure will ever stop! I’ve been looking at every bit of fruit and vegetable since then and wondering what recipe I can use to can those too! Apple butter here I come…

  230. My best food memory is helping my mom with chocolate cream pie.

    I don’t know if anyone will see this question buried in all the entries, but what are your thoughts on using regular black or red plums instead of Italian prune plums? Does it make any real difference?

    • If i remember correctly (its been a while since i got my hands on italian prune plums) they have a much deeper flavor than the un-named reds and blacks that show up i markets this time up year.
      I have every intention of making this tomorrow with black plums, but i will be tasting them after the roasting, to see if they should be either cooked down more, or are in need of a little help from spices.
      If it tastes good, CAN IT!

  231. I totally remember my mom setting up a kid’s table in the middle of the kitchen, placing a bowl of sugar and another bowl of lemon wedges on the table. Then my brother and I would go to town on the lemons dipped in sugar, playing a game to see who could resist the pucker/tart face the longest.

  232. My favorite food memory is being 5 years old and helping my mom can dozens of quarts of green beans. My job, (And I LOVED it) was to use an repurposed spatula stick, sans spatula, to poke down the sides of the quart jars, removing all the bubbles. I was excruciatingly thorough.
    As usual, i turned a 2 minute job into a 20 minute production. Mama never complained and I was so proud to have such an important job!

  233. My favorite memory is watching my grandma cut up a whole chicken to fry. She would just hold the chicken down in the kitchen sink and cut it up with a big knife. I even asked her about a year ago to come and do it at my house with my husband and 2 kids watching. I videotaped it!

  234. My favorite food memory is my Granny’s cornbread dressing (yep, Southern) that we had every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I spend my holidays every year trying to perfect mine to taste just like hers! It’s one of my favorite things!

  235. Favorite food memory? Too many to count.

    Today’s favorite memory: Having homemade noodles & homemade pasta. Why? Because it’s the first time I’ve ever made noodles. I also put about a half-cup of pumpkin in the noodle dough- pumpkin from our garden last year that I’d pureed and frozen. The sauce came from tomatoes, peppers, celery, garlic, onions, and herbs we grew ourselves this year, some things from seeds or plants that overwintered from last year (or even older).
    This garden has been important to me in a number of ways. It’s been a big part of us eating and being healthier (both eating the food from it and the physical acts of caring for the garden). It’s also been one of the biggest signs of my husband and I growing closer from when we were first dating through the present – when we were first dating and I asked him to help me get some bags of soil from the nursery to my house, he said “Okay, but that’s all I’m going to do – don’t expect me to garden with you.” He’s slowly gotten drawn in, away from the computer games, drawn into the amazingness of seeds growing into baby plants growing into mature yes-you-can-eat-them-now foods. Like me, he gets into geeking out on the biology, chemistry, genetics, geology, climatology, and nutrition involved in choosing what to grow, how to grow it, how to cook it, and how to preserve it. “That’s how potatoes grow?” “That’s a good bug?” “That’s what tomatoes are supposed to taste like?”
    My husband is an amazing cook too – he was even before I met him, but then the two of us get together and we can make almost anything. Now he’s even more thrilled to have really good ingredients for cooking.
    One of the ways I knew the relationship was going to be long-term was when I realized we weren’t planning two separate gardens for our respective homes anymore – we’d started taking it for granted that I’d be moving in and have to figure out how to bring my garden with me, and talking about how we were going to create this joined garden in his yard. We didn’t decide one day that yes, I think we’ll move in together. Bit by bit the “we” and “our” started creeping into our language, and happened first talking about that garden. Heck, we even got married in the garden.

    So my bowl of pasta & sauce the other night is pretty much a little mini-celebration of, among other things, my relationship with my husband.

  236. Favorite food memory…has to be fall when I was little, when we would sit around the table after dinner and dad would crack apples in half by putting is thumbs in the stem divot. I thought he was so magical, like a super hero dad. We would eat apple slices with REALLY aged cheddar cheese and the crystals would crunch with the apple. Western New York in the fall really is the best ๐Ÿ™‚

  237. One of my favorite food memories is eating mountains of lasagna when I was little, and having my parents say that I had a hollow leg… that’s where all the food was going!

  238. My favorite food memory is making strawberry jam with my mom growing up. We’d go strawberry picking at a local farm early in the morning and make the jam when we got home. Before canning it, we would skim off the foam and after all the jars were in the canner, we’d make buttered toast and spread the foam on top.

  239. I’m not sure I can think of THE favorite food memory, but I did have an excellent one from yesterday. I made challah with my one and three year olds yesterday. And by “with”, I mean I made most of it and they loved eating it. It was really special to share the day with them while getting to make something delicious at the same time.

  240. Finding wild plums on the creek bank while fishing with my grandparents, filling up all the minnow buckets and bailing cans with sweet ripe plums and then going home to make beautiful hot pink jam together

  241. Umm, I have a few that stick out to me, but I’ll play nice and only share one. As a child probably the only candy I did not care for was orange slices. I remember older relatives seemed to love them and usually offered them to me when I would visit, and I always tried them, but just couldn’t develop a taste for them. Shortly after I married my grandmother, who could make anticipation for any event exciting with her contagious enthusiasm, and wonderful descriptions, began to tell me about an orange slice cake she had made. She talked about this cake for my entire visit, and offered to make one for us. I told her not to, explaining that I had never really cared for orange slices. The cake worked it’s way into the conversation several more times, and about a week after we returned home I gave in to the haunting that had followed me and searched out the recipe and baked the cake. Just as I expected, I did not care for it, but in tribute to my Mimi’s storytelling abilities I simply had to try. That was 30 years ago, and I’m wondering if my taste have changed? I may just have to make it again!

  242. I love Luisa too!

    I have many favorite memories but the one that I still observe today is popcorn and chocolate milk on Sunday evenings. I grew up in a Mennonite community and Church was a must every Sunday morning. Sunday was also the day to visit family and friends and many Sunday afternoons were spent at my Uncle Lonnys’ home. All the children would play outside while the adults visited with each other.
    Late in the afternoon aunt Mary would start popping popcorn. She would pop huge bowls full of popcorn and stir up several large pitchers of cold chocolate milk. We would eat all the popcorn we wanted and washed it all down with chocolate milk.

    To this day popcorn is best on Sunday evenings and I always always serve it with chocolate milk.

  243. When I was 17 my grandmother took me to Austria. I have no idea where we were exactly, but the tour guide took us to this lake with a pastry shop next to it. The pastry was the most delicious pastry I have ever had, everything was so flaky, buttery, not too sweet, fresh and wonderful. To this day nothing has compared, and every pastry I eat is meh :o)

  244. There’s 2 really – smelling freshly baked bread in the oven when coming home from school…and all it was was frozen bread dough that my mom bought at the grocery store. But the best part was eating a slice of it with melting butter! And the other was all us kids (there was 5) sitting around the dining table, waiting for my dad to cut up oranges or a pineapple, as he doled them out while telling us stories. Awww! Happy childhood memories!

  245. Furiously picking ripe yellow plums into plastic grocery bags from my grandpa’s pick-up truck with my grandpa and sister one summer. And then making jars and jars of delicious yellow plum preserves.

  246. I will always remember the many enchanted evenings spent cooking, talking, eating, and cleaning up the kitchen when my now husband, then boyfriend, would come over to my apartment for our weekend date nights.

  247. My favorite food memories are sharing thanksgiving dinner with my family and friends. it’s usually a large group — it’s been as many as 30 — and a potluck so it’s totally chaotic, but always marvelous. I love trying what each person has contributed.

    Not surprisingly, I am always stuffed by the meal’s end.

  248. So hard to choose…my dad was the primary cook, and he canned and pickled and preserved with a passion. He also bought beef in bulk from local farmers and ground the hamburger himself (and this was in the 60’s and 70’s.) I remember the smell of that beef, and how he would let my sister and me have a tiny bit as tartare, with just a touch of salt. Wouldn’t dream of doing that with any “commercial” beef today!!! And his homemade and canned tomato juice was luscious…now I am trying to get back to those great preserving ways.

  249. My grandmother used to make applesauce every fall. I find my year a bit incomplete and out of balance if I don’t do the same. I miss her terribly.

  250. My dad loves to cook, and so when I was growing up, we ate lots of varied, homecooked meals – all very healthy. When we went to visit my grandmother in the midwest for the first time, I was delighted to discover that she stocked her fridge with a huge package of American cheese slices, which we never got to eat at home. I ate them up greedily, along with cookies and other goodies I normally didn’t get to have at home. Isn’t that what grandmothers are for? These days, I have a better taste in cheese – but I have a special place in my heart for processed cheese food.

  251. Making sugar cookies for Christmas with my mom and brother: using my grandmother’s old cookie cutters, carefully decorating each cookie, and getting to eat the bits that broke off!

  252. My favorite food memory is my grandfather making blueberry pie. He and I would go out and pick the wild blueberries along the rail road tracks, then he would make the best pie with it.
    I can’t wait to try this recipe for plum butter.

  253. My favorite food memory was going to my grandparents when my great-grandmother was staying with them. She would make delicious meals – our family favorite were the little pizzas! So simple but such love went into creating dozens of them for us all to enjoy to our hearts content.

  254. My favourite food memory is making “Petes de soeurs” = nun’s farts with my mother. The left-over dough scraps from making pies is rolled out, covered with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon then rolled up like a jelly roll, sliced and baked…pure deliciousness and great bonding with my mum!

  255. It’s kind of an anti-foodie food memory, but I still love mac & cheese out of the blue box simply because it’s what my mom would make on Sunday afternoons after we did the grocery shopping for the week. It always signaled that we would be spending the afternoon in while she did laundry and read to me from the Little House books.

  256. I have two favorite food memories – eating Christmas cookie dough that my mom would make every. single. year. (she would actually make the cookie dough and set aside some for me and my brother just to eat raw) and also the first homemade meal that I ever made for my husband – homemade spaghetti ๐Ÿ™‚

  257. Just one? I grew up in the middle of an apple/pear orchard. On the way home from school in the fall I would pick a few perfect Rome Beauty apples for our afternoon snack. Can’t beat fresh off the tree!

  258. My favorite food memory is a birthday dinner that I experienced at the Black Cat Restaurant in Boulder, Colorado. I had just gotten back from a trip to NYC and had dinner at Le Bernardin. It was amazing but the birthday dinner really sticks in my mind as the chef is a friend and was so into making the food for my meal special. Food really can be love.

  259. My favorite food memory is the first time I spent Christmas Eve dinner with my girlfriend’s Ukrainian family. Bowls of borscht followed by a never ending supply of dumplings, fish, fruit, cabbage rolls…..I was in heaven.

  260. My favorite food memory involves smelling the whole wheat bread baking and then looking at the lovely golden brown loaves cooling on the rack. Finally, with butter & jam, eating it!!

  261. My brother made my rehearsal dinner and it was amazing. You could tell he really wanted to make it the best he could and everyone enjoyed it. I still look back with mouth watering and heart warming memories.

  262. Favorite food memory: my grandma’s chocolate chip cookies. She made them with black walnuts and kept them in her red McCoy cookie jar and they weren’t complete without a few strands of white persian cat hair from her cat. LOL

  263. My favorite food memory as a little girl was when my dad would take an apple and slice it VERY thin (horizontally, so that the stars would be in the middle). He would then put the apple back together and present it to me on a plate…looking like a whole, uncut apple. When I would try and eat it…voila!…the slices would separate. It always made me laugh and think he was a magician.

  264. Mine is probably baking pies with my mom. She would give me a little piece of the dough and I would roll and reroll and generally mangle it as long as I could. Then we’d bake it with a little milk and sugar and that would be my personal pie.

  265. just one memory? well, i guess it would be the first time i watched the canning process done by my folks. dad was moving a hot pot of something across the kitchen, splashed hot liquid on his hand and howled till he could safely put that pot down. had blisters, and i was too scared to can for many years. then i made a garden. the rest is history and i have not scalded myself yet. i didn’t just jinx myself did i?

  266. My favorite food memory is the first trip I made to a CSA farm with my young daughter. We were picking up food from my sister’s share and it was magical to see my toddler walking through the rows, picking and eating delicious, ripe and organic food. Her face was stained with strawberry juice and she was beaming with pride.

  267. My favorite food memory is salmon fishing with my dad in southeast Alaska… and the subsequent smoking and canning marathon that ensued shortly afterwards!

  268. I’d love to check out Berlin Kitchen. Many of my food memories are from my Mom’s & Grandma’s German cooking. That & good ole Troidl’s in Buffalo – the best Sauerbraten ever. Yum.

  269. I got my love of canning by watching my mother make grape jelly. I remember seeing the bag of grapes hanging from a kitchen cupboard and the juice slowly dripping into the bowl below.

  270. My fav food memory is warm pancakes on Sunday mornings when it’s snowing outside. My family happy at the table all sticky and satisfied ๐Ÿ™‚

  271. My favorite food memory was making kolachki with my family at Christmas time. We got together and made alot, then each took home some. Making memories with family is part of food memories!

  272. My favorite food memory is my grandmother’s mac and cheese. I have yet to be able to reproduce it like I remember it–and she did it without a recipe! Still working on it…..

  273. My very first make-it-from-scratch cooking foray in one of my first apartments. I had just turned 25, my very best friend had come to visit me in New York for my birthday, and we had gone on a stroll through Chinatown buying up whatever looked interesting. I’d put the word out to people that if they showed up at some point that afternoon, they would get fed for free.

    My roommate had forgotten I was doing that, and had invited some of his own friends over for a card game; but I told them that hell, there would be plenty of food so they were probably all doing us a favor by being there. My roommate then offered to do all the dishes as “my birthday present.”

    We made a five-course Chinese menu from scratch — everything from mung bean thread salad to pot stickers to fried rice to beef and broccoli to red bean cakes — and other friends were drifting in over the course of the afternoon while we were cooking, until I had about 17 people in my tiny living room. We ran out of chairs and someone had to sit on the stepladder and someone else sat on an overturned bucket, and everyone had to balance plates on their laps. But everyone raved about the food, and I was especially touched to see that we all made one big circle of friends at an enormous “table” rather than have people gather in little clusters while we ate. And my roommate did make good on doing the dishes (although, because there were so many, he had to wash them in the bathtub).

  274. My favourite memory of food – climbing those trees, that yield those plums, in Germany as a small child, dodging wasps and eating as much as I could. I still hanker for that.

  275. Picking raspberries in my grandparents’ backyard. Every time I pick a fresh raspberry I am reminded. Oh, and I LOVE Italian prune plums. Thanks for the giveaway!

  276. When I was little I would sit on my grandmother’s counter each fall and watch her create magic. A homemade pie crust could essentially be rolled with her eyes closed and later that day it would be make the most amazing apple dumplings that bubbled over at the core with a lava of butter and red hots (her secret) that made an warm, red, cinnamon-y glaze.

    The best however was a few weeks later when she started to prepare for Christmas. I remember walking into her house and the entire living room would be covered top to bottom with cookie trays and tins waiting to cool and be frozen for the holidays. They were stacked on tables, chairs, the ironing board, on top of the hutch-it was a little girls dream to see all these haystacks, thumbprints, biscotti, buckeyes, potica, baklava, pecan nutballs, peanut butter blossoms, spritzers, chocolate candies of every flavor and so many more just knowing that soon I would have my fill. The wait until Christmas was worth it (probably because I would sneak some) and it was better than any present Santa could have brought.

  277. What a great method for fruit butter! I do my apple butter in the crockpot and it turns out delish! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  278. My favorite food memory is all about family. I learned from Mom, my grandmothers, aunts. I learned with my sisters, brother, cousins. I remember being at my grandma’s farm, picking fresh veggies and fruits, digging up potatos, shaking the trees and harvesting pecans. But the best parts were sitting on the porch or in the big kitchen and prepping everything. Shelling nuts, popping peas, shucking corn, and even processing meat. I was a city girl who was able to get a taste of a simpler life, full of satisfying foodie-work. ๐Ÿ™‚

  279. My memories involve a lot of comfort food – my grandma’s fried chicken and my mother’s ham casserole. The casserole recipe is also a favorite of my kids, in fact I just made it Monday night at the request of my 17yr old son!

  280. Found the answer:
    Jam is a thick mixture of fruit, pectin, and sugar that is boiled gently but quickly until the fruit is soft and has an organic shape, yet is still thick enough that it spreads easily and can form a blob. In addition to being a spread, jams are also good for fillings.

    Jelly is made from sugar, pectin, acid, and fruit juice and is a clear spread that is firm enough to hold its shape. Jellies can also be made from ingredients other than fruit, such as herbs, tea, wine, liqueurs, flowers, and vegetables.

    Fruit butter is a smooth and creamy spread that is created by slow-cooking fruit and sugar until it reaches the right consistency; these types of spreads are not always translucent and are often opaque. Fruit butters are best used as a spread and a filling.

    Preserves are spreads that have chunks of fruit surrounded by jelly.

    Conserves are made with dried fruits and nuts and are cooked. They have a very thick and chunky texture. Conserves work very well as a spread and as a condiment for meats and cheeses.

    Marmalade is a citrus spread made from the peel and pulp of the fruit. Marmalades are cooked for a long time and have no pectin, and are used as spreads and glazes.

  281. hmmm…I think I would have to say that my favorite food memory is eating Vegetable Beef Soup while I was growing up. We always ate it the same way, with a piece of buttered, store-bought bread to make sandwiches out of the beef and then dunk into the broth. I make my children eat it the same way! ๐Ÿ™‚

  282. One of my favorite food memories was sitting on my Grandma’s kitchen cabinet “helping” her make cookies. She taught me most everything about cooking-which I’m eternally grateful for! ๐Ÿ™‚

  283. My favorite food memories are when my grandmother would come to stay with us during the summer. She would cook all of our favorite dishes that we only seemed to have while she was with us.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  284. I’m going to make this right away! Perfect timing. It reminds me of my mom’s plum chutney, but I love the idea of baking the plums.

  285. Best food memory: making my first pie at the age of 9 for my dad. Shoofly pie, his favorite. And I made ONE pie when the recipe called for two. It was a big, messy, delicious pie that my dad loved.

  286. I always remember the homemade rabbit and noodle soup that my mom makes! We raised the rabbits, Dad was always the one who butchered them. He would bring them in the house and we, (Mom, Dad and the three girls) would work together to put up as many quarts of rabbit as we could! That night we would always put on a big steaming pot of rabbit soup. Mom would then pull out the flour, eggs, salt and water and whip up some of the BEST noodles ever!!! Food and fond memories always go hand in hand in my family!!!!

  287. Rigatoni with my Italian grandmotherโ€™s marinara sauce. This dish is a part of my favorite food memory because my grandmother was so impressed that a slender young girl of 15 could pack away a half a pound of these โ€œmacsโ€ and still have room for dessert! She was a beautiful woman with the same cooking artistry that all of the Italian women in her family had. My portion size has decreased drastically since that memorable dinner over ten years ago but now that my own kitchen is filled with heirloom appliances and utensils, I feel the need to satisfy my loved ones with as much home cooking (and now home preserves!) as possible.

  288. I’ve been wanting to get a copy of this book. Thank you for the chance to win it! My favorite food memory is when I lived in a place that had an apricot tree in the yard. There is nothing like tree ripened apricots.

  289. Yum, this looks delicious. Would love to win this book! Favorite food memory: smearing Nutella on a baguette & calling it lunch (& later dinner) while riding trains across Western Europe. Simple food never tastes as good as when you have the most incredible views of the Swiss Alps or the Italian coast.

  290. My favorite food memories were watching my son eat baby food plums. After you spooned the plums into his mouth, he would squeeze his eyes shut, scrunch up his face and pucker up his lips. As soon as he swallowed, he would open his eyes really wide and his mouth even wider for the next bite. It was the cutest thing!

  291. My favorite food memory is making and canning persimmon butter with my mother, after spending hours searching the woods for the yummy little fruits. <3

  292. My dad had this huge, octagonal stainless steel pancake griddle that had belonged to his father. One of my favorite food memories is of him making pancakes for us with it on the weekend. He even made a perfect pancake flipping spatula to go with it!

  293. Loved the plum butter recipe! My mom, every winter, would make a big batch of egg salad. We would have “ski days” as kids, where we would get out of school to go skiing. We loved it. The best part was eating my mom’s egg salad sandwiches in the lodge. I don’t know what it was, maybe the fact that we were always cold and tired by that time, but the egg salad sandwiches never tasted better!

  294. My best canning memory was at my Great Aunt’s house and seeing her gorgeous red and green colored beet rings. They were breath taking colors and masterfully done. It has been my inspiration in canning to this day!

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of My Berlin Kitchen. Luisa has a great blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

  295. Funny how time transforms your tastebuds. My food memory is from when my mom made beef tongue stew. I was adamant about not eating it. I remember trying very little of it then. Just a few months ago, I made it myself and loved it. It made me think of mom’s cooking. I wish I would have eaten more of it when I was a kid. Maybe it wouldn’t have taken me almost 30 years to try it again and fall in love.

  296. My favorite food memory is of making “cookie soup” with my dad. We would crush up oreos in a bowl and pour milk over them. It was so tasty!

  297. My favorite food memory is at my grandmother’s. I miss her meatloaf and boiled potatoes and carrots with butter. Simple food but delicious! Grandma did alot of canning too and I wish she was still here to ask for advice!

  298. This one took a bit of effort to decide on my favorite food memory, but I finally found it. I absolutely adore my dad’s potato chowder. My mom is usually the cook in the house, but when the weather turns from sunny summer ‘grilling days’ into blustery fall ‘comfort food’ days, my dad would always don an apron and get to work on his chowder. Since I now live on the opposite side of the country and can’t pop in for a ‘confab and chowder day’ he shared his recipe with me. Turning his “oh a handful of this and a spoonful of that” measurement system into something close to my memories has taken a bit of time that has been worth the effort as family and friends consistently give rave reviews on it.

  299. I must be hungry because as I read through everyone’s comments I come up with a similar experience, and that immediately becomes what I need to make/eat next. I’ll stick with what first came to mind, going out with the whole family after dinner for ice cream at the dairy in the next town, chocolate ice cream cone with jimmies.

  300. there are too many good food memories that i have…but one of my earliest is helping my mom make holiday pies and her letting us make “baby” pumpkin pies in old metal measuring cups with the leftover dough!

  301. Choosing a single favorite memory is tough, but most of my favorites revolve around my grandmother’s kitchen. Cooking was how she showed her love for us, her family. She knew each of our favorite foods and made all of them whenever she knew we were stopping by. When I was preparing to get married and move to a different state, I asked Grandma to teach me how to make some of my favorites. We spent an afternoon walking through her “recipes”, which were all written in her head and consisted of a pinch of this and a drizzle of that. I don’t think I walked away from that afternoon with a single usable recipe, but I will forever treasure the memory of I have of that time.

  302. My favorite food memory is sitting with my grandmother under the pine trees behind her house and eating all the delicious, perfectly juicy nectarines we could handle.

  303. My favorite food memory has to be stuffing the turkey early on Thanksgiving morning – I was the only one who liked stuffing enough to do it, so that became my job as a kid. Oh, and my grandma Joyce’s anise bread and her krumkake. Mmmmm.

  304. My fave food memory is of my grandfather making me scalloped potatoes every family get together. I am such a fan of potatoes & always have been

  305. I have so many special memories about people and food in my life that I cannot share them all, although each brings a smile to my spirit. My earliest remembrance is growing up on a small, ten-acre farm in New Jersey. My brothers and I worked hard along side our parents and we all enjoyed incredibly delicious, healthful food. The homegrown vegetables and fruits, so fresh all summer and fall, were carefully preserved in jars or frozen by my mother and me for the rest of the year. We had homegrown milk and meat, chickens and eggs from the animals Dad raised in a small gabled red barn and several out-buildings. My father had come home from WWII, where he witnessed the starvation in Europe, and promised himself that his family would always have food. We did!! There was such a bounty that we could share with family and friends, besides filling two freezers and the shelves of the ‘cold room’ in the basement with canned foods. It is good to remember and make foods similar to those my mother, and my German or Austrian grandmothers, prepared with loving hands.
    This year my husband and I joined Blooming Glen Farm, a CSA, in a town not far from our home because we can no longer garden. Belonging there has changed our lives! Once again we have wonderful, organically grown vegetables to savor and keep us healthy. There have been new foods to try, along with suggestions and recipes for cooking them, on the farm’s detailed and caring website. (It also includes links to other excellent sites and blogs, like this one!) Life is good!!

  306. My favorite food memory is of going apple picking with my mother in Ontario, Canada. We would go every fall, riding out to the orchard on a hay wagon, returning with full buckets to sip hot cider and eat huge pieces of apple pie. I can still smell the cooked apples and cinnamon…

  307. One of my favorite memories is of my grandma and me snapping beans for her to can at the picnic table in her back yard. She loved her garden, canning, cooking, baking and ME:-) I miss her the most in the fall of the year.

  308. My mom wasn’t much of a cook, and every time she made dinner she would say how she messed it up or it wasn’t any good before we even got a taste! It usually wasn’t that bad. So, I initially learned everything from cookbooks when I got interested in cooking.

  309. All of my favorite memories and traditions with my family revolve around food. And now I am passing them to my children. Apple butter in the fall, fresh veggies from the garden in the summer, and pickles ,jams ,and sauces put away for winter. What a rich and awesome legacy to have. I think I will call my grand mother now and thank her.

  310. Since we’re on the topic of German speaking locations… When I was an exchange student in Austria, my host family took me down a long and winding road to Grandma’s cottage. There grew cherries and wild strawberries and I don’t really recall what else. But I do remember going back to our much smaller, city home, into our large-for-Europe-but-we-all-know-what-that-means kitchen and whipping up a cake, pouring it into a jelly roll pan and scattering the whole cherries across the top. When it (finally) came out of the oven and cooled, we stood in the galley kitchen and ate it, slice after slice, until there was almost none left. It was then that I learned how truly the kitchen is the heart of the home, but perhaps more importantly, that pitting cherries before putting them in a cake is absurdly unnecessary. Your guests will not mind spitting them out. I assure you!

  311. My favorite food memory is making Polish Christmas cookies with my mother every December. We still do it every year. I wish I could can and preserve those moments!

  312. My favorite food memory is of sitting on the front porch eating a slice of fresh bread, still warm from the oven, slathered in peanut butter. Yum!

  313. I really want to win this one! My Hubby spent 4 years in Germany over 20 years ago and still talks about going back with real longing in his voice! It’s also funny that you’re showing plum butter. I made 2 different versions of a plum skillet jam this year. One with purple plums…the color was outrageously gorgeous when done; and one with yellow plums…great taste but not nearly as dramatic. Thanks for a great giveaway!

  314. This recipe reminds me of the wonderful plum tarts and cakes that we enjoyed during the years we lived in Europe. I am now going to jump onto craigslist to find a local source for Italian plums and hopefully surprise my family with this recipe. It will take all of us back a few years to our wonderful time in Switzerland!

  315. Many delicious meals come to mind, but if I could go back in time, it would be any dinner my mother served sitting around the table with my parents and brothers.

  316. My favorite memory is of my grandmother and now my mother, every Sunday making a big pot of sauce and meatballs simmering on the stove for hours! They always fried the meatballs and we use the eat the freshly cooked meatballs on a fork, as a kid it was always a treat.

  317. So many wonderful food stories to tell! But since we’re in Europe with this book give away, I’ll share a short memory from Paris.
    My husband and I were engaged in Paris… what a beautiful and care free time that was! I remember walking with him for days on end through neighborhoods, over bridges, over to a cathedral or a museum. We ate at many of the chic restaurants, but my most dear food memory of that trip is buying a crepe filled with creamy nutella, folded into a triangle and wrapped in a crinkly paper that kept my hands warm on that chilly Autumn day…. I examined my new ring with each bite and felt safe for the first time in a long time…. and we planned our lives together. Wishing I had a crepe like that right now!

  318. When we’d visit my grandparents in their A-frame home deep in the woods of Wisconsin, I’d wake up early before the rest of my family and tiptoe downstairs to find my grandfather in the kitchen. I’d help him bake biscuits and we would share that quiet time before the rest of the household was awake and bustling. To this day, biscuits are one of my favorite things to bake as they remind me of those quiet mornings with him!

  319. One of my favorite food memories (I have so many), is my wedding dinner. We had a chef come in and wow us with an intimate Italian feast. There were 25 overly-stuffed and tipsy guests!

  320. One of my first significant food memories took place in my grandmothers kitchen in Long Island NY. I come from a Irish-Italian background. Both of my parents have lineage that came from Ireland and Italy straight off the boat to NY. This particular memory made me realize for the first time just how Italian my family was. My grandmother and aunts were making homemade pasta at the kitchen table and hanging them on wooden racks to dry. Well as a very curious young child surrounded by devious cousins, I decide to steal a long flat noodle from the drying rack and give it a taste. To my surprise I was not yelled at but simply laughed at as my grandmother and aunt remembered doing the same thing when they were kids watching their grandmother make pasta. As I’ve grown up I think I appreciate more and more these traditions that have shaped family and cultures alike.

  321. Throughout my childhood, our southern grandparents would drive north all the way from Mississippi and help us harvest Concord grapes from our backyard arbor here in Massachusetts. Then Gran’pa would spend a whole day magically cooking down the fruit into a delicious grape jelly. Once canned, these shiny purple jars would line our basement shelves and keep my sisters and I stocked for another year’s worth of jammy breakfast toasts and bagged-lunch PB&Js.

  322. My favorite food memory – there are so many! Probably making chocolate candies every Easter with my grandmother, mother, aunts and cousins.

  323. My favorite food memory is walking in the door from school just as my mother was pulling loaves of homemade white (GASP!) bread out of the oven. Sometimes, we were allowed to tear into a loaf while it was still so hot it could burn your fingers and butter melted too quickly to soak into the bread. There is nothing else like it.

  324. Thank you for really teaching me how to can. I finally took the plunge this year and I am addicted. There are several fond food memories but I think the one that clearly stands out is our annual Christmas meals with my family. Spicy Goan meat dishes and pilafs followed by delicious rum soaked fruit cakes. Yup, I love rum soaked fruit cakes.

  325. Hot summer days in Los Angeles, sitting under the big cool leaves of the fig tree tucked in a corner of the yard, way way in the back (kinda like the the way-back of a station wagon…). Picking just-right-ripe purple figs to peel and eat. A burst of flavor – a crunch of seeds. A party in my mouth!
    A childhood memory of summers spent with cousins and a never ending search for that perfect fig or how to preseve that taste all year round.

  326. My favorite food memory, to be honest, is my late grandmother taking me to the local bakery to buy me Cookie Monster cupcakes everytime I went to her house. It was always “our little secret” because my brothers didn’t share in the cupcakes, it was just for Nana and me. To this day, when I see Cookie Monster cupcakes (which are literally cupcakes with icing shaped into the Sesame Street character Cookie Monster, with the chocolate chip cookie shoved in his “mouth”) I have to buy one and immediately eat one. I doubt they’re the best cupcakes on Earth, but they taste even more sweet because I remember my Nana with each bite ๐Ÿ™‚

  327. My favorite memory is of my grandfather making me french pancakes, he never cooked, however, when we came to visit or stay with our grandparents, he always made us french pancakes (just like crepes), he loved making them for my brother and me. Of course we had sour cream with sugar or homemade jam that my grandmother had made. I remember my wonderful grandfather everytime I make pancakes for our grandkids.

  328. My favorite memory is making cookies with my grandmother as a child. Her home is museum-quality clean, but when baking cookies, we would have flour everywhere–hair, faces, every kitchen surface. She never batted an eye about the mess.

  329. Just found your blog a few weeks ago and made tomato jam – yum. My favorite food memory is making bread with my grandfather as a little girl (he passed away when I was 4). After my grandmother died, I found a vintage “how to make bread with yeast” poster among their things. I framed it and it hangs in my kitchen now, reminding me how precious the gift of “real” food is.

  330. huh. I thought that was called “open kettle canning” and strictly forbidden by canning authorities. I do it for select items, but I never heard it called “inversion.” Interesting.

    A favorite food memory: helping in the family garden and getting filthy, then Dad would take us to get soft ice cream. My favorite flavor was raspberry.

  331. My mother making me pastina shaped pasta with butter and salt whenever I was sick. I miss it and I can’t find the same shapes anymore as it was made by the Prince pasta company.

  332. In thinking about what might be my favorite food memory, I think I also discovered the roots of my love of gardening. Some of my earliest memories are of playing with my friend, Sonya. Her parents were sort of back-to-the-land people, and in addition to the raspberry patch and amazing plum tree in their yard, they owned an empty lot next door which was a GIANT veggie garden! I remember full days spent eating our way around the property, from berries to peas right out of the pod, to freshly pulled carrots. It’s no wonder one of my biggest goals in life is to grow & preserve as much of my own food as possible!

  333. Good food memories for are related with the Holidays at my mom in law’s house. I love the food she makes. She is 81 years of age and still insists in cooking for all of us and we are a big family.

  334. My favorite food memory is spending the weekend at my grandparents house as a little kid. My grandma would wake up early every Saturday morning and make all different types of bread. I would always help knead the dough and add the raisins and cinnamon sugar to the cinnamon raisin bread. The smell was so divine.

  335. Every year, when the first batch of new potatoes from the garden was ready, my dad would cut up a batch of them and fry them in butter with fresh dill. That was the whole dinner, and it was all we needed to satisfy.

  336. Most of my wonderful food memories come from my mother. She always said she wasn’t much of a cook (I disagree heartily) but she was an adventurous eater. We traveled almost every other year to visit relatives and on the way we ate out a lot. We were always encouraged to try new things. There isn’t much in the way of food that I don’t like because of her. She passed on her adventurous eating. Things my mom made that were incredible were her meatloaf (I have yet to be able to duplicate it), her amazing pork roasts with vegetables, and her famous orange potato salad. Thank goodness I’ve been able to duplicate the potato salad. ๐Ÿ™‚

  337. I have a few favorite food memories but the one that I go to first and brings a smile to my face was a birthday when I was a child, about 10 years old. I had chicken pox and so no party or friends over for me …. And I was VERY itchy ๐Ÿ™ So my parents made me a very special Donut Cake!!! Yup! I believe I had the very first Donut Birthday Cake ever ;D They stacked an assortment of colorful donuts and put candles in them. It is my most favorite birthday cake of all time. I wish I had a picture of it, I would post that too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ok! I’m off to make Plum Butter! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much for your blog, I have fallen in love with canning thanks to you and having tons of fun with my husband exploring your recipes and planning what we will be canning next.

    Elysia ๐Ÿ™‚

  338. You want me to narrow it down to just one food memory? Ok, here goes. My favorite food memory would have to be cooking and baking with my Gram. The smells that came out of that kitchen were unparalleled. The first time she taught me how to make ‘peaches’ – the Italian cookie that looks just like a peach! – I tried so hard, but they looked nothing liked hers… I was so sad, but she was so proud of me for working along side her. I miss my Gram so much, but every time I go to work in the kitchen, I know she’s right there beside me.

  339. My favorite food memory is the first time i tasted hot peppers (in Chinese food). Glorious! I grew up in the Midwest, and we are kinda famous for bland… but i really took to the chili heat.

  340. Hello. I just found Food in Jars and love your blog. I just started canning about a year ago and can’t stop. Each season opens new ideas and fun. My favorite food memory is learning to cook with my German grandma. Hand mixing the dumplings just right (without a written recipe). Rolling them with love, boiling till they look done. Then letting them cook in sauerkraut. Pork, gravy and goodness.

  341. My most precious food memories all relate to my Grandmother’s food. She seldom followed a recipe and turned out the most fabulous food. She made tea cakes, black walnut cake, blackberry jam (home-made jam) cake, chocolate pie, and a host of other wonderful things, savory and sweet. I have a few of her handwritten recipes and they are most precious to me.

  342. My favorite food memory was the first time that I made a complete Thanksgiving dinner for my family. I was 26 years old and never made such a large meal on my own. I used recipes out of Bon Appetit November 1988, and everything came out great.

  343. Favorite food memory is probably of tasting some high quality chocolate tasting discs at a charity party at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where I first encountered a chocolate with that characteristic fruity flavor of some chocolates. (Sadly, I don’t remember the name of the brand that was showcasing.) I hadn’t before realized that chocolate could have such a flavor, and it eventually led me to seek out better chocolate ๐Ÿ™‚ Current favorite is the ‘fruity’ dark chocolate from TCHO ๐Ÿ˜€

  344. One of my favorite food memories is my great Aunt Mamie’s date filled cookies! I have e tried to replicate them with her recipe but they fall short every time. I am convinced she possessed baking magic!

  345. My favorite food memories are different than they used to be, now that I have kids of my own. I am currently very fond of the morning I sat down to enjoy a hot a cup of coffee with a warm and flaky almond croissant that a friend had bought me as a treat. My 3-year old little girl came in the room to find me and requested to try a bite. She nestled right in next to me on the couch and devoured half the croissant, proclaiming it to be ‘the goodest croissant she ever had’. … it was her first ๐Ÿ™‚

  346. As a young child I didn’t cook much with my grandma, but I do remember the smells of certain spices, baked dishes, etc…that came from her kitchen. I LOVE to cook now and whenever I smell one of those familiar smells, it’s brings me back to childhood.

  347. Friday-afternoon couscous with my Moroccan friends at school — great friends, great memories and the start of realizing how food connects people ๐Ÿ™‚

  348. My favorite food memory is the Christmas cookies my mother made every year. There were several varieties and they were all delicious. The house always smelled wonderful when mom baked those cookies.

  349. This is a fabulous technique. I tried it recently to make fig confiture with lemon — allowing them to macerate overnight with a sprig of Thyme — delicious!

  350. Every year, I come home for Christmas a few days early and my mother and I make over a dozen varieties of Christmas cookies. We hand out big platters to everyone for the next few days and the cookies are kinds that we only make once a year. It’s a really happy thing that makes me remember a lot of past holidays.

  351. My sister just moved to Berlin to sing opera for the year, so I’ve had Berlin on the mind! I love to cook with my mom, and my favorite food memory may have happened just a few days ago, right before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. We made challah and honey cake together (both ancient recipes). Tradition + baking + family bonding.

  352. My Mom and I always started baking Christmas cookies the day after Thanksgiving. This was also the day that we started playing all the Christmas albums (dating myself with that comment). The best part was eating the “mistakes”….made you wish for broken cookies.

  353. What a great give away! My favorite food memory is my dad making malts. He’d throw malted powder, ice-cream and milk in the blender. For a kid that didn’t get to eat much sugar it was a treat!

  354. My first trip to New Orleans was when I was about 17. My dad and I got up early, while the rest of the family slept, to watch the vendors set up the produce and fish market in the French Quarter. We had beignets and cafe au lait afterwards. It was a great morning and a wonderful memory.

  355. I have always been intimidated by canning but I find myself with a variety of fruit that I would like to preserve this year. Thank you for this Blog. It has inspired me that I can can/jar my own food too! This book, My Berlin Kitchen, sounds divine! Thank you for sharing!

  356. Favourite food memory… Making an entire Winter Solstice dinner that featured garden-grown butternut squash in every course. It was my winter on my own and I was very, very proud of my garden. ๐Ÿ˜€

  357. One of my fondest food memories is at age 8 baking meringue cookies for my older brother and him telling me these were his new favorite.

  358. My greatest memory is playing on my Grandmothers screened in back porch to the high ceiling farm house and the kitchen was just inside the porch. I would watch her hook the meat grinder to her kitchen table and grind all day on Green tomatoes, cabbage, green peppers,onions and then make a huge cheese cloth full of all of these different strong smelling things and tied them together( now I know it was the spices). Then all would go on the stove. I hated that smell each year. Boy, did that stink when I was a little girl. I couldn’t wait until that day ended. BUT, when we had good ole southern pinto beans, fried potatoes, turnip greens and corn bread, she would pull out a canned jar of this stinky stuff(while cooking) but it tasted heavenly with this meal especially. I finally ask my Grandmother what it was, she said it was CHOW CHOW. When I was married I got interested in gardening again and every fall I make my Grandmother’s Chow Chow. My Grandchildren now ask, what that stinky stuff is on the stove. SO, I have had them help me can. I do have one Granddaughter that is 6, that loves to garden with me and I know that she will carry on the tradition of make good ole’ Chow Chow!

  359. My favorite food memory happened with one of my best friends. We were really craving tamales for some reason. We decide to get together and do a big batch to share with everyone. We made chile sauce, roasted pork, mixed masa, soaked our husks and were half way through our tamale makeline when a couple good friends came over with beers. They commented on how perfect it was we were making tamales for Cinco De Mayo. We had no idea! It just happened, and when they were done, oh my! So good!

  360. I grew up in a poor household, but never knew it. My mom had the most inventive ways of stretching her food dollars. At the end of the month, we always had ‘Mater Gravy and we thought it was such a treat. Made with a roux of bacon grease and flour, a can of stewed tomatoes, and lots of black pepper, Mom poured the thick gravy over the end pieces of white loaf bread that she had saved in the freezer during the month. My brother and I really looked forward to the last Saturday of every month.

  361. My favorite food memory is of canning, believe it or not. My parents kept a moderately sized victory garden when I was growing up. They grew all sorts of cukes for pickles – sweet and dill – and a wide variety of tomatoes for sauce. In addition to that, we’d go black berry picking to make jam. At the end of each growing season, I remember how wonderfully excited I was as we lined our pantry with pickles, sauces and jams. And how my mother would bake bread in the cold Pennsylvania winters for jam sandwiches or to eat with stew. But I remember most of all, and probably the fondest memory was as the jars began to dwindle, you knew spring was just around the corner and that always filled me with such excitement because I knew it’d soon be time to start all over again growing, picking, pickling and canning.

    I’d just about all but forgotten those days until recently when I came across your blog – so thank you for helping me remember and, now that I’m a mother myself, share this incredible (and so tasty!) past-time with my own children!

  362. My husband and I had the most romantic dinner out in New Orleans last year at a great Italian restaurant. We had the best chicken rosemarino and chocolate truffle ever! Thanks for your great recipes and for the chance to win!

  363. So many, my mother’s cookies at Christmas, smoked fish on an island in northern Russia, great meals with my husband (who I met when we both worked at a restaurant)…

  364. One of my favorite food memories is canning pickled beets with my grandmother. I still use her same dog-earred recipe card 30 years later.

  365. My favorite food memory is making bird’s nest Easter breads with my Mom. It’s a yearly event, has been for deades, and I ache the years I’m away.

  366. Grilled Cheese. My grandma was an amazing cook and had fantastic pastry skills that even on my best days I can’t manage to come close to. But every time we visited, the only thing we wanted was grilled cheese – she used wonder bread, a thick layer of butter, plenty of american cheese. She filled that platter full and let us eat our fill. My mom was always looking for ways healthy-up our food – crumbly wheat bread, a ceremonial wave of the margarine, and a measly slice of fat-free cheddar just didn’t measure up.

  367. Favorite food memory? – I have so many – but perhaps one of my favorites is when I was young teenager, being part of a very large family thanksgiving baking extravanganza, one that crossed at least three generations of wonderful women (and the occasional male family member, though we suspected they snacked more than they contributed!) standing around the large marble island in my great-aunt’s large kitchen, making homemade bread, sweet potatoes, french green beans, cranberry sauce, turkey, gravy, and pie, etc., while sharing old family stories about parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents. Amazing homemade food combined with priceless family memories- I honestly feel there are few things better in life.

  368. Oh, I remember the first really nice restaurant I ever went to. I was still a teenager, and went with a family I babysat for into Canada one summer. Shocked at the prices at “The Hobbit House”(?), I was encouraged to order “anything I want”. I ordered a baby salmon. I have no idea how it was prepared or what accompanied it, but what an amazing thing, an entire tasty fish. Low lights, lovely atmosphere and someone else paying the bill!

  369. My favorite food memory would have to be Thursday night dinners I used to throw for friends when we were in college…we’d eat, watch Seinfeld, and just have a good time. I think it was experimenting with cooking in those days that made me feel secure in the kitchen.

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