Christine’s Food Memories

December 13, 2021 | Christine Hradek

This month we are kicking off a new Spend Smart. Eat Smart. series celebrating food memories. Food is so much more than fuel for our bodies. It has ties to our families, traditions and cultures and is a source of pleasure in our lives. This month you will hear from me, Katy and Jody on some of our strongest food memories.

The memory I would like to share is not tied to a fancy meal. It’s actually very simple. On my mom’s side of our family, we have always had a seasoned nut and cereal mix around Thanksgiving and Christmas. We call it scrabble. When I was a child, my Grandma Betty would make it and the smell of the garlic and Worcestershire sauce would permeate her whole house throughout the season. She would have huge popcorn tins full of it so that the small bowls around her house could be refilled anytime.

Now I make scrabble for these holidays and though our family skips the nuts due to allergies, it is otherwise pretty much the same. I even have the wooden paddle Grandma Betty used to stir it when she made it. As soon as I mix it up and put it in the oven, it feels like the holidays are here. I think this is a great example of how strong the memories tied to food are. There is a Baby Betty in our family’s youngest generation and we may just have to teach her how to make scrabble.

Will you let us know some of the foods that inspire strong memories for you on our Facebook page? We would love to hear your stories.

Happy Holidays!

Christine Hradek

Christine Hradek is a State Nutrition Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She coordinates ISU’s programs which help families with low income make healthy choices with limited food budgets. Christine loves helping families learn to prepare healthy foods, have fun in the kitchen and save money. In her spare time, Christine enjoys cooking, entertaining and cheering on her favorite college football teams with her family and friends.

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