Childhood Favorites

“Hot Jello Water” – the process of drinking the jello before you ever put it in the refrigerator to solidify. To be fair, as kids we called it Hot Jello, but mini coined it Hot Jello Water so here we are. HJW was a childhood staple/treat whenever we were sick. I think mom found a way to get calories and sugar inside our little bodies. Fun fact: my little human doesn’t like jello. Really, I didn’t know this was possible. But she loves some hot jello water!

I don’t have a photo for this next item. Even if I did, the photo would do it no justice. My mom’s famous – only to me – Mexican Casserole. Think layers of corn tortillas, cheese, and a ground beef/green chili mixture. I realize the simplicity of these ingredients, but for some reason whenever I try to recreate this dish it just isn’t “right”. Whenever I hear the words Mexican casserole, this meal immediately comes to mind but no one makes it like mom does.

Mini doesn’t know it yet but this final food will become a staple at all sleepovers and girls’ nights we ever host. The most clever name my sister and I ever came up with was “Frozen Banana Things”. To hear my mom tell the story, her mother would make these when she (my mom) and her siblings were young. Basically, you stab a single, sliced banana piece with a toothpick, top with a marashino cherry, (one banana slice, one cherry per toothpick) and assemble banana-down on a rimmed baking sheet. Then, you pour lemon juice in the baking dish until the banana slices are almost covered. Freeze the entire baking sheet until bananas are frozen. To eat, break apart (if necessary) each frozen banana thing.

Missing: cherries

According to my childhood friends, they’re addictive; a perfect sweet, sour treat. I haven’t had them in years, but I still remember the joy of making and sharing these late at night. Soon enough, the pitter patter of little feet sneaking them from the freezer will be heard. But first, rest!

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I ask you –

What childhood dishes did you enjoy?

Is there another name for the Mexican casserole I mentioned? It’s similar to King Ranch Chicken Casserole.

Share ideas for ingredients that don’t seem to go together but work well! Lemon juice and bananas!

2 thoughts on “Childhood Favorites

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