Early Influencers in my culinary biography were the food itself and the people who made or brought or served the food.
Events (Christmas! Birthdays! The Fourth of July!!) shaped/warped/twisted/ influenced me, and even at an early age, books.
Then there was
In spite of all the Betty food in boxes …the cake mixes, oh, the cake mixes……what I remember her best for is this:
and in it was a drawing of a Candlestick Salad
I wanted to make this. I wanted to make this even though I do not like bananas, not one little bit and I did not like them then either. I might have liked bananas even less when I was little. I didn’t even like touching bananas. Or banana smell….still.
Spare me the analysis. Sometimes a banana is just a banana.
There was also something with canned whole pears…..
I must have been studied these before I knew how to read…although I have eaten many a rabbit, my three year old self might have objected to Bunny Salad that looked so much like…a bunny. And a blue bunny, at that.
So Betty’s not a real person (although she was played by an actress for TV for a while) and her name is all over boxes in the grocery store, but she’s not the actual food, she the mixes.
She is a cookbook – several cookbooks, and a constant presence in my childhood. She’s even in my kitchen now, in the form of a red dough scraper with that signature ….signature.
The only recipe that I remember my mother using from this cookbook (henceforth BC/CB) was for the sugar cookies, a recipe I’ll be copying out on my next visit to the ancestral home.
The other thing or two I learned from the BC/CB, when I was older then three and really knew how to read, was that the Betty World had a very different way of eating then the Wall family.
BettyWorld had cake or pie for dessert EVERY night.
WallyWorld had – a fruit bowl. With Fresh Fruit. NO canned pears, fresh pears.Fresh apples. Fresh oranges. But no bananas.
Bananas were breakfast food.