I had the most wonderful dinner tonight. Something I probably haven’t had in five years, and it will probably be another five years before I have it again. Chef Boyardee Spaghetti and Meatballs. I will have heartburn later, but it was worth it. You see, the tangy taste of Chef Boyardee sauce not only gives me heartburn, it also warms my heart. It makes me remember those days of youth when discovering that bright red can in your cabinet made your eyes light up in anticipation. Because my mom and step-dad worked in the restaurant business, a full sit-down dinner didn’t always fit into the schedule. As a result, my sister and I grew quite fond of The Chef, and he became our companion, of sorts.
Now, am I right, or does eating The Chef almost always require one to make up a piece of bread and butter to go along with it? Maybe it’s because the creamy coolness of the butter offsets the zip of the sauce, and perhaps works as a buffer to the heartburn that will come later. They should do studies on that. Unfortunately, nowadays it’s not real butter and Wonder white bread for me, it’s heavy, nutty, whole grain wheat bread and Smart-Balance with Omega-3. Not quite the same, but I made it through, relying, a whole lot, on my abundant imagination. Another thing that has changed since the 70’s when I used to relish this meal is the size of the meatballs. Have you seen these things? Man, they’re dinky! And what about the size of a Kudos bar? The packaging hasn’t changed, but they’re at least an inch shorter than they used to be, and narrower, too.
Anyway, another favorite that we used to have, every New Year’s Eve at my Grandma’s house when my parents went out, was Jeno’s Pizza Rolls. Do they still make those? We used to always get heartburn from those, too, but we were too scared to tell Grandma. Sigh, I digress (and digest, ouch!).
What are some of your favorite childhood foods? Do you remember Chocodiles? They were like chocolate-covered Twinkie’s? Those were awesome! Or Bubsdaddy’s (long, cigar-shaped gum)? The only flavor I remember is grape, but they came in different flavors, too. How about the infamous Dots, or Button candy? You tasted more paper than candy, but, for some reason, we all loved them! Let yourself reminisce for a minute and please share with us and leave a comment.
As for me and The Chef…I think we have a long night ahead of us!