“Back in the days when I was young I’m not a kid anymore
But some days I sit and wish I was a kid again” (Ahmad)
Ah…nostalgia…where we think back and start off the trips down memory lane with “Back in the day…”. From clothes to toys to food, there are memories associated with all of them, especially when it comes to our childhoods. I put together my top 12 notable nostalgic noms. Do you remember these? Do you still crave some of these things? I know I do! :)
NNN#1—Bagel Bites: Snack-sized pizza bagels.
The days before Costco was Costco, a.k.a. Price Club, my mom would take us to this new idea of bulk shopping in a warehouse and we’d crowd the samples tables to see what was being served up! Bagel Bites were always one of the top samples, along with those from-frozen mini-quiches, mini pigs-in-a-blanket and potstickers!
Of course us kids would beg our parents to get the bagel bites, after all, they were delicious and easy to prepare! But bulk as bulk can be was a whole lotta bagel bites! I got sick of these pretty quickly! Hahaha!
NNN#2—Chicken a la King: Canned “Soup” consisting of diced chicken in a cream sauce, and often with sherry, mushrooms, and vegetables.
My dad used to make us this S.O.S. (Shit On a Shingle). It was so delicious! Toasted Wonder Bread with this heated hot mess poured over it. Not only did I like the taste, it totally reminds me of my dad finding anything and everything I would eat (Yeah, I was a picky eater!).
My friend Felicity’s mom has a wonderful Chicken a la King recipe made from scratch! Canned or from scratch, I love me some of this!
NNN#3—Chicken-in-a-Biskit: Chicken-flavored Biscuit snack crackers.
I rarely got these because I rarely liked eating crackers. But these crackers were so buttery and flavorful…nothing like the dry, tasteless crackers I was used to.
Gross gluttony: After the last cracker was gone, I would dip my finger in the powdery chicken-flavored goodness at the bottom of the bag and lick it up!
NNN#4—Thrifty’s Chocolate Malted Crunch Ice Cream: Malt chocolate ice cream with little chocolate chip slivers and crunchy malty “marshmallows”.
This was, hands-down, my favorite childhood ice cream flavors. I used to attend a private school down the street from the local Thrifty’s (now Rite-Aid). Our teachers would walk us all down there to get 15¢ ice cream cones. Those cylindrical scoops of chocolatey malty goodness definitely reminds me of being
NNN#5—Frozen Fish Sticks: Does this really need a description?
Pop these frozen sticks in the oven on a piece of foil, 14 minutes at 375°F later, I’d have some semi-crunchy, fish-like sticks that I’d dip in ketchup and munch it all up! Seriously, these were the bees-knees to me! Add some tater tots, OMG, you got the ultimate 80’s ghetto-style fish n chips!
I’ve had some awesome fish n chips with delicious tartar sauce and malt vinegar, but nothing will give me the childhood memories that frozen fish sticks gives me.
NNN#6—Handi-Snacks Cheese and Crackers: Crappy cheese with crackers and a little red stick cheese spreader.
When I was in private school, my mom would usually pay for me to have hot lunches. But there were times when we’d have school field trips where I’d pull out my Holly Hobbies lunch box and my mom would pack me a lunch. She was never a sandwich-maker so she’d just load up my lunch box with snacks. Bag of chips? Check. Pudding cup? Check. Handi-Snack Cheese-n-Crackers? OH YEAH BABY.
I always felt so fancy, spreading that sub-standard, plasticky cheese onto the fragile cracker with that shitty, red plastic stick!
NNN#7—Orange Julius: Beverage mixture of orange juice, milk, sugar, ice and vanilla flavoring.
Trips to the mall usually consisted of getting some sort of croissant pastry from Grain D’or and an Orange Julius! I liked the first 5 or 6 sips of this beverage. After that, it was all foamy and nasty! I do remember that we’d get ONE Orange Julius and we’d all share it.
Did you know? In the 70s, early 80’s, Orange Julius beverage stands used a devil with a pitchfork, similar to Arizona State University’s mascot, Sparky, with the slogan, “A Devilish Good Drink”. They dropped the logo and slogan after threats of a lawsuit from the ASU alumni association.
NNN#8—Oscar Mayer Cheese Dogs: Hot dogs injected with cheese-like substance.
This was amazing to me. I love hot dogs, I love cheese! Put cheese INSIDE the hot dog? Genius. Heat these puppies up in the microwave and the cheese inside would start popping and crackling and oozing. Delicious!
Sometimes my mom would slice these hot dogs up and add it to box mac-n-cheese, making a cheesy dish even cheesier!
NNN#9—Otter Pops: Plastic tube filled with a fruit juice liquid…a stick-less popsicle snack.
Big ole box of different flavored juice tubes! Another Price Club purchase. With flavors like Louie-Bloo Raspberry, Poncho Punch, Sir Isaac Lime, Strawberry Short Kook (my favorite), Alexander the Grape and Little Orphan Orange, you’d buy them at room temp and stick them in the freezer when you got home. This is definitely a childhood patience-tester! Can it take any longer to freakin’ freeze???? Ugh!!!!
NNN#10—Sizzlean: “Move over, bacon, there’s something leaner!”
I don’t know why my parents ever bought this. I didn’t see anything wrong with just regular bacon. Though leaner than regular bacon, these stuff was still 37% fat! Because my parents did get this, Sizzlean has a permanent home in my childhood memories. By the way, it didn’t taste better than bacon. It was good, but nothing like bacon! ;)
NNN#11—Squeeze-Its: Fruit-flavored drink in a plastic bottle where the drinker had to squeeze in order to extract the beverage from its container.
Juice boxes? Pffft…Capri-Sun? puh-lease! Back in the day, the cool kids had Squeeze-Its! Kids in my school liked to “show-off” with clothes (Jelly Shoes? Jordache Jeans? Tee-Shirt Clips?) or with school supplies (Trapper Keepers? Magic Erasers? Mechanical Pencils with .05mm lead?). I liked showing off with lunch-box cool snacks! Squeeze-Its were definitely IN! My mom would freeze them and put them in my lunch box. By the time lunch came around, it’d be melted but still nice and cold and ready to squeeze!
NNN#12—Swanson’s Chicken Pot Pie: Chicken, Beef or Turkey, I dug ‘em all!
Before they were microwaveable, these frozen pot pies were my summer vacation staple. Because my parents had to work, I was usually stuck at home with day-time TV and frozen pot pies. I loved these things! I used to love putting some tabasco sauce in it to give it some spice! Again, a patience-tester as you’d have to bake these puppies in the toaster oven for 45+ minutes at 400°F.
Ah…those were the days! I enjoyed eating these 80’s foods and often while enjoying 80’s television! From Silver Spoons to Punky Brewster. From 3-2-1 Contact to Reading Rainbow. I grew up in the 80’s and though there were some bad memories, there were definitely some awesome ones!
What food product do you remember from your childhood? Feel free to comment and share! Like, totally awesome to the max!