Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Food for Thought" from the Indiana Humanities Council

The Library will soon host a wide ranging exhibit from the Indiana Humanities Council titled "Food for Thought". As the name suggests, the exhibit offers opportunities for us to learn more/think about/talk about food - Hoosier Foods in particular. The exhibit will be hosted by the Library beginning Friday August 26 through Thursday evening September 8.

As part of the exhibit, West Lafayette Memories project is collecting thoughts from current and former residents about dining in West Lafayette through the years. Here are the first comments we've received:

What is your favorite food memory from your childhood?
Birthday celebrations at Bruno’s (original location). Bruno and the staff would always make pizza dough animals for us and then sing happy birthday over the loud speaker system throughout the entire establishment. I still remember (and miss) the smile on Bruno’s face!

What food best describes home for you? Anything in the crock pot on a cold Sunday. Sitting with family and watching football and running into the kitchen to grab another bowl! Can’t wait for cold weather! - Randy Truitt, State Representative

What is your favorite food memory from your childhood? My brother and I could not wait each summer until tomatoes on the vine ripened because we could then start bugging my mom to fix us Fried Green Tomatoes. She had a rule that we could not have any green tomatoes until she had picked at least one ripe tomato from the vines. We loved to have them for breakfast in the mornings. My brother and I would work as a tag team each asking her if she would fix us the summer treats. We would go out in bare feet with dew still on the grass to find just the rights tomatoes. Mom would get out her heavy cast iron skillet, get out the Crisco, and start heating the oil. She would slice, season and flour the tomatoes and fry them until they were crisp and golden. We stood on the fringes not very patiently waiting. I grow tomato plants today pretty much for a source of green tomatoes. -Brenda Lorenz
Director, Morton Community Center

What is your signature dish? Write down as much of it as you can.
Potato salad the way my mom made it. It’s a bacon-grease vinaigrette dressing on potatoes, boiled eggs, chopped celery, scallions and parsley.

What is your favorite food memory as a child?
This is a potato salad story I always like because it was my mother’s pride. The Catholic diocese we lived in always had lunch for the diocesan priests after attending a priest’s funeral. The ladies of the parish made and served the lunch. They would always ask my mother to make her potato salad. She learned after many funerals that the priests did not get to eat the salad. The serving ladies took to holding it back for themselves. - Phil Wyss, Purdue grad; Department of Chemistry, Purdue University

What food best describes home?
“It’s a running joke in my family that whenever we go home for dinner, there’s a good chance we’ll be served pork tenderloin and cheesy potatoes. Even though we laugh about it, it’s the one meal that reminds me most of home.” - Abby Troyer, INShape Indiana, Purdue Graduate

What is your signature dish? Recite as much of it as you can!
“My signature dish of corn caviar has a Purdue look to it. It won 1st prize at the Indiana State Fair during the Year of Corn, and with the yellow sweet corn, black-eyed peas and black olives as key ingredients, it does indeed illustrate Boilermaker colors. It does have a little red (tomatoes) and green (green chiles) but the Purdue colors are what made this dish a winner.” -Kenda Resler-Friend, Dow AgroSciences, Purdue Graduate

What is your favorite food memory?
“The Food for Thought exhibit being in West Lafayette reminds me about the limited
menu I consumed while a poor freshman at Purdue in 1976. It consisted
mainly of pb&j on white, off brand mac and cheese (27 cents a box),
generic frozen pot pies (13 cents apiece), Dominos Pizza ($3.99 for a
large pepperoni) and beer (Schlitz or PBR). Sounds tasty, eh?

Did you know you can make a box of mac and cheese without milk or
butter? Water and a touch of oil work just fine. It's more granular
and clumps up quickly, but it's perfectly edible if you have no culinary
standards.” - Andy Dietrick, Indiana Farm Bureau, Purdue Graduate

We'll be delighted to read about YOUR favorite food memories associated with West Lafayette! Share your comments through the comment box below.

Thank you!

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