Bad things I ate as a kid

Walking through the Dollar General store last week was like a trip down memory lane…and a kind of queasy feeling welled in my stomach as the nostalgia brought a smile to my face.

What I was allowed to eat, even encouraged to consume and enthusiastically given when I was young, was pretty disgusting fare. But, mmm, did it taste good!

I offer these gastronomic glimpses into my childhood’s cupboard:

From cardboard boxes and one of my favorite commercials: Cracker Jack

Cracker Jack

Dad, eating Cracker Jack behind newspaper: “What did you learn in school today?”

Son: “Sharing.”

Jack Gilford was the Cracker Jack man! While looking for the commercial above, I also found the following two: this one and this one. Play them all and have a Jack Gilford/Cracker Jack video fest!

From my family’s freezer section: Pop Ice


Red was great; blue was the best. The trick was to get to the bottom without the frozen stick turning to gooey liquid.

Looking at this list of nutrition info for Pop-ice, it really doesn’t look that bad…but the sugar content? Fresh fruit, it is not!

And this item, the height of the worst, perhaps, but the one that’s more attached to memory than the others. From my grandmother’s metal shelving unit in her Tennessee kitchen:Vienna sausages

Vienna sausage

I would love to eat them just one more time…but I don’t know if I could actually do it. At least, I have my memories!

These revolting little links of pleasure will forever be attached to hot days of drinking purple Kool-ade out of shiny metal tumblers; the excitement of playing in my grandparents’ backyard with my little brother, cousins and a bunch of neighbor kids; the sound of the wind rustling the leaves in the Poplar tree mixed with laughter and squeals. Yes. Squeals, truly.

Like the squeals of joy we uttered at the thought of eating each of these fatty, caloric taste treats, with no nutritious value. (We could say “minimal” value, for argument’s sake.)

Thank you for having these items, Dollar General! It’s like pages from my childhood culinary scrapbook brought to life.


About Procurrent

Good things are happening around us all the time. I try to capture some of the good people and good things at And I pass along tips and observations from visits to Trader Joe's at I love hearing from visitors. Looking forward to your comments!
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