Childhood · culture · Nostalgia · Recipes

The Wonder of Fairy Bread

As you know, this month’s posts are dedicated to filling your life with nostalgia-inducing wonder… Have you been following all the wonderful things here on The Nostalgia Diaries blog recently?: A five-decade playlist of One-Hit Wonders; a look back at one of the most beloved songs ever written, What a Wonderful World; and seven ways to enhance your days with 7 Simple Ways to Fill Your Life with Wonder. Check them out if you haven’t had a chance!

But we know another way to fill your life (er, belly) up with wonder, and it comes in the form of a magical, amazing thing called Fairy Bread.

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Nostalgia · Recipes · Throwback Thursday

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels

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I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wasn’t nostalgic about one of the most common childhood snacks: pretzels.

I remember those crunchy, salty lunchbox snacks being the perfect accompaniment to the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And there were so many different kinds—twists and snaps and sticks and nuggets and rods, oh my!

And then, even better, was the soft version. You know, like the kind you’d get at the mall or amusement parks or sporting events or the school carnival? Or, if you just couldn’t wait, the frozen kind you could nuke in the microwave, like the famous SuperPretzel? Continue reading “Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels”

family · Nostalgia · Recipes · Stories

Week 7: Cook Up Some Comfort Food | Everyday Nostalgia

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The other day as I was having a conversation with someone I had just met, and as all first conversations go, we were sharing pleasantries and asking questions of one another. And then the inevitable Colorado question was asked: Are you a native? 

These days it seems not many people in Colorado are natives, and alas, I am not one of them. But I also wasn’t one of the people that spent their whole life in one place and then wanted to venture out and see the world. Due to the nature of my father’s job, I spent my childhood moving from place to place, from Indiana to South Carolina to Tennessee to Ohio. A few years here and a few years there made for some challenging transitions and constant change.

But in spite of all the moving we did, I could count on one constant, no matter what state we ended up in: our old antique kitchen table would always come with us and every night, my mom would cook up and place on that table the delicious, comforting recipes that defined my childhood. And even if it was our first night in a new house, the appearance of those familiar foods helped us feel like we were home.

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family · Nostalgia · Recipes · Stories

Week 2: In With the Old | Everyday Nostalgia

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Last Spring was a bit of a blur for me, but today, if I close my eyes and think about that time, I am transported back to a cold April day. It was a day the promise of many things—including snow—hung delicately in the air. And it was the promise of a beginning that manifested itself in the shape of a key—a key that would open the door to a hopeful, happy future.

I remember the sound as the key slid into the lock and my footsteps’ hollow echo as I walked across the floor.  I remember the way the space felt and smelled, so fresh and new. I remember wandering around as if in a trance, pulling open the blinds and seeing a hint of dust dance in the flood of sunlight and—although I was on a tight schedule and needed to get back to work—sitting down on the floor and taking in the moment.

I pressed the key firmly into my palm now and it moved ever so slightly against the pulse it had found—a pulse now slower, calmer, than it had been in months and possibly years.

And as I sat there in the emptiness of my new place, so full of promise and potential, I remember thinking, “Now what?” Continue reading “Week 2: In With the Old | Everyday Nostalgia”

Holiday · Nostalgia · Recipes

12 Nostalgic Days of Christmas: 5 Classic Christmas Cookies {Day 5}

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I’ve never met a Christmas cookie I didn’t like.

Well, that’s not true.  Christmas cookies with coconut I can do without. And candied fruit cookies.  Not a huge fan.  

But all other Christmas cookies. I. Love. Them.

My grandmother (we always called her Grandma Bear) loved to bake Christmas cookies.  I swear she must have started in mid-November to make all the dozens of cookies for the family. The anticipation waiting for her cookies to be delivered was almost unbearable. Every day starting early December we would watch out the window, waiting for the mail truck.

Then finally, when the box arrived we would cheer and run around like lunatics until we settled down.  We’d carefully unpack the tins and shoe boxes of cookies from the delivery box, mouths watering and tummies rumbling at the prospect of putting away 3 or 4 scrumptious cookies right then and there.

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