Underwood deviled ham and grilled cheese sandwiches

Underwood Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Food nostalgia. Those odd combinations we ate as kids that still flood us with a sense of comfort and warmth even 55 years later.

For me, it is either a peanut butter and butter sandwich (my mother couldn’t have done that on purpose) or the Blue Box – Kraft macaroni and cheese. I can still devour an entire pot in one sitting.

For King Daddy it was his mother’s Underwood Deviled Ham and grilled cheese sandwiches. I am just guessing that one night when Crete was desperate to feed her kids quickly she grabbed a can of deviled ham out of the cupboard and put it into a grilled cheese sandwich. But to Mark it was a deliberate act of creativity and love.

Food from the ’50s. Everything was processed, everything was in a can, bag or box and Kraft was the dominate player in every sector of the processed food world – mayonnaise, marshmallows, margarine. Kraft hired a spokesman named Ed Herlihy to narrate what now seem to be laughably bad recipes such as Kraft macaroni and cheese stuffed in hot dogs and a Waldorf salad featuring miniature Kraft marshmallows.

Here’s the Blue Box one.

And Kraft touted Velveeta as a health food.

I actually ate Velveeta sandwiches with mayonnaise on Wonder Bread regularly.

The point is we all have those incomprehensible favorite foods from childhood (another one of mine is baloney sandwiches with French dressing, crushed potato chips and cottage cheese).

Mark made his mother’s deviled ham and grilled cheese sandwiches for supper the other night. Just to keep it authentic, we ate them with a vintage pear “salad” – a canned pear half with cottage cheese topped with grated Cheddar cheese. He looked like he was 5 years old again.

So what’s your favorite childhood guilty pleasure? And, more importantly, do you still eat it?

3 Comments

  1. Dee
    February 7, 2015 at 10:35 am

    My fave childhood food was gravy bread. This was exactly that – bread that had soaked up so much gravy or broth that it was literally going to fall apart and had to be eaten with a fork. Nothing better. Of course, mom was a good cook and always put lots of soy sauce and onion powder and sherry in her beef broths and gravies… which I still do, to this day, except I don’t put as much salty stuff.

  2. Julie Reinhardt
    Julie ReinhardtReply
    February 13, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    this is terrible… my mom is and was a great cook, but I don’t have many guilty pleasures from childhood that I still consume, at least not that I can think of at this writing. The first thing that came to mind is Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls and Nutty Bars and the second, which I am jonesin to make for my brother one of these days, is what we called “broasted chicken”.This was one of the first meals I made for the family, probably when I was 12 or so. It was floured chicken cooked in a 9 x 13 pan, sprinkled with paprika and salt and dotted with butter, that we ate with a side of rice and gravy made from the pan drippings. I don’t think we had anything green with it….

    • Catherine Mayhew
      Catherine MayhewReply
      February 13, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      I don’t eat them anymore but I was also pretty attached to Hostess Ho-Ho’s as a child.

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