Food evokes emotion and memories. More than likely, at some point in your life you’ve eaten something that has taken you back to your home or childhood, or at least reminded you of it.

Over the Christmas holiday, I asked my oldest to tell me what he missed about home. His answers surprised me a little.

Surprisingly he got emotional while watching the video (video is now redacted and removed from post – it was a sappy video about missing things about home).

He told me it was certain recipes I made, were absolutely the one thing he missed most about not being with me. I’ve heard most of my kids say they have eaten something at someone elses house, or on a trip, that reminded them of the one I made.

I always hear mine was better. Is this true?

Is this because it was prepared with love by me or because it’s a comforting memory for them of home?

My son’s response to the video was simple. I miss everything about you.

Obviously he melted my heart, and I must admit I might have been a little emotional at that point as well.

However we took it further and I asked him about the recipes and food I make. I haven’t always been a food blogger, but I’ve always cooked meals from scratch for my family. Even when my children were babies and toddlers, I made a lot of baby food on my own as well. It wasn’t just for the health benefits, those though are far greater being made at home.

I also made food from scratch, because I find being in the kitchen therapeutic and stress relieving so it’s just what I do. Most of the time, it’s nothing super elaborate, but enough to take my mind off things and focus on the creative process in the kitchen for a little bit.

My son noticed this too but said that the simple things I made before I started food blogging (when they actually got meals more than once – ha!) are some of his very favorites. He also told me many of the things I made for my blog were favorites of his too and that he missed them.

We live in St. Louis and St. Louis is known for having several items you just can’t get anywhere else. And even if you do get them anywhere else, they are simply not the same as home. Home being St. Louis of course.

Among my son’s favorites were:

Toasted Ravioli – Savory Toasted ravioli has been traced to our Italian neighborhood, known as “The Hill”, here in St. Louis, Missouri. My son has loved this since he was so small, and by the time he was three, I had discovered how to make it at home so we didn’t have to go out to get it. Now days, you can buy a box in the freezer section, but as he said… it’s not the same. At all.

Gooey Butter Cake – Having lived all over the US for many years of my life, I have seen Gooey Butter Cake elsewhere, but it does not even compare to what St. Louis has or serves.

Here are some Gooey Butter Cake inspired recipes:

(I have included photos below)

What is Gooey Butter Cake?

Gooey Butter Cake began it’s fanfare in 1930 in St. Louis, Missouri. It is a very dense and somewhat flat cake that is made with wheat cake flour, butter, sugar and eggs. It’s usually served dusted with powdered sugar.

The cake is very thin, less than an inch in most cases, and resembles a sheet pan when done.

It’s a firm, dense cake that is somewhat dry, however the gooey nature of the outcome keeps it from feeling that way to most people.

Since it’s such a popular commodity here in the Lou, I make all kinds of different styles and types, because well… that’s what I do.

Here are a few of his favorites:

Eggnog Gooey Butter Cake Recipe from A TASTE OF HOME: ST. LOUIS FAVORITES #WUHomeCooked #Paid

Eggnog Gooey Butter Cake

Kahlúa Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies from A TASTE OF HOME: ST. LOUIS FAVORITES #WUHomeCooked #Paid

KAHLÚA Mocha Gooey Butter Cookies

Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cake Recipe from A TASTE OF HOME: ST. LOUIS FAVORITES #WUHomeCooked #Paid

Spiced Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cake

St. Louis Style Pizza with Provel Cheese – There is no pizza in the world that compares to a St. Louis Style pizza. Why? The Provel cheese!

Per Wikipedia:

Provel is a white processed cheese particularly popular in Saint Louis cuisine, that is a combination of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone cheeses. Provel has a low melting point and, therefore has a gooey and almost buttery texture at room temperature. It is the traditional topping for St. Louis-style pizza. It is also often used in the preparation of cheese soup and served on salads, chicken, and the Gerber sandwich. Some restaurants use Provel for their pasta dishes with white sauce instead of the customary fresh Italian cheese and cream. Although popular in the St. Louis area, Provel is rarely used elsewhere.

While I don’t have a St. Louis Style Pizza recipe on the blog right now, I do have these dishes absolutely inspired by our famous St. Louis Style Imo’s Pizza joint.

Gerber Sandwich – In which he referred to as the Ham Garlic Bread Thing. Okay, so close. LOL

The Gerber sandwich or “Famous Gerber sandwich” is an open faced sandwich which consists of a half section of typically Italian bread (though in some cases French bread is used), topped with garlic butter, and then piled with ham, and Provel cheese.

To take it even further, many season it with a dash or two of paprika. It is then toasted and served hot. And it is GOOD!

A non-traditional St. Louis dish he also loves, is these Italian Nachos we concocted one afternoon with ingredients we happened to have on hand.

I think he really likes them because they are smothered in Provel cheese, and almost like a St. Louis style pizza.

Italian Nachos with Pepperoni and Black Olives from A TASTE OF HOME: ST. LOUIS FAVORITES #WUHomeCooked #Paid

So I shared my son’s favorite memories about food from home… what memories do you have from home? What are your favorite foods you miss?

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