Howard Johnson’s was a popular family-style restaurant/diner. The orange rooftops and brightly upholstered booths were festive and friendly. The menus offered comfort foods that were deep fried, flashed grilled, or quick boiled. The ice cream selection was top shelf. My favorite was peppermint ice cream.
As a kid, my family did not dine out often. Dad claimed that Mom’s cooking was better than most restaurants (true). Spending money on a meal to feed five hungry kids was just crazy.
During Lent, Fridays had to be meat-free. Vegetarian meals or canned tuna fish casseroles were not a popular option during my childhood. Fish was a Lent-friendly meat. But Lent was during the winter and freshly caught fish was not always available. So happily, HoJos filled in with Fish Fry Friday. The special included all you can eat fried fish with a pile of french fries and all the ketchup you could stand. Dad did love the idea of eating as much fish as he could hold. So for a couple of Fridays during Lent, my family trooped into the Lindenhurst HoJos.
For me, a half of a fish filet and a pile of French fries drowned in ketchup was enough. I saved room for peppermint ice cream.
Welcome to my Blogging A-Z April 2018 Challenge. My theme is Food Stories Remembered because there is always a story when food is involved. I consider myself a good home cook with a great appetite for hearty food. I have witnessed the creation of favorite recipes in friends’ kitchens and have learned from the best—my mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law. Recipes may be included. I am remaining uncommitted on this because when I cook, I seldom measure. If you try any of my recipes, you are cooking at your own risk. Grab a glass of wine. Hope you’re hungry!
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.