I always love to read those "man-on-the-street" columns in my local newspaper. It seems that frivolous questions rather than weighty ones inspire far livelier and intriguing responses. In the same spirit, I collar friends, relatives, and total strangers to ask them inconsequential questions on culinary matters.

What was a favorite childhood food that you still like to eat? What childhood favorite disgusts you now?

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Beatie: I loved oatmeal when I was a kid. I think putting that blob of brown sugar was a key part of the enjoyment. I still eat oatmeal every day. I also loved Spagettio's as a kid. But now I can't stand them. The hot dog slices in them are especially disgusting; they're mushy and sort of dissolve in your mouth.

John: I loved spaghetti as a kid and still do to this day. My mom has always made really good lemon meringue pies since I was a kid and still does. At school I used to buy Cherry-o-lets (sp?)..these little chocolate bombs with a cherry in it. I haven't had them in forty years. I probably wouldn't buy them today.