Childhood Memories

>> Friday, October 29, 2010

I hope you will forgive me a little nostalgia today.  You know how certain tastes or smells can transport you instantly back to another time and place?  It happened to me twice yesterday.  The first was when my daughter shared a Swedish Fish from her school Halloween party. As I chewed, I became a little girl, walking the edge of the ravine behind my great grandmother's home toward the little store where they sold penny candy.  Grandma would give us change from her purse and we would clutch it in small hands as we made the short trip to the store.  The man behind the counter was always pleasant to us as he counted out our order, a few tootsie rolls, maybe a smartie, and of course, the red jelly fishes that were a favorite.  The walk back to Grandma's house was always a jaunty, chewing procession.  As an adult, I'm sure the time it took for us to go to the store allowed a well-deserved visit between my mother and her grandmother, a way to get a bunch of busy children out of the tiny house for some quiet.  If we understood the diversion, we didn't mind.  After the penny candy, we would sort buttons from grandma's jar until it was time to go home.

The second taste trip was with a dill pickle.  That pungent flavor sends me to my grandparents home where Grandpa kept a pickle jar on the shelf.  I'm not sure how I know it is Grandpa's pickle jar, not Grandma's, but he is the one who would usually help me get one.  He would wrap a napkin around the bottom of the whole dill pickle and offer it to me with a smile.  I would take it outside to suck the sour juices and crunch the much-firmer-than-my-mom's-home-canned-pickle flesh and think I had quite the prize.

I love the ability of taste and smell to do this!  I tasted Boursin cheese for the first time in Nashville.  Now I re-live my Nashville trip each time I taste it.  Halloween is still associated with popcorn balls in my mind because we used to have them dropped in our trick or treat bucket on the little complex where I grew up.  It makes me wonder what smells and tastes will affect my children.  Which foods will they make to celebrate their past?  When I want to feel my mom is nearby, I make donuts.  I always think of another great grandmother when I taste wintergreen mints.  What are some of the foods that take you home?  That bring you comfort?  Take time to search one out soon and go back.
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2 comments:

Karma October 30, 2010 at 9:43 AM  

I LOVED that post!!! I also love the way foods and smell can transport me to another time/place!! Your words made me wonder about my own children and the food memories they are creating! Thank you - I will be smiling more as I cook for awhile! Whenever I eat tomato soup I think of you - the first time I ever had tomato soup was sitting in your basement, drinking soup from a mug and watching Out of Africa :)

Natalie October 31, 2010 at 9:21 PM  

I too loved this post. Your writing is amazing. I too remember standing in the kitchen of grandpa and grandma's house being handed a big ol' dill pickle, and the mints too. :)Happy food memories!

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