We're closing in on the holiday season, a time that often seems to be as much about food and family as it is about the holidays themselves.
Like music, food taps into my memories so much more than memories alone. Dad's pie crusts, which my sister Pat has now perfected; Toots' luscious dessert; Jenn's pecan pie; Dad's stuffing; Bernie's mashed potatoes ... all necessary flavors for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. Like I said, it's as much about the food as it is being thankful. And I don't think it's an accident that so much of my memories are tied to dessert!
Well, anyway, I haven't felt much like eating over the past week, because I've pretty much felt like crap on a stick. So today, when I woke up hungry, I took that as a good sign. And I went to the grocery store and purchased ingredients for two food memories: bread and soup.
The only argument my ex and I ever had in front of my family was about bread flour. I don't even remember what the argument was about any more, but bring up bread flour in my presence and I will still laugh about it. It was funny even at the time, this insane bread argument. So when I got out the bread machine today to make potato cheddar bread (because Christopher loved potato bread but he's lactose intolerant, so this is pretty much a happy loaf of "screw you") I couldn't stop smiling. It's a good memory of happy times, even though it started with an argument. And now it's baking, and it smells divine. (Addition at 10:30 p.m. - it is good!)
The soup? Well, when my mom was sick, she didn't hunger for much. Bernie (my sister Jenn's husband) used to make her cherry cobbler when she craved it, and I would make her chicken soup, the old fashioned way. I never buy whole chickens unless it's to make soup, and I haven't made soup since Mom died. So tonight, as I chopped the vegetables and cooked the chicken and my kitchen filled with aromatic memories, a few tears landed in the water ... and hey, what's a little more salt?We are nothing if not the sum of our experiences, both the good and the bad. And though Christopher chose to leave and Mom had to answer a higher calling, the food and the love remain.