Memories of Food
Many people tie food in with fond memories from family events or childhood. Maybe you love apples strictly for their taste and nutritional value or maybe you also value them because you would pick them from your own tree as a child and that memory makes you happy. Perhaps you savour each crispy bite as you imagine the smell of apple pie wafting from the kitchen.
I have lots of food-related memories and I do not think it is strange to remember that I tried my first falafel in Amsterdam, my first Guinness in Ireland (and found it gross), and my first fresh beet in my grandma’s kitchen (and pulled a face since it had not been pickled yet and that was all I had known).
Many of my food memories include my grandparents. I was born in Wales but I grew up in Canada and visits “home” included spending lots of time with my grandparents who I missed terribly.
As a baker by trade, my Grampy Perry would make the most wonderful pies that I had ever tasted with pastry that would melt the instant that it hit your tongue. My Nanny Perry did not do a lot of the cooking with my grandfather’s culinary talent on hand, but her currant cake made us lift our plates for a second helping. Grampy grew the currants in the tiny backyard, along with rhubarb and a few other treats.
My Nanny Rose was always cooking up a storm. The stove would be covered with simmering pots of beets and beans from the back garden and a nice roast crackled in the oven, picked up that morning from the butcher down the road. The meals were always delicious and filled with laughter as Nanny dished up our plates and added more food than you wanted, even when you adamantly declined. When the dinner plates were cleared away a homemade delight like rhubarb crumble would be presented with a jug of fresh cream.
These were not meals made for special events, they were every day occurances and you were always guaranteed a gravy dinner on Sundays. That is just the way it was. My mum continued this tradition and we sat down as a family every night to a meal that included meat, starch and two veg. At these meals we created more great memories. I think this is something that many families are missing today; parents should reach back for their own memories and introduce some traditions back to the supper table.
Today I am being nostalgic as I always seem to think about my grandparents on Rememberance Day. I think of the veterans too but I think fondly of my grandfathers and their jovial dispositions and my grandmothers with their quirks, vibrant aprons and many hugs. I hope today (and every day) you remember the veterans as well as your own special family members.
If you are fortunate to have your grandparents still around, pick up the phone and say hello or visit them. Maybe you can prepare the special meal for a change and take it with you.