Eating up the memories

This week's column looks at memories and what helps make them lasting.

For some people, memories are about the times they spent with people or the places they have been or even the sounds they heard.

Sure, there are times that I remember who was there and what was going on.

However, for the most part, the majority of the memories I have revolve around one thing food.

From the earliest time I can remember, it was always the food whether good or bad that was burned into my brain. It certainly isn’t the only thing I remember about significant life events or even the most insignificant ones, but it almost always is the first one that trips into my thoughts.

As clear as the sun has shone lately, I can remember the first big trip I took with one of my sets of grandparents to visit a great uncle and aunt out near Vegreville when I was probably about five. Though, it wasn’t the trip that was memorable.

It was the horrible mess I made of the pancakes, syrup and plate smashing to floor in the restaurant we stopped at half way there. It was the homemade perogies that my great aunt made and the borscht I tossed them into during dinner because they looked so neat and tasted even better.

Now that I think about it, a lot of my early memories are from my grandpa and granny as I called them, whether it was out on the farm or doing something else.

I can still remember sneaking unbaked cookie or bread dough when granny was doing her baking, putting butter on the bread when it had finally cooled out of the oven, helping grandpa collecting eggs or when one of the animals had to be prepared for a future meal.

I think my favourite memory remains of the many breakfast times I spent over many years out at the farm with the fresh eggs cooked anyway I wanted, bacon done to perfection complete with toast sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar then capped off with the best thing of all a freshly baked chocolate cookie.

There a lot of other good memories that are invoked just by my thinking about the food my wedding with the simple turkey dinner and rather plain cake that reminds me of just how good things can be in spite of hardships and trials so long as you can be happy with what you’ve got; the free roast beef meal I got at a meeting I was reporting on because it meant I arrived and was doing what I wanted to do; and, savouring the orange juice and waiting to try the never before thought of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (which to this day I can’t resist) that my future wife brought to me as I was sick with the flu and wasn’t able to leave my house.

Although, you can’t have the good without the bad and there are a lot of those memories too. Fortunately, most of those memories are only painful due to what was going on or what occurred, not because the food was bad. Well, there was one time though, but that memory is likely best left where it was flushed.

So, while I may remember things slightly different than others, one thing is certain my memories will continue to create something delicious for me to relish and chew on well into the future.

But that is…just an observation.

 

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