Food is in entwined with my memories. I would imagine it is for you as well. The taste of a warm chocolate chip cookie makes my taste buds salivate even now, the smell of pancakes on the griddle, Asian food simmering on the stove, or even just a basic boxed dinner can trigger significant and special memories…
Today we celebrated the life of my grandmother she was almost 91 when she passed away on September 5th.
It struck me as my uncle spoke during the memorial service, as he invited everyone to a meal afterwards, he said “my mom loved to feed people, she was always getting people around the table.” My own mom is that way, I shared more about her just a few days ago, and now I know my grandma shared this passion. I know where I get it. I think there has to be that person in every family that gathers everyone around the table and in their home.
There were also a lot of memories tied to food. In pictures my grandma often had a cup of coffee or a a plate of food. Her kids talk about the days they were on welfare, when their single mom was raising five kids on her own, with so much respect and awe. I learned today that Grandma was considered a mover and a shaker, and that she got things done. I like to think I got that from her as well. Her children stood in awe of her grateful and precious spirit. Even in her last moments when she was whispering, “thank you, thank you, thank you.”
She would feed them beans and rice from the local food bank and they all hated “blue milk” which was just powdered milk they were able to get as part of the food stamps program. I’m not sure how she did it, but between her tenacity and the provision of God these children were fed, cared for, and showed love like no other. They have the most beautiful legacy, and the dearest of memories.
Today as people gathered together to remember her, they also ate around tables. They shared cups of hot cider and coffee, delicious desserts, and some of the yummiest Alfredo I can remember eating.
Just before she passed away I was busy making these oatmeal zucchini muffins, and it struck me that I was using measuring cups and canisters from her kitchen. (Be sure to share with me if you make them!)
I challenge you to look carefully at your memories and see how food might be laced into them. What recipes are special that you could pass on? Do you have traditions with food? What foods trigger memories for you, share these stories with your friends and family.