Monday, February 13, 2012

Food Memories

I have these food memories that I associate with special people in my life. Every time I make a certain dish I remember those specific people and how they made me feel as a child. Is that strange or does everybody have that?

Without fail, when I make a brisket I think of my paternal grandmother's big family dinner table. The creamy lusciousness that is chicken tetrazzini will always remind me of my maternal grandmother's hugs. Roasted chicken makes me proud of the time and care my mother put into nourishing our growing bodies well.

For the past several days I've been thinking of my Aunt Debbi. Maybe she's been on my mind and I'm subconsciously choosing to make foods that remind me of her. Or maybe somewhere in there I just have a need to feel those things she makes me feel. She's one of those amazing people who you can trust with your life and your best secret. You always know you could tell her anything because no matter what, she loves you just for who you are.

Cold weather just sings "sweet potatoes" to me and I love few things more than a simple baked sweet potato. Deb shares my sweet potato adoration and for some reason I always just assume she'll be bringing them to any holiday dinner we have. I laughed about that as I nommed on one last night as the snow started to fall.

For as long as I can remember, Deb has always made the most amazing candies and cookies. In my mind, there just isn't a better confectioner to be found. I won't even pretend to attempt to make her pralines because there just isn't any way to do them justice. I also do not bake.

I've been tormented this past week trying to come up with some sort of sweet treat to take to the office Valentine's sweet buffet tomorrow. I simply cannot deal with the shame of showing up empty handed. So this weekend I closed my eyes and thought back to all the tasty things Deb made when I was growing up, trying to find something that I might possibly pull off with some degree of dignity. Suddenly it hit me. Those simple magic cookie bars always rocked!

They may not be trendy or extravagant but they're a damned tasty morsel of sweetness. My coworkers won't all appreciate the love and magic that's always gone into those treats, and mine certainly aren't as pretty as hers, but I'll have warm fuzzies at work tomorrow remembering Aunt Debbi's awesomeness.


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