I’m going to do this blog in sections since most of my writing time currently is being devoted to NaNoWriMo. (I’ll give you an update on that later….) So, I’ve been enamoured as of late regarding the ability of an inanimate object (such as food, or a smell, or even a computer speaker or iPod) to bring one into auto-recall–to pull the brain back into a moment, a feeling, a memory. Maybe I’m getting older (hopefully a bit wiser, too), but I find myself being pulled by certain foods, smells, sounds into different moments of life…and I kinda like the backwards déjà vu experience.
So, lately, I’ve noticed this happening more with foods. I’ve known for a long time that food could bring me back to the comfort of childhood, high school, college, or even being newly married. By the time I was pregnant with my first child (and in a foreign setting living with a guy I barely knew…but that’s another story… 🙂 ) I was craving Cheerios (only Honey Nut), which brought me back to my childhood, running around a confederate state with my little brother in our backyard and feeling comforted by cereal and Saturday morning cartoons. I needed that connection then.
I remember, after our last move, groping for some kind of connection to the world around me. Over a tuna sandwich for lunch, the flavor took me back to a little dive where my dear friend Mindy and I would treat ourselves for lunch in college. We sat at bar-height tables in the dark restaurant and enjoyed tuna on a pita with Lay’s potato chips and a dill pickle spear. I get hungry again just thinking about it…hungry for yummy food, but also for our friendship and the laughs as well as frustrations we shared at that little table in the historic downtown where we went to college.
And even now, I bake throughout the year, and especially as the fall and winter holidays approach, and cook, and I love to hear my children oooh and aaaah over the flavors. I hope I am building memories of comfort and love in their beings, memories they will be able to draw upon when they are feeling lost, sick, disconnected in some distant future day.
I know I do….