Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tastes of Memories

It's amazing how one bite can bring back a host of memories. I guess that's why having those familiar foods from home are such a comfort when you're living in another country.

Tonight it was homemade biscuits, the special recipe of a long-time family of friends. The biscuit spread with jam brought me back to their large, open kitchen, sharing fresh biscuits from the oven after a fun sleepover.

Last night it was the mixture of watermelon, honey dew melon, and nectarine in a fruit salad. Somehow that particular combination of sweet and a tad tart (we're still not quite to full nectarine season!) brought me back to my family's table, eating fruit salad for a special meal.

Sometimes it's the taste of taco soup. It brings us back to our first home in Iowa, on cold winter nights playing Carcassone as we enjoyed a steaming bowl. Even to this day, it's almost a law that if we have taco soup, we have to play a game too!

Last week it was our baked potato meal. That is, crockpot potatoes (the easiest new way I've found to do "baked" potatoes!). My mom was famous for her "b" meal - baked potatoes, broccoli (or beans), and bacon. A fresh tomato always had to accompany too, so I couldn't leave it out. We didn't have the bacon (it's super expensive here - think $3 for 6 slices!) but the rest of it brought me back. I was at home in my mind.

Speaking of bacon, I splurged once a few weeks ago, and made our favorite pasta dish. Immediately I was remembering the thrill of finding the recipe and making it for my new husband. Mixed in were each of the friends I'd served that meal to... after church, right before we left Iowa, and with mentor-friends in my parent's guest house as we prepared to come here.

This afternoon with a pregnancy snack attack, it was the mixture of nuts, raisins, and a few of the carefully rationed m&m's a friend surprised us with a care package. Suddenly I was camping again, surrounded by a hundred friends and family memories.

Certain foods are tied to people too. For my sisters, it's strawberry shortcake for Maria and brownies for Miriam. For Lydia it's campfire tinfoils or their home counterpart, pasties, where we'd split the duties of chopping veggies and making crust while getting in sister talk time. I've thought of Jubilee a lot lately, as her food is watermelon... she could eat more in one sitting than anyone. As we've been eating it nearly every day here recently, she's come to mind a lot. :)

Maybe taste and memories is why the pregnancy cravings I can't have over here that have been so fierce and reoccurring...

An Arby's classic roast beef sandwich, bringing back meals after church or on road trips with my family.

A classic Chickfila chicken sandwich with those dill pickles... pretty much every memory at Chickfila has been full of the love of family!

A nicely toasted cinnamon raisin Aldi bagel spread with butter, a pretty common breakfast in our first year of marriage.

It's these that are on my mind, so close I can almost taste them, so often as I try to fall asleep at night. It's just not right!

But, wow. God was pretty amazing when he tied the senses to memories. I am so thankful for the amazing sense of taste He has given us!


  1. Anna, I just loved this post! It's not something I've really thought about before, but your observations are so true! And of course now I'm scrutinizing your picture trying to figure out the recipe for this delicious sounding pasta dish. =)

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post! Here's the recipe: https://celebreaty4recipes.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/bob-recipe-penne-pasta-with-spinach-tomatoes/ Pretty simple, but oh-so-yum!!

    2. Thanks! I'm going to try making this over the weekend!