CERTAIN FOODS TAKE ME HOME. Several times during the past few weeks and always on the holidays I make dishes which have a strong attachment to my childhood and early adulthood. Yesterday was no exception when I made salmon patties. Even though I make my dish a little different from my Mom’s delicious salmon patties. My mind went back to the days when she would make them and the house smelled so wonderful. I smiled when my husband said, “I love the smell!” My Mom loved to hear someone compliment her cooking and this was one dish, along with fried fish people still say no one can fry fish or salmon patties like Bea can. If she were here, she would love to hear those who say that about my cooking too. Of course, she would say, “I taught her how to cook when she was only 11 or 12 years old. These memories took me to a place of love and meditation and I thought of a blog topic.
I will feel confident saying that most of us have food association with loved ones. We each have stories that jog our childhood or maybe even comfort foods that we associate a good, warm feeling from those memories. Let us try a “taste test” of sorts.
Foods that we associate with memories:
- Fried Chicken….who made the best fried chicken you had? For me, my MIL, Nanny, from my first marriage fried the best chicken and she still holds that ranking. I fry it the same way and everyone loves it but it is my memory of her chicken.
- Potato Salad….My FIL, Pa, from my first marriage made mouth watering salad. I have tried on many attempts but it is never as good as his potato salad. He made it every Sunday morning and let it sit while we went to church. I have a dear friend Pam Price who makes great potato salad and I am confident her salad is a memory maker too.
- Cakes….From Red Velvet to Coconut Cake, it was my SIL Gloria who baked the best cakes. She must have stuck her sweet finger in each one as they were mouth-watering.
- Fried fish….My Mother, Bea, rivaled all others and fried them in the smallest amount of grease and I still rank her even though she died. I have never seen anyone else fry them the way she did but ask anyone who ever ate hers and they will all say, Bea knows how to fry some good fish.
- Deviled Eggs….Me, me, me, choose Me. I have eaten deviled eggs at reunions, restaurants and even my friends/family and their eggs are good and it may sound egotistical but I will rank mine as the best.
- Grilled or smoked steaks and meat….My husband, Greg and I put him against any restaurant I have eaten. We go out only to enjoy him not having to do the work but I can assure you I have had good steaks at restaurants but they never measure up to Greg’s.
- Baked beans…..Harriet Solomon and I have yet to taste any baked beans that compare to hers. She was a great cook with a lot of good dishes, but it was her baked beans that rank the highest.
- Vegetarian/seafood dishes…..My daughter, Missy who acquired the talent to season to taste and improvise with the best of them. It is the way she uses various spices, garlic, and sauces that make her shrimp and scallops outstanding.
- Biscuits…..I go back to my Grandmother Lott, Aliner, who made Cat Head Biscuits and filled them with Sugar Syrup. My husband Greg would say his Mother but he never turns down my biscuits. Even though her biscuits outrank mine, he always loves my biscuits and gravy. I love the fact it is her biscuits that claim his heart. I understand that feeling entirely.
- Crackling cornbread…..Greg’s sister, Berta, who is one of the best cooks around wins this spot hands down and Greg was disappointed when she no longer cooks but we have our memories of those delicious pieces and her care package for Greg when she baked him extra pieces.
- Creamed corn…….No one and I include myself in this area beats my sister, Juanelle, who ironically hates to cook, makes the creamiest, delicious corn. I have made it and it was good but it wasn’t her top ranking corn.
I could go on and on and I know that most of you are making your mental lists as I posted these foods along with other dishes that the top award belongs to someone you love or even yourself. I always heard the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but doesn’t that apply to all of us. Please feel free to add your comments and whose dishes make your mouth water when you think of how they made a certain dish. Maybe we got more than calories….Maybe the sweets were sweeter, the spices more spicier, and the overall dishes were as full of love as calories.
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