Sensory Memory

You know what I like about cooking?  Oftentimes, you’re not just making food or goodies, you’re making memories.  It’s funny how sensory perception and memory are so intertwined, but I know that for me some of my most vibrant memories revolve around food, and cooking for Thanksgiving made me remember some of my favorites….

Chocolate chip cookies:  My Grandma C always used to make huge chocolate chip cookies.  I was allowed to have half of one with lunch, and though I was never really allowed to help make them, I remember watching her do it and feeling the melting chocolate on my tongue (she would always warm it up before serving it, because that’s the most delicious way).

Grilled cheese: Continuing with the above, the lunch I had to eat was always grilled cheese, browned to perfection on both sides.  And I could never eat until the Price is Right ended at noon.

Spaghetti: If I was at Grandma C’s house for dinner, it was spaghetti noodles with parmesan cheese for me, and another half-cookie if I was lucky 🙂

Macaroni, hot chocolate, and Hungarian Butterhorns: These were the trademarks of my childhood with Grandma D.  She taught me how to make these the authentic way, from scratch.  No Kraft macaroni or Swiss mix for me.  I’m actually going over to her house on Tuesday to make the Butterhorn cookies.  We used to make them every year on Christmas Eve, but then I was busy working at K12 and then I went to college and then we just didn’t…..

Ritz Crackers with American cheese: Yet another trademark of Grandma D.  I remember sitting at the foot of her rocking chair as we shared a sleeve of crackers, running into the kitchen a couple times to get extra slices of cheese, though we always started with the best intentions of stopping after just one or two each…

Stuffing: I’d actually never eaten stuffing until EK’s mom gave me a plate already loaded down with it in 2009, so this food will always trigger memories of the two years EK’s family was kind enough to have me over and fatten me up  with amazingly delicious food (for the record, the stuffing this year came from a box and paled in comparison… :))

Cheesy bread: I happen to be eating this right now.  You just make a cheese sandwich with two slices of American, pop it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, then peel the bread slices apart and enjoy the gooey, melted cheesy bread.  This was my mom’s breakfast/snack of choice for a few years during my childhood and whenever I was good she’d make me a sandwich too 🙂

Cupcakes:  Back in the days before schools became paranoid about homemade treats, my mom and I would always make cupcakes for my birthday.  My favorite were the vanilla cupcakes that you swirled either pink or blue icing into after you poured the batter into each cup.  Mom may have been super busy with vet school and work, but she always made time for this.

Banana Bread: Before I discovered apple bread, my go-to was banana bread.  I remember waking up to the smell of it baking whenever my mom would get her late-night/early morning cravings.

Chocolate cake: Okay, so this one doesn’t have anything to do with actually baking the cake, but every time I see a piece of chocolate cake with chocolate icing, I think of the time I came home from school when I was 13 and told my mom that I’d just gotten my first period.  She happened to be eating a piece of chocolate cake from Applebees and her first words were: “I’m sorry.  Here, have some cake.” 😀

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One Response to “Sensory Memory”

  1. kive87 Says:

    looooool at your moms reaction to your period!


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