A Magical Adventure
Gramma Anna shuffles the deck
for another round of five-card Rummy.
I am four years old.
The crystal candy dish visible
In the glass-front dining room hutch
holds round white mints with xxx on top.
My mouth waters at the thought of
those sugary xxx marks on my tongue,
Deep purple plums, tangy
in their under-ripe bitterness.
At age six, a secret treasure mined
From Gramma Julia’s garden.
Dough rising beneath a clean
Fillings of poppyseed, raspberry, and prune
crowned with sweet whipped cream.
outshines the brightest star.
Barbra Streisand sang it best: “These are a few of my favorite things!” The time spent alone with my grandmothers was sparse. I was the fourth child born in my family, and have many cousins older than me. My memories lean toward culinary events.
As kids, we weren’t so conscious of what we ate. We were neither spoiled nor deprived. Breakfast, dinner, and supper were all full meals, served “on time” every day. “Deprived” to us meant end-of-the-month baked cabbage sprinkled with caraway seeds as the meal’s vegetable. Mom loved making it because the recipe was simple and vegetables from her garden stretched the food budget. Thanks to Dad, dessert was a staple of every meal.
Visits with my grandmothers, Anna on my mother’s side, Julia on my dad’s side, are recalled in the context of food. Both baked excellent pies, cakes, breads, and biscuits. Their candy dishes were always full. Holiday favorites for me: gravy and riced mashed potatoes.
Nothing outshines my memories of both Grams’ kolaches: baking in the oven; cooling on the kitchen table; the colorful fillings, finger-tasting the freshly whipped cream. Food didn’t make the memories, it was how they served the food: with unconditional love.
|Nothing outshines memories|