Food Memories


Time has slowed down at our house. The cute guy’s Dad is visiting and the beauty is he has nothing to be in a hurry for. He naps a lot. He’s 86, plays Scrabble with me and together we worry over the production of ethanol and alternative fuels in America. And then the whole house takes another nap.

We also talk about food because, well, because I always talk about food. He’s been telling me stories. His Grandmother would make oil soup with onions, noodles, parsley and olive oil. “It was good,” he says laughing because my face is skewed in disbelief.

He remembered buying peaches in Auburn on his summer trips to Tahoe where he was raised. “And then we’d stop in Tahoe City and buy cream.” He paused, remembering, a new smile in his eyes. He looked like he could still taste the combination.

I stopped because I recognized something new. I know taste is linked to memory of a place. What I ate is most often the first thing I remember. His memory of the peaches revealed another layer though. It wasn’t only a memory of food and place but also of season.

His annual trips to Tahoe as an adult were in the summer, when the Auburn peaches were in season. Not peaches brought from somewhere else to Auburn but the peaches grown in Auburn. The year was charted not only in time and place, but season and taste too. I've not noticed that before.

This morning at the farmers’ market I bought a generous bag of yellow peaches from Parlier. And stopped at the store for a bottle of fresh cream from West Marin. For the first time all weekend I hurried, to get home, unpack the car, to quick get in the kitchen. The peaches could hardly be peeled fast enough.

Once on the table though, peaches spilled with too much cold cream, I slowed. Still the peaches and cream were gone too fast. And then the whole house took another nap.

We're going to remember this summer visit.

15 comments:

Lucy said...

My kind of summer.

It's just what I needed to read.

Bobbi said...

Making memories - my kind of time!

Olivia said...

Katrina,
Thanks for capturing those very sweet memories. I can taste the peaches and cream too. I Love You!
Olivia

Kris said...

And once you start linking taste to a place and a season, it becomes linked to other things as well: sound and light, for example. For me, it's blackberries. We pick from bushes down the road and I know to go looking when a particular type of birdsong gets common, and when the light is a certain degree of harshness. I think this will be a strong memory I give my kids as well as my self.

Donna said...

This is a beautiful post!

One of my own favorite food memories is the taste of string beans picked from my grandparents' garden. I would stand between the climbing rows and eat one after another until someone came and got me to come into the house.

kale for sale said...

lucy - You'll also like to know that my father in law comes with a dog that spends a great deal of time watching me the kitchen. She's as good as the naps around here.

bobbi - I have no doubt that you are an excellent memory maker.

olivia - Maybe you could have peaches and cream with the boys next week.
xoxo

kris - That is so beautiful, including the birds and the light. Thank you. Food is related to all our senses when I stop long enough to notice.

donna - You have such good memories. Thank you.

arduous said...

Gorgeous post, Katrina! Sounds like a lovely day. :)

Audrey said...

Time, food, memory. What a wonderful combination. Thanks for the lovely post.

Verde said...

Mmmm. Lovely images. It's interesting how we remember certain peaches for years, even a lifetime.

Melinda said...

Oooh I can almost taste them from hear. Sensuous post.

Melinda said...

Well, I can hear them, too, juicy and yummy... but I meant I can taste them from here. ; )

kale for sale said...

arduous - Any day with peaches is a good one. Thank you.

audrey - I read your comment as time, food money. I see now, memory. All wonderful though.

verde - I love your new picture of the bunny.

Yes, I remember a Costco peach from probably 15 years ago that was mealy and I threw it away thinking I'd never eat another one again. I'm so glad I was wrong.

melinda - I new what you meant. Is it peach season yet in Seattle?

Green Bean said...

Sounds delightful - especially the nap part. ;-) Okay, the peaches and cream too, but the nap part, ahhhhh.

jennconspiracy said...

"Oil Soup" sounds pretty good - I could see that working. It sounds like a variation of "wedding soup" that my mom used to make: parsley, spinach, onions, olive oil and little meatballs. That was about it.

Making me hungry. I might make that for dinner tonight with chard and parsley from my garden. Yum.

kale for sale said...

jenn - I told you, I'm convinced you could make grass clippings taste good. You're proving me right. Your version of the oil soup actually sounds like I would eat it. At least try it.