Sunday, February 10, 2008

Memories Evoked by Food

This weekend, while driving home from a Photoshop CS3 course (more on this soon), in a snowstorm, my nerves were calmed as I listened to a radio program on the CBC, called Talking Books with Ian Brown. There were only about 10 minutes left in the show, so I never really got the title of the book that was being discussed (and for some reason the website has not been updated) but the gist of the conversation seemed to be about food in varioud generations and cultures. One particularly interesting observation was how food is now a way to divide people, or almost put them into classes, like a cast system. I agree with this. I am a foodie, and I don't like to act better than anyone else, but I have observed how food snobs can put on an air of superiority via the food they eat. Of course restaurants can discriminate against people by being out of the reasch of afforability for some. But aside from that, organic foods, which have made sense to me from a health stand point for a long time, are now all the craze amongst people who can afford them but who don't really care, if you ask me, whether they are more healthy or not, they are just jumping on the band wagon, and leaving the "less fortunate" people who can't afford them in the dust. I have always felt one should buy the best food they can afford, from both a health and taste stand point, but I love a good vegie dog, mac and cheese, or poutine. Anyway, it was interesting to hear something I have often thought but not really talked about with others discusseed.

Another interesting line from one of the guests (who ironically was the one to talk about food and classes later) was that he had never met someone who was not interested in food whom he found interesting. LOL! I agree, but wouldn't that make me a bit of a snob?

I love the CBC, and love conversations on food, and the best part was at the end of the program the four guests got to tell us what foods remind them of their childhood. It was a fun question to hear the answers to. I started thinking about my childhood and my food memories. I have too many to list, as my mom always says, "Honestly, Tiffany, you can remember what you ate somewhere even if you can't remember the exact location or who you were with." That is completely true, my memories are attached to food. Here are a few:

~ When I had the chicken pox, I as about 6 or 7, the neighbor, Gloria, came over with rocky road brownies for me. I was in the bathtub. I don't remember itching, or how bad the chicken pox were, I just remember the arrival of those brownies.
~ I remember watching them make our pizza through a window into the kitchen at Shaky's pizza (green olives, pepperoni).
~ When I would go visit my mom's cousins in North Dakota, Tori, the wife of one of the cousins, would help me make Special K bars, which later my grandma and Aunt Jackie would make a lot. I actually took a 9 hour bus ride to get there one summer and I dreamed of making those the whole way there.
~ After my brothers and I would go to bed my mom would make popcorn. The smell of it was too much to bear! She could have eaten so many things for a snack that I never would have known about but she could not hide that smell. Popcorn is my biggest snack obsession to this day...
~ Ice cream at Bridgeman's. They had one of those giant sundaes that if you ate it you got it for free but otherwise it was like $10. I never ate it. But my nickname in high school was Princess Ice Cream.
~ My mom would make these amazing caramel rolls, fresh fruit salad, and brunch eggs (eggs, cheese, bacon, & bread in a casserole dish) for brunch when special people were coming over or visiting from out of town.
~ My dad would make some kind of cocktail when my parents were having guests over, that involved crushed ice and beaten egg whites with sugar. I got to like the beaters.
~ Licking beaters for pretty much anything a beater was needed for.
~ S'mores at summer camp, or any place else I could get my hands on them.
~ Giant turkey legs, the size of caveman clubs, at the Rennaisance Festival.
~ Fried cheese curds and mini donuts at the Minnesota State Fair.
~ Wedding cake, any kind of wedding cake.
~ Making gourmet pizza from scratch (anything gourmet from scratch) when staying over at Aunt Helen and Uncle Ben's.
~ Going to amazing restaurants with Helen. especially Figlio's, which is still in Uptown, Minneapolis, and eating their fancy onion ring loaf, pasta, and either Death by Chocolate (chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce) or Tartufio (a round ball of cherry vanilla gelato rolled in chaved white chocolate) or chocolate gelato with espresso poured over it and chocolate covered coffee beans on top.
~ Fried ice cream at Chi Chi's
~ Lefse, a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread made out of potato, milk or cream and flour, and cooked on a griddle, made by my Meme.
~ My great grandmother passing me sugar cubes under the table. I would sneak them into my mouth and savor them as they melted slowly. Probably the only time I was quiet ;)
~ My mom making artichokes, and how we would pull off a leaf and dip it in butter, then scrap the "meat" off with our teeth.

I could go on and on... I am sure I will in another post one day...

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