Monday, May 16, 2011

We Remember ...

Inspired by Momalom, which ran a post last week in which the author wrote for 10 minutes without editing starting with the phrase I Remember, we decided to do our own We Remember post about food. We hope you'll chime in with a food memory or just do this exercise on your own. We think you'll be surprised/intrigued by what comes up.

I remember the first time I breast fed and being so awestruck by the fact that I was literally able to provide life for this little tiny baby from my very own body.

I remember sitting at the kitchen table, ice cold fish on my plate, long after everyone else in my family had left the table because I had to finish what was on my plate and I didn't like it. I learned an important lesson: fish does not get better as it gets colder.

I remember deciding then and there that I would not make my children clean their plates and that I would only ask them to try one bite of something rather than forcing them to eat it all.

I remember eating dinners out on our family porch and my dad cooking steak on the grill for delicious steak sandwiches and corn on the cob with oodles of butter.

I remember my dad making pies at Thanksgiving and having apple and pumpkin pie for breakfast until they were all gone.

I remember eating dinner with my sister and mother in high school, my nose in a book because I was so angry at my mother for drinking. If I was reading, I didn't have to talk to her and I could pretend she wasn't drunk.

I remember taking one look at the tomato aspic my mother had put on the table, nodding at my sister and the two of us just saying we were going to go to bed without supper because there was no way we were going to eat that. We headed upstairs, the summer day still filled with promise, and found some rock hard Jujubes in a drawer. That was dinner and it was totally worth it.

I remember discovering onion dip the morning after a cocktail party my parents gave and sticking my finger in it for breakfast. It seemed so exotic. I also remember my surprise years later to discover it was just dried soup mix and sour cream.

I remember feeding my dog, Sunshine, the brussel sprouts we had at Thanksgiving every year for 15 years running. I carefully pulled them off my plate one by one when no one was looking and dropped them into her mouth.

I remember complete and total happiness sitting at the table with Peter and our three children around us. It all just felt right and full.

I remember making ice cream pies for our children's birthdays.

I remember hating myself for eating breakfast/lunch/dinner — fill in the blank — if I had gained a pound in my daily weigh-in.

I remember the humongous chocolate chip cookie Rachel made with the babysitter the time Peter and I went away overnight.

I remember the thrill of dumping my Halloween pillowcase onto the floor and rifling through the candy. I remember my mother grabbing all the Hershey bars with almonds because they were a favorite. I didn't mind.

I remember deciding to stop eating red meat and being so surprised it was as easy as it was.

I remember the babysitter trying to make me eat cold rice with cinnamon and mushrooms and telling my mother about it when she came home from work. She fired Mrs. Crawford the next day, but the damage was done. I couldn't eat rice for a decade and I still hate mushrooms.

I remember being told children were starving in India and that's why I had to finish what was on my plate.

I remember the candy drawer my mother had in our kitchen and always being excited to see what she had bought on grocery shopping day.


I remember dewy grass on bare legs, picking blueberries in the old cabin by the lake in the early morning. I remember blueberry pancakes, brimming with berries in spite of how many we'd stuffed in our mouths while picking

I remember birthday ice cream cakes and the year my brothers ate mine before I got so much as a bite.

I remember Dad coming home with bags full of goodies for road trips. I remember feeling extra special when they were for my birthday trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame and sitting in the backseat with Jen, free to eat as much as our little 5th-grade hearts desired.

I remember sushi lunches with Dad after trips to the museum in high school. I remember feeling adventurous and sophisticated and special for having this shared food love in common.

I remember the first time I baked Mjurk Pepparkakor, teary-eyed at growing up and the continuity between my mom's kitchen and mine, clear across the country.

I remember afternoons at Jessica's eating cookies. Lots and lots of cookies, talking until the sun set and homework called. And I remember hours spent over cups of coffee, discussing religion and boys and dreams.

I remember grilled sausage and vegetables, wine in red cups and a glorious cake that afternoon in the park a few years back when John and I got married and all of our friends came together for a meal.

I remember baking muffins and not eating them.

I remember lunch at my grandparents' house, feeling that everything was just right and a little bit fancy.

I remember afternoons by the lake, a sand-encrusted cooler storing lemonades and potato chips for G and me from our Grandy. All summer was filled with these excursions and for each one she prepared us a treat.

I remember no one believing that I didn't like broccoli growing up. I feel satisfied when I remember this now, now that everyone believes me.

I remember when John and I talked over dinner, drinking wine and listening to music instead of haunting the table together like we do so many nights now, bleary-eyed and with little to report other than what M has eaten and said and done.

I remember when M was born and Nancy came. Three meals a day just appeared before us, homemade and sustaining and delicious. I remember feeling intense love in that food; I remember feeling seen.

I remember when M was born and our friends here stopped by, bringing food and congratulations and leaving us with one less thing to figure out.

I remember when M was born, nurses poking and prodding and hassling me about how nursing was going. I remember trying to shield her from them, recognizing that she knew everything she needed to know and, simultaneously, that I did, too.


  1. I loved this post.. you both have a way of bringing these memories so alive and into the moment. I had to read every word.

  2. Thanks Patrice! We appreciate your reading!