Food Memories

My son came home yesterday for the holiday break. Always an event that makes a Happy Mom.  Over supper, we were chatting about Thanksgiving food, and he shared a memory about his Uncle and an artichoke. You see, my older brother, who passed four years ago, loved artichokes. My son remembered one year when he asked me if I’d cook him one to go with Thanksgiving dinner.  He then went through careful instruction with my son to teach him how to eat one, and my son remembers vividly trying it and thinking “you know what? I don’t hate this.”

My son has no idea how much his sharing of this memory meant to me last night.  The best thing about sharing memories, is that it makes one realize that we aren’t the only holders of them.  When events, or people, pass on, we are left with thoughts and remembrances in our heads and hearts, and some of us RW’s worry that these will fade over time.  When someone else seemingly randomly shares a memory they have of a moment in time, it feels like a happy warm blanket, and helps us keep hope that the legacy of the person or event will live on – and truly meant something to others as well.  No matter how potentially trivial.

Food tends to illicit recollections and memories.  We all have those moments when a smell or flavor will transport us back in time to perhaps a friend’s dinner table, or a grandmother’s kitchen, or a backyard BBQ.  But it is the people and the activities around that food memory that are so special because let’s face it, in a lot of ways, food is social.  And here we are, on the eve of a famously food-focused holiday, and those memories come-a-swirlin’.  Something can spring to mind or conjure a feeling that may not really have as much to do with the food itself as the people involved. Or the setting. Or the weather.  The memory may even be about a table decoration – like the childhood plastic bunny that always held jelly beans that my sibling still puts out every Easter. 

Sure, those RW’s of us who are doing lots of food prep hope for a “this is delicious”, but deep down we know we are more hoping to create memories.  Good AND bad.  Lord knows Epic Food Fails can be really funny years later.  There’s nothing better than having someone share a memory and tell a story that has us laughing and spurting out “I can’t believe you remember that!”  

I’ve spoken to a number of people who this year will be missing some folks around the table for Thanksgiving, due to anything from illness to hospitalization to death to distance.  Missing in person doesn’t mean they will be missing in thoughts and words. Their presence just takes another form.

Memories are best shared spontaneously, out of the blue. Luckily, that is how memories tend to surface – when something someone says or does reminds you of a moment in the past, and truly makes us thankful for having experienced it, no matter how simple or silly it may be. This year, I have a suggestion to us all.  No matter whether you are cooking a feast for a big gathering, a small meal for just a few, making reservations or ordering out for a party of one this week….my wish for you is to pick up the phone, speak up at the table, or write a note to someone to share a “random” memory. 

You never know when a story about an artichoke could make someone’s day.

Happy Thanksgiving and wishes for warm & lovely memories to you all!

About Real Women

A "real woman" mom, wife, worker, friend, sister, daughter....
This entry was posted in celebrations, communication, Entertainment, events, family, Food, history, Holidays, memories, real women, Relationships, Seasons, Traditions, words and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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