When food tastes like memories :)

I was running though Chicago’s O’Hare Airport in April 2023 trying to make it to my connecting flight.  I swear the airlines get some kind of devilish pleasure when they make sure you only have 30 minutes between flights and the gate is miles away and in the most remote part of the terminal.  I can see them rubbing their hands together like a cartoon villian and muttering with pleasure bahahaha she isn’t going to make it.

In any case as I was quickly walking and dodging people as politely as I could I was stopped cold by an aroma that brought back childhood memories of shopping in Oak Brook Il.  Freshly made Caramel Corn.  It was such a treat and we only got it once or twice a year.

If I recall correctly the popcorn stand was right by the escalator in Sears.  I know this because the other treat I remember is riding the escalator.  It fascinated me and my siblings and we pleaded with our parents to take us there. The escalator was actually more of a draw than the caramel corn.

As we came down the escalator the aroma of the freshly popped caramel corn surrounded us and we became the ultimate in used cars salesmen pleading with our parents as if our life depended on this delicious treat.  My parents always relented and bought a bag to be shared with my siblings.  It felt like an extravagance to be savored.

Unfortunately when I discovered the kiosk that was selling this delicious reminder of my childhood the line was 10 deep and I had no time to wait so I promised myself to get some on the way home from Omaha and I did.

It was just as wonderful as I remembered.  I savored it like it was gold.  I also saved some for Paul so he, too, could enjoy this treat.

He took a handful and tasted it and said “mmm it is all right” as he grabbed another handful.

All right..wait what..just all right?  Nope.  I grabbed the bag and told him to quit eating my childhood.  Bahahahahaha

In my eyes he did not appreciate the treasure I was sharing.

As I write this I think of other treasures of my childhood.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup, my favorite lunch.  From kindergarten to fifth grade we walked home for lunch and I was always so happy to see my Mom stirring the soup as the grilled cheese sandwhich sizzled in the sandwhich maker.  A predecessor to the fancy panini press. 🙂

Homemade birthday cakes, slight lopsided but fresh and gooey and so delicious.

My grandmothers buckwheat pancakes, crispy and light.  I could eat a dozen right now.

My grandmother’s fried chicken, homemade bread, vegetable soup and homemade ice cream.  Oh the homemade ice cream !  A homemade custard  churned in an ice cream maker by the adults with ice and rock salt and had to be eated quickly lest it melt into ice cream soup.

Making ice cream (in the fall???)

Making Ice Cream

What is it about food that tastes like memories?  I suppose it is dangerous in this day and age to say food is love but honestly that is what I remember about my childhood. Even the awful tuna glop my father made on the evenings my mother had her done has a tinge of love to it.  By the way it really was awful.  It was Cream of Asparagus Soup heated with a can of tuna and then poured over cornbread.  Who in the world came up with that recipe?  I survived those Friday Tuna Glop nights but of all the food of my childhood this one has never been recreated by me.  My brother loves it.  Ughhh.

And while not from my childhood I do have fond memories of  hamburgers and fries from What A Burger.  We had one just outside the gate of the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas.  We were newlyweds there and about 2 years later new parents.  Our daughter’s baby book box has a grease stain on it from a bag from What a Burger.  A treat Paul brought to save me from the awful hosptal food.

About 5 years ago we were vacationing in Florida and discovered there was a What a Burger near by.  We had at least two meals there and it was like a time machine for me.  Honestly they could have been the worst burgers ever ( they weren’t thankfully) and I probably still would have loved them for the memories they hold for me.  New marriage, new baby.  A simple sweet time of our life.

I hope I am not the only one that has precious memories of food.  I also hope that What A Burger will make an appearance in Virginia in the near future.  In the meantime I may have to make a grilled cheese sandwhich and tomato soup or maybe some buckwheat pancakes.  Yum!

By the way there are no calories in food that tastes like memories.  You heard it here first.

As always keep triing.

Jennifer 🙂

P.S. You too can get this right into to you inbox almost every Tuesday (a day earlier than everyone else!)  Just fill out the very annoying pop up in this post!

All grammatical and spelling errors are my gift to you and may you have a magical day or several 🙂

I was recently published in the book ” So God Made a Mother”  and more recently I have a quote in the beautiful companion journal ( you can order it here) and I am working on a yet to be named novel.  My six grandchildren keep me young and my very organized hubby Paul tolerates my very unorganized yiddle ( middle and youngest) self.  Opposites do attract 🙂


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