Fond food nostalgia

Foods have an intrinsic, powerful ability to take us to a specific time and place- a flavor nostalgia of sorts. The smell of yeast bread- no matter how many I’ve made or tasted since- will forever drop me right into my Maman’s kitchen.

A slow-cooked beef shoulder roasted in its own juices with starchy potatoes, carrots and yellow onions- so tender it doesn’t even demand a knife- will always be Sunday ‘dinner’ in my mind.Β Sundays were one of the many constants in my childhood. My father was- and is- a pastor; and a roast was my Maman’s perfect solution for having a large noon meal ready when we were away all morning.

There will never be a chocolate cake that is too large or too rich. I’m fairly certain I must have somehow been nursed on chocolate milk as an infant. I haven’t discussed that theory with my parents yet, but there could be no other logical explanation.

And one sip of a classic root beer float sits me in a small Pensacola kitchen with my two older sisters. My Grandma’s across-the-street neighbor was a tiny, Southern lady every bit as sweet as the floats she would dish up on any given hot Florida day. It was many years later before I even knew her real name- she was ‘the float lady’ to us. I remember her house was made of stucco- a new word in my six-year-old vocabulary, her colossal oak trees were even older than she was, and she made the best root beer floats I would ever taste.

The Hoback Hefeweizen at Snake River Brewing Company in Jackson, Wyoming was the single drink that convinced me- well into my twenties- that I actually did like beer. Good beer, that is. And I can’t drink one without feeling the satisfaction of a day well spent backpacking in the stunning Tetons.

A coffee bar at a college sorority mixer party began my love affair with fine coffees: an affair that has persisted through various hospital coffee carts, local study hideouts and charming outdoor Italian cafes.

I’m all set to test out a few new recipes this weekend. And every day of school is flooding new entries into my memory bank of all things flavor. I can’t help but wonder how each will shape the taste nostalgia of many tomorrows. Sweet, sweet life. Cheers-

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6 thoughts on “Fond food nostalgia

  1. The chocolate cake you have there looks insanely tall!!! Yum! Am actually cooking a Beef Bourgignon today, funny because I wanted an easy dish to do at home that’s didn’t haven’t tend to for hours! Hopefully you’re having a pleasant weekend cooking the things you love too πŸ™‚

    • I traveled by plane to Las Vegas specifically for that piece of cake (and a fun girl trip) and it was unfortunately not as tasty as it was beautiful. I still ate it all though πŸ™‚ Beef Bourguignon is perfect! A little work up front, but worth the wait! Mmm. Have had a fun weekend so far… have a minted citrus fennel cookie dough in the fridge to bake and finish tomorrow with a tangy lemon mint glaze. Experimenting! Will post if they’re a win πŸ™‚ Enjoy your lovely dinner!

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