The night before last two storms roared through my town, one right after the other. They brought wind and rain and lightning strikes that caused a fire in a garage and another in a house. Thankfully nobody was injured. And thankfully, the storms brought our heat wave temperatures down to a tolerable level.
So what does one do when it is cool enough to run the oven? In this house, one bakes cookies.
I dug out two of my cookie mixes, stirred them up and after I put the second batch into the oven I called my son who is also my next door neighbor and said, "There be cookies." He replied, "I'll be right over."
We sat and talked of many things and I was reminded of when my kids were young children. They delighted in sneaking cookie dough from the bowl whenever I was baking cookies. I would fuss at them as Mom's are prone to do and they would think they were getting away with putting one over on Mom. In reality, I had a hard time keeping a straight face and I always stirred up extra dough, knowing what would happen.
Later that evening I heard the sound of my son's key in the lock of my apartment door. He soon stuck his head through the doorway of the living room and followed with a big strawberry malt made with fresh strawberries. He knows how I dearly love ice cream in any form and it was a real treat as well as a nice surprise.
I was reminded of a time when the kids were small. If we would visit my parents of a morning, my Dad would fix my kids chocolate malts for breakfast. Mother would always fuss at Dad, telling him that chocolate malts were not a proper breakfast. Dad would always counter by telling her the malts were healthy because he used Carnation Instant Breakfast Mix for the flavoring and ice cream was, after all, a dairy product that was good for kids. And the kids would listen to them and grin, knowing that the next time they visited in a morning, they would again be treated to chocolate malts for breakfast.
The other day my son surprised me with a bag of fresh cherries. I love cherries. I have been nibbling on them, using every bit of my will power to keep from eating them all at once.
I was reminded of a time when Dad needed to travel for his job from our home in west central Minnesota to the capitol city of St. Paul, a journey of 100 plus miles. Sometimes he would look at me and ask, "Do you want to go for a ride, Sis?" (He often called me 'Sis.') When those trips occurred in the summertime, Dad would stop at a roadside fruit stand on the way and buy a paper sack full of cherries. The trip would then proceed while we ate cherries from the sack, spitting the pits out the open car windows. I was never allowed to spit cherry pits out the window when Mother was in the car, for it wasn't lady like and she had high hopes of making a lady out of me. But with Dad, I could get away with most anything that wasn't really bad or illegal.
It is funny how certain foods can trigger memories. Potato salad reminds me of family picnics at the lake. Gingersnap cookies remind me of visiting relatives on hot summer days, eating Mom's freshly baked gingersnaps and drinking ice cold lemonade on the wide front porch of our house. Pancakes remind me of a time of eating little else for a week because that was all we had.
Lot of things trigger memories, but different foods seem to do it more for me. There are good memories and some that are not so good. The good memories mostly of times past when life was much more simple. And the less than good memories remind me to keep adding to my food stash because I never want to go through another time like that.
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