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Its funny how foods can trigger memories....

Monday, August 30, 2010

I wake up to the sound of rain on the tin roof this morning. I knew it had rained, I slept terrible last night for whatever reason, my dreams haunting me with feelings of rejection and anger from the past. I slowly get out of bed to start the morning ritual of coffee and computer time.
My husband is at his desk collecting his necessary paperwork for the day so I go down to make his lunch and a small breakfast for him. Roast beef on an onion roll, my hubby is lucky in the fact he can eat anything and still be trim. Muscles and long limbs. Anyways, I make him a couple mini bagels with peanut butter and get to thinking as the PB scent drifts up into my nose about how my dad ate PB with almost every breakfast food. So a memory pops up of him mixing his pb with syrup on the side when he eats his pancakes on a saturday morning on the ranch. What I should tell you right now is that my dad is about 400# and only 5'7 or so. He is a Correctional officer and has a free gym membership. No matter how much I try to get him to lose a bit of weight he refuses. He wasn't always like that. I remember him strong and fit, always a bit of a belly but never ever flabby. As he has gotten older and we no longer have the ranch he has just gained and isn't active. I worry constantly since I am a 12hr drive away from him.
Peanut Butter isn't the only food that triggers memories for me. Bacon is another. Bacon means gravy in my mind. I don't want the bacon itself but the wonderful grease that comes from it to create a liquid heaven that I could sit and eat with a spoon all day. If I learned anything as a kid on the ranch from my grandma its how to fry up a T-bone and make some good ass country gravy...out of anything on hand. I don't even need meat and you would die for a taste. Needless to say, G-ma cooked only fried foods and was severely obese.
On a healthier note bananas make me think of my Great g-pa. He always bought them when us kids were coming over and put them under the sink for whatever reason. My Portuguese grandpa who I loved dearly and lost in 94'. He was an amazing man who ruled our little Portuguese family with an iron hand.
Its funny how food triggers so many memories for me. I was not a heavy child, I was tall and all arms and legs till my 20s. Food wasn't important to me, I ate to survive. I wonder why my mind focuses on the food that triggers the memory and not just the memory itself?? Who minds a bit twisted anyways.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon great blog...
    2763 days ago
    We are such a complicated species! Our minds work in the craziest ways. I am happy to have the memories I do, even if they are mostly associated with food. I have no negative food memories. Even my dad mixing his PB with syrup is not negative. I wasnt after him to lose weight then. I dont like PB either but I can see it just as clearly in my mind as if I was sitting next to him now at the table. Maybe thats why I see it and can remember it so clearly. The thought of eating the PB with syrup was so gross that I have kept that with me all these years. I love the memory though and if that is the reason I have it then thats ok with me. My family never nurtured with food. We ate what we had, there really was nothing special to it. The holidays arent clear even though my family was HUGE back then( alot of the old family has passed since ) Its little things. I think they are more precious to me, these little moments that pop up from time to time. I was happy for the memory this morning, it evened out the dreams of last night.
    2763 days ago
    ...I have nights like that, too.
    "A strong woman
    is a mass of scar tissue that aches
    when it rains and wounds that bleed
    when you bump them
    and memories that get up
    in the night and pace in boots to and fro."

    From FOR STRONG WOMEN by Marge Piercy

    ...I would agree with others that smell is the strongest sense for memory, and then something else triggered in my mind. Like you, I also remember food, and often more clearly than the memories/occassions themselves.

    I suddenly wonder if it's because the food is the 'pure' uncomplicated part of the memory... it speaks of love and joy and security. I don't know about you, but in my life the 'best' food was straightforward, while the relationships it is associated with are very complicated and not always nurturing. As I grew up and away from the scene of the crimes, I think perhaps I hung on to the food because it was/is the one way I can get a quick dose of the love, without the complicated feelings attached to the relationships.

    Because, as I balance my relationship with food (eat to live, rather than live to eat) and stop associating and making food as important as the relationships within which I share it, I am forgetting food, and remembering interactions more. Even that smell of fresh baked bread, or fish straight out of the lake fried in butter with fresh garden tomatoes, or whatever the food is (gravy with a spoon! YUP!), while still wonderful and bringing a smile to my lips, it isn't something I need to go overboard on. These 'memory' foods are the only foods I will eat even if I am full, and I no longer do this. Christmas, Easter, any holiday time, or time I associate with people who nurtured me with food, but not in many other ways, are now about the experience, and not about the food.

    Dunno... what do you think?
    2763 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/30/2010 2:03:15 PM
    Smell is a powerful thing, known to trigger lots of memories. Many we aren't even aware of! Comfort foods are so common I don't think you're twisted. It is hard to watch the ones we love not take care of themselves, but all we can do is to start with ourselves and hope that they eventually come around. emoticon
    2763 days ago
    Some foods do the same for me. Fresh baked bread always takes me back to my Grandmothers kitchen. Considering all the comfort foods, it really is no wonder. Good times spent with family were usually focused around meals. For this reason they should always trigger good memories. I hope all your memories are good.
    2763 days ago
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