Cooking Up Memories

This is a story, all about how, my life got flipped, turned…oh wait, that isn’t my story (but bonus points for you if you kept singing along). This week’s post is all about how food makes so many memories in our lives. Todd’s birthday was a few weeks back, and I started thinking about his past few birthdays and how we celebrated. Last year, we had a big, Star Wars themed birthday party for him, and then we spent a couple nights in Castle Rock exploring their downtown area, specifically, trying their restaurants.  We ate at Yolanda’s Tacos (which is the restaurant that made the tacos for our wedding), and Guadalajara Family Mexican Restaurant. That lead to a conversation about our trip to Breckenridge last October, and the amazing crepes we had from the Crepes A La Cart, this, by the way, was the only place we ate twice on that trip. Food has an amazing power to trigger so many memories.

I’ve written before about my mom and the stroganoff recipe I learned from her, and how she wasn’t an amazing chef.  But so much of my time with her, was spent in the kitchen. I would make the dips for family get togethers, while she prepared the main dishes.  Todd’s family gave him a canister with the mix for his grandmother’s cookie recipe after she passed away. That canister sits in our kitchen as a reminder of where my husband comes from, and a woman whom he loved so very much.  Every time I eat a really good slice of pizza, I will think of my Uncle Keith who passed away in 2017, and the amazing pizza he used to make at the restaurants he worked at over the years in Berkeley.

Food can transport you back to another place and time.  I was at the grocery store a couple weeks ago, and I saw a bag of shrimp chips. I bought a bag and opened it as soon as I got in the car.  As I took my first bite of the pink, fried chip, I was instantly back at my church in the 90s with my friends. My church was primarily Laotian, and because of that, I got to spend many years eating Laotian and Thai food in the homes of my friends and their families.  For Todd, anytime anyone mentions (or he just thinks of) Chico’s Tacos in El Paso, Texas, he instantly tells me about the time his best friend Ray, and himself drove all the way from Alamosa, Colorado to El Paso to get some Chico’s Tacos.

The thing is, the food isn’t the memory, but rather a catalyst to the memory.  In any context, when I see a mango margarita, I will think of my friend Sara drinking one while she sat on my kitchen floor and I cooked her dinner.  I am almost 40 years old, and every time I see a package of Reese’s Pieces, I think of my grandfather and his house in San Francisco in the 80s. For Todd, when he thinks of lasagna, he is reminded of the Christmas holidays with his family and his mom’s lasagna recipe.  And the stuffing…oh the stuffing! Todd and me both spoke many times about how our mother’s made the best stuffing, only to realize this past year that it is basically the same stuffing recipe, from the Pepperidge Farm bag…but with WAY more butter!

Part of the reason we started this blog was because of these memories. Our love of food comes from these stories.  We would love to hear your memories and which food triggers their memories.

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