My sister and I reminisced the other day about the sometimes quirky culinary traditions/memories we grew up with in a small rural Missouri town south of Saint Louis:
oÂ Â Â Â Â Â the Friday Night Fish Fry at the KC Hall;Â (or the ever-popular fish sticks served on TV trays in front of the Lawrence Welk Show by our babysitter, Mrs. Creamy, when we had to stay home),
oÂ Â Â Â Â Â sitting at the â€œThe Kidsâ€™ Tableâ€and getting to â€˜graduateâ€™ to â€œThe Big Tableâ€,
oÂ Â Â Â Â Â â€œHas-Ta-Goâ€ Night at my beloved Ami-Grammersâ€™ house which meant we fashioned dinner around whatever leftovers we could find in the frig. (No wonder my boys think Iâ€™m a wizard when I can magically make dinner when they can find â€œnothingâ€ in the refrigerator.),
oÂ Â Â Â Â Â â€œfixing a plateâ€ to take home to your husband or to drop off to the elderly neighbor,
oÂ Â Â Â Â Â shucking corn or snapping green beans while drinking iced tea on the â€œswing patioâ€ in my grandmaâ€™s back yard,
oÂ Â Â Â Â Â the â€œbirthday dinnerâ€ that we got to choose no matter how weird the combination…and the same whirly-gig cake topper that spun out of control to the tune of Happy Birthday on every home-made birthday cake,
oÂ Â Â Â Â Â knocking on the door of the Italian neighbors, Tony and Maria, hoping against all hopes that theyâ€™d ask me to stay for an authentic home-style Italian dinner,
oÂ Â Â Â Â Â Ami-Grammerâ€™s Chicken & Noodles in her china bowls,
oÂ Â Â Â Â Â Grandpa putting the cherry from his Manhattan on the end of his nose like Rudolph.
These memories made us laughâ€¦.and they made us remember.Â Thatâ€™s what food does. Out of its necessity and constancy comes the opportunity to be around the table with others.Â And thatâ€™s how memories are made. Iâ€™m certain that you have similar sweet culinary memories yourself.Â If so, please share them here.Â Weâ€™d love to hear them.
Hope to see you in our kitchen,
Laura Laiben Oâ€™Rourke