Appalachia Appalachian Food Gardening Pap Preserving/Canning

Memories and Food

 

memories connected to food

Each of us have memories that are connected to food. Typically those remembrances are directly related to our childhood, you know the things we ate around the family table like the chocolate gravy I told you about earlier this week.

A few years ago I shared my thoughts about memories which are connected to food you put up yourself. Here’s a portion of that old post:

“Recently I watched the rain come down in sheets while I ate apples I dried back in the fall. As I munched my tasty apples, I realized there’s another reason why things we put up are good.

On a yucky dreary day my dried apples gave me sunshine; a slice of crystal clear Georgia sky; and the sounds of 4-wheelers and giggling girls. In other words my apples gave me a swirl of good memories from the day I dried them.

I’ve long realized we have memories and emotions tied to certain foods-like how we can taste a certain food and instantly be taken back to childhood. But I’ve never before thought of food in connection to the actual day it was made.

I’m positive the next jar of tomatoes I open I’ll smell the hot summer sun shining on the green leaves and the next time I cook a jar of greenbeans for supper I’ll think of the early summer days when we planted them together in Pap’s big garden with friendly banter back and forth among us all.”

I’ve kept pondering on the idea of food I put up being tied to the memory of the day I put it up.

I couldn’t seem to care about none of my growing things after Pap died. But last fall as The Deer Hunter and I harvested the largest crop of apples we’ve ever grown I felt hopeful. Hopeful that all those apples would make some delicious applesauce for us, hopeful that I would dry apples from them for snacks and for a Christmas apple stack cake, hopeful because I knew Pap would be so proud of those apples.

So in some weird, maybe even silly way my canned applesauce became wrapped up in my grieving process for Pap. Now each jar I open reminds me of the hope and sunshine that came after the greatest rain of my life.

Tipper

 

 

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25 Comments

  • Reply
    SusieQ
    August 12, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    Such a sweet sharing…..

  • Reply
    Tipper
    February 3, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Sherry-thank you for the comment! Ill ask Miss Cindy about her recipe. Here is my macaroni-n-cheese recipe and its very good too! https://blindpigandtheacorn.com/blind_pig_the_acorn/2013/01/the-best-ever-macaroni-and-cheese.html  
    Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Jen
    February 2, 2017 at 10:02 am

    So many memories of people I have loved wrapped into the food I make. My Grandma’s cookies bring tears to my eyes. What a beautiful post.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 2, 2017 at 12:26 am

    Tipper,
    I loved this post today. Yes, I am very late in commenting. Your words near brought tears to my eyes.
    Tonight I made Meat Loaf my Moms way, Roma beans, seasoned with rendered bacon and onion. Potato chunks cooked in the green beans. I dug out a big bag of Blueberries ( I freeze picked over but unwashed and wash when I get ready to use them) and made a cobbler.
    It was good eatin’!
    Jim’s comment was doing just fine with my taste buds until he got to the part about the “little rows of eggs making in the carcass”! How I can tolerate fish/crappie roe and not hen baby aigs! Go figure! ha
    I remember a cake my Mom made we kids called “Stomach Ache Cake” for we always ate to much and got a belly ache.
    I loved her Prune Cake! Always loved her leftover from New Years Day fare, Black-eyed peas, with added chopped tomatoes and sugar. So good, you just wouldn’t believe until you tasted them.
    My Grannies, peanut butter toast made on a old cast iron stove, until this day I can’t make this toast, it was to die for and I used to beg for it when visiting her home.
    Dads biscuits, creamed corn breakfast or not, and the best fudge you ever ate. No fancy stuff in it just made with cocoa, butter, etc.
    My Aunts tea…no body in the family could brew a Southern Sweet Tea like my aunt Thelma from Canton.
    One memory I have was eating bear roast at my Uncles. It looked just like beef roast but was huge and darker, tasted a little strong, but us kids slathered it in ketchup and pretended we were David Crockett!
    My Mother-in-law’s stack cake made the way Jim described. It was so good. No one cut into it until the time was just right or you could be swatted with the broom. ha
    There are so many food memories. My canning memories and the boys taking out jars to the woods and eating without my knowledge. When I thought a raccoon was getting in the basement stealing pickles, dilled beans, okra, and squash!
    Thanks Tipper, I could go on and on!
    Great post today!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 1, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    I have a food processor similar to the one in the picture. It does things that these faincy smiancy modren lectric whizzy things can’t. Ats a Country Cuisinart you got there! It has an Energy Star rating of 200. It processes your food and tones up your arm muskles at the same time.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 1, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    If someone made a really good dish and refused to share the recipe I would never eat it again, no matter how good it was. I think refusing to share a recipe should be a capital crime. If they want to take their recipe to the grave with them, we should help them them by hurrying the process along.
    Now about buttermilk. How can people turn up their noses at buttermilk but eat yogurt, sour cream or cottage cheese? Or cheese of any kind for that matter? It is just different steps in the same basic process. Buttermilk shouldn’t be considered a drink. It is a food, as well as a medicine.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    February 1, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Tipper–I suspect you have a recipe for apple stack cake per Suzyj’s request, but if not I have one I’ll gladly round up and share. I shouldn’t really say I have one but rather indicate that I’m heir to a recipe which was my maternal grandmother’s.
    Incidentally, in my opinion, the keys to a truly special stack cake are really thin layers of cake (I like at least seven), using applesauce made from dried apples between the layers, and most of all, time. A prime stack cake needs three days or so of just sitting in a cold room so that the cake and sauce between the layers mix, mingle, and marry into pure culinary magic.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    February 1, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    I wish I could have one of Granny’s biscuits that had been kept warm in the old woodstove warming oven. Slathered with real butter and either molasses or Bob White syrup. That has been over 50 years ago, but I still remember.

  • Reply
    Ken
    February 1, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Tipper,
    I guess we all have our childhood memories to recall. I’m just glad that when you open something, it bring back those wonderful memories. And I love the way you weave those times of yesteryear to today’s style. …Ken

  • Reply
    Betty Louise Saxon Hopkins
    February 1, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Nothing spells love like Mama’s sweetbread! It was such a treat to come home from school and have a slice of sweetbread fresh from the oven that Mama had made for us and a glass of cold sweet milk. The house would be all cozy and warm from the oven and smelled of vanilla flavoring. Occasionally she’d layer the sweetbread and make it into a cake topped with a frosting made from beaten egg whites and fresh cracked English walnuts. It was sooo good and made for such sweet memories!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 1, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    At the risk of sounding too scientific, the senses of taste and smell are arguably responsible for more of our memories than sight and sound. We have pictures and written words to keep our visual memories fresh in our minds. We have records, tapes, cds, and electronic storage of our auditory memories. We have no way to record our senses of taste, smell and touch (at least that I am aware of) yet those memories remain fresh in our minds throughout our lives unless diminished by the likes of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
    Think of the times you’ve smelled or tasted something that you know you have experienced but just can’t put your finger on what it is. With sight and sounds you have references. Smell, taste and touch have no counterpart. No encyclopaedia can describe them. Words and pictures can only compare them. They are like unseen colors or unspoken words. But they remain in our minds. An unrecordable yet recognisable language that is totally our own. What hath God wrought?

  • Reply
    Sherry
    February 1, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Tipper, your post touched my heart in such a special way…especially when you talked about the “biggest rain in my life.” You come out smiling through tears. Thank you.
    Would Miss Cindy share her Mac ‘n Cheese recipe with us? Years ago my husband taught in a Christian School in Clinton, Tn. I helped in it, our older kids attended it and we had a lady who also helped and she would bring her famous mac and cheese for lunchtime. It was soooo delicious, but she would NOT share her family recipe! Ever since…I have tried and tried to duplicate it with no success. Maybe Miss Cindy has the secret or a recipe even better!

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    February 1, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    While growing up we always ate after church dinner at my Mamaws.While just a boy she asked me if I wanted some of her buttermilk. I took a glass and she asked how I liked it. I said it was good. I lied I thought it was awful,but was afraid of hurting her feelings.Every Sunday I was served buttermilk. That’s how I came to love buttermilk.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    February 1, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    While growing up we always ate after church dinner at my Mamaws.While just a boy she asked me if I wanted some of her buttermilk. I took a glass and she asked how I liked it. I said it was good. I lied I thought it was awful,but was afraid of hurting her feelings.Every Sunday I was served buttermilk. That’s how I came to love buttermilk.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    February 1, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    While growing up we always ate after church dinner at my Mamaws.While just a boy she asked me if I wanted some of her buttermilk. I took a glass and she asked how I liked it. I said it was good. I lied I thought it was awful,but was afraid of hurting her feelings.Every Sunday I was served buttermilk. That’s how I came to love buttermilk.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    February 1, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    While growing up we always ate after church dinner at my Mamaws.While just a boy she asked me if I wanted some of her buttermilk. I took a glass and she asked how I liked it. I said it was good. I lied I thought it was awful,but was afraid of hurting her feelings.Every Sunday I was served buttermilk. That’s how I came to love buttermilk.

  • Reply
    Tom
    February 1, 2017 at 11:27 am

    I totally relate to this Tipper, especially the part about sunshine and hope after the greatest rain of your life. I have gone through the same experience and know what you mean.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    February 1, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Oh, Tipper, that is so beautiful! Yes, food is definitely connected to my fondest memories — and as you do, I find it comforting. I make the old recipes, and while they never seem quite as delicious as when Mama or the aunts or my sister made them, they still make that connection.

  • Reply
    SuzyJ
    February 1, 2017 at 9:50 am

    How blessed we are to retain all these wonderful memories. It amazes me at times how just the oddest memory will just pop right in my head bringing a flood of other memories and emotions.
    This brought to my mind an apple stack cake. I searched the blog but couldn’t find a promised recipe. Tipper, could you please share (re) the recipe? Thank you so very much for all you do!

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    February 1, 2017 at 9:19 am

    You have such a way with words and I love how you put them together…..Be blessed !

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 1, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Your post reminds me of the picture you took of the jelly jars on the window sill with the sun shining through. They glowed like jewels.
    It is heartening to know you found comfort from that unexpected source. Like you, I am pondering the deeper meaning because I am sure there is one, or more. Maybe it has something to do with ‘home grown’ and ‘home canned’ being so much about home and your Dad was around and through it all in ways impossible to describe. Maybe it is the continuity of tradition that keeps the chain unbroken. Maybe it is sort of like being far away from home and suddenly hearing someone say an Appalachianism that is like a cold drink of mountain spring water to our longing soul.
    Whatever it is, we who care for you all are glad you all have been finding comfort all along the way.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    February 1, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Food and music are indeed tied to memories. This is probably especially true when vegetable soup is made during the cold snowy days of Winter from canned green beans and tomatoes harvested the previous summer. Several pints are always canned just for that reason. It is just not the same to take a can opener to add a can of corn. A garden was always my therapy, and I could just handle everything better out in the warm sunshine with a hoe in hand.
    With the grieving process, I have found the farther along I go the more I enjoy doing the things that would make my parents proud. They did the hard work of raising us, and now we must live up to their expectations. Sometimes when faced with a dilemma, I must stop and ponder how would my calm Dad handle it. My morning coffee is forever tied to the memory of my Dad who loved his coffee, and we shared many cups through the years.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    February 1, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Tipper–This is one of your finest efforts. Not surprisingly, it comes from the heart, and that’s almost always the source of superior literary endeavor.
    I’ve got worlds of fond food memories, as I suspect is true of many of your readers, especially those who grew up close to the good earth.
    *Momma’s squirrel and gravy.
    *Grandma’s stack cake and fried pies.
    *Backbones and ribs, along with fresh tenderloin, at hog-killing time.
    *Cracklin’ cornbread (another product involving pork, which was the main meat for most mountain folks),
    *Momma’s fried chicken.
    *Grandma’s pickled peaches and watermelon rind pickles.
    *Chestnut dressing at Thanksgiving (Daddy always said it would have been twice as good if we had had American chestnuts available)
    *Baked hens where I got to eat the little rows of eggs in the making inside the carcass.
    *Tomato sandwiches using big, red, luscious Marglobes Daddy grew.
    There’s lots more but I’ve gone and made myself hungry and it’s time for a late breakfast (maybe with some grits and gravy).
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 1, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Food has always been an important part of our lives. What were we doing the first time we ever tasted it. Who were we with, what else happened that day. Celebrations are tied to it, birthday cake, Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas ham. It has never just been about eating, but always a family or social experience to be savored and enjoyed. Not rushed and tasteless

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 1, 2017 at 7:36 am

    This morning I was planning to cook macaroni and cheese. I haven’t made it in a while and I wanted to bake it the way I used to. To do that I pulled out my really old cookbook with the recipe. I haven’t made it that way in so long I just couldn’t remember.
    A whole flood of memories came back about using that recipe to make macaroni and cheese for my family. Good memories, they loved that mac and cheese!
    Then there was another flood of memories just with that old cookbook. I used to pour through that old book looking for something different to cook and I usually found it! The old book is held together now by duck tape!
    Lots of memories floating around this morning, Tip, I know exactly what your talking about!

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