• Various/Onna Carr

Meals I Will Always Remember

Post by Onna Carr

My favorite meals have little to do with the food and everything to do with the company. I loved the breakfasts of waffles and oatmeal with the smell of coffee wafting through the house at my great-grandparent's Kansas farmhouse when I was a small child. The sounds of my great-grandparent's voices--my great-grandmother's high voice--rising and falling with inflection and emotion as she queried or got her point across and my great-grandfather's low and monotone voice that would answer or quietly state something in reply. the aura was one of calm and peace with a comfortable crispness in the air as early Spring or late autumn weather crept slowly into the farmhouse.

I then remember Christmas Eve as a child, when my mother would cook up miniature hot dogs in a crock-pot with grape jelly and BBQ sauce, and we would have these with Wheat Thins, Ritz Crackers, beef summer sausage, gouda and mozzarella cheeses. The night would deepen as the Christmas Tree lights twinkled, and presents were opened after waiting for what seemed like a delightful eternity filled with good food and quiet conversation.

I lost my dad at twenty-eight and my mother at thirty. With my parents' loss I lost the future memories at the holidays that we could have shared of food, fun, and laughter and they could have had with my children. But I do have the memories in the past that I shared with them, and I carry the light of these good memories with me into the present and the future with my own children. I think of the memories of those we care about and the times we had with them as a candle's flame. We carry the fire forward from this candle though the candle may flicker out because the flame (memories) that came from it continues on, and that we carry forward.

So every Thanksgiving, I carry traditions forward--I cook a turkey or chicken up with vegetables and serve it with hot rolls and mashed potatoes and gravy with desserts of pumpkin custard and spice cake with apple cider or spiced black tea and binge watch the Big Bang Theory as I have done traditionally for years. The food provides the subtle and filling backdrop while the sitcom provides comedy and a way I can come together with my own family, and we can laugh at the zaniness of life depicted within the series.

Every Christmas Eve, I turn on the Christmas Tree lights and create cheese and cracker trays before we flop flop in the living room with various old Christmas movies and the staple Shrek the Halls. As the lights twinkle, the packages are opened, and the mini hotdogs are eaten, I am reminded that food helps up keep traditions and remember those we have loved and love those in our present lives well by creating memories with the food providing a background web that ties us through all time to the traditions we make and people we have made them with: past, present, and future--and that is worth making a batch of pancakes/waffles for in the morning.

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