I’m writing this blog from Dan’s parents villa in Spain, there’s sunlight streaming through the window and the faint hum of what I think must be the fridge.
Yesterday was pancake day and we diligently shopped for the ingredients and made batches of batter after dinner. I covered my thin pancake with lemon juice from a bottle before coating it with sugar.
Seeing the sugar get saturated with lemon and taking that first bite, I was transported back home, watching my mum make the same pancakes, year after year.
From the very first year I remember when she taught us how to roll them up, until last year, there was rarely a pancake day that went by without my mum’s pancakes, some lemon juice and sugar.
Around the dinner table (there are six of us on holiday together) we got onto the conversation of food memories. There were some great stories about the way foods trigger memories including one where someone bought bananas and custard after their Granddad died so they could eat it in his memory.
It made me realise just how important food is to us and how often we forget this side of the equation. We can become so consumed with labelling food as good or bad, thinking about whether we ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ eat it, how many calories it has or how much exercise you’ll ‘need’ to do to compensate… we forget about the way food frames our lives.
Memories of grandparents can so often be linked to a type of food we ate with them. Certain dishes remind us of our parents, restaurants trigger memories of dates gone by… I could go on.
The point is, it makes me so happy to think about food in this pure, unashamed way.
I recently picked up ‘Eat up‘ by Ruby Tandoh and I cannot wait to start reading it, she talks about food in such a positive and fascinating way, reminding us all how important and joyful food should be.
Here are a few of my favourite food memories:
- Eating pasties for dinner in Cornwall with my grandma.
- My Granddad’s spaghetti made from Campbells tomato soup.
- My mum’s pancakes with lemon and sugar.
- Paprika Pringles and pistachios on family holidays in Dubai.
- Boiled eggs on top of a mountain in Switzerland.
- Homemade chocolate chip muffins for breakfast (only allowed at the weekends).
So next time you’re deciding what to have for dinner, instead of debating how many calories you should have, do me a favour and think about a favourite dish from your childhood and have a go at recreating it.
Allow yourself to feel nostalgia and pleasure from food. It should be a source of joy, not stress. What are your favourite food memories? Let me know in the comments below!
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