An American Highlander

Travels Through My Mind

Palate Memories February 20, 2012

Filed under: Getting to know me — charismaloy @ 2:40 am

The mountains across the road are not visible today. Quite frankly, the road was not visible on much of my sixty mile drive to work. The snow has settled over us and promises to stay at least through the night. We are an insulated community this evening, enclosed as we are by the snowfall. It is a wet, spring snow, and therefore more dangerous as it cannot be trained to stay out of the roadways where it promptly turns to ice. Six mule deer took advantage of the fact that I was paying enough attention to stop for them and bounded across the road. the last one reminded me of reindeer as all four feet left the ground simultaneously in a joyful bound.

When the snow or rain insulates us like this I find myself craving comfort foods from my childhood. When I was a kid on the outskirts of Los Angeles, rainy days meant a communal stack of tuna fish sandwiches, cut on the diagonal and  individual mugs of piping hot tomato soup. The soup to sandwich ratio had to be just right so that the last piece of sandwich soaked up the last drop of soup. It was a wonderful thing.

I find that, as I think about the culinary delights of my youth, I enjoy a good many flavor combinations that are underapperciated by my adult friends. I suppose it is a matter of an untrained palate. I can make a peanut butter and pickle sandwich and share it with my goddaughter, but her mother looks at me as though I have lost my mind. Barbeques have always been interesting, and I always know when I have eaten enough hamburgers at any one friends house because my favorite fixings are out with all the regular ones. My mother was raised by her grandfather, who was raised in the midwest before the Great Depression. He got her hooked on hamburgers, served on wheat bread with mayonaisse on one side and creamy peanut butter on the other. Has to be creamy or it’s just not right. She in turn passed this ambrosia on to the children she fed when I was young. It works great when you replace the hamburger with hot dogs too, and is the only way I will eat a hot dog. I know when I see the jar of Jif next to the lettuce and tomatoes that I am loved.

Here’s an odd challange for you. Will you try my odd culinary favorites? Will you challange me with yours? Nothing fancy now, just a different twist on an ordinary dish. I am always up for a new flavor, so give me a new taste to sample, and try one of mine. Trust me I have more that sound even more disgusting but are remarkably tasty. I picked a tame one to share. Will you? Be sure to tell me what triggers your craving, that can be the most fun!

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2 Responses to “Palate Memories”

  1. Hey Charis, that sounds like you live in a very beautiful place. That sounds like a tough, yet soul restoring drive.
    Your great grandfather sounds like my kind of guy. I take it that was an open faced burger with the mayo and PB. I’ll give that a go one of these days. So, here’s one of mine for a cold winter’s morning. A bowl of oatmeal (the real stuff, not that instant) with raisins or dried cherries cooked in, a sprinkle of Demerara sugar and whole milk. mmm mmm good!

    • charismaloy Says:

      Actually, the mayo goes on one piece of bread, the PB on the other, the hot patty melts the PB and ooooooo, my word what a flavor. Holding it in your hands is one of the best parts since part of the memories attached is the laughter on Mom’s face as she tried to lick up the melty PB and mayo before it could reach her watch.
      Oatmeal has very negative memories attached, so for a very long time I did not eat it at all. In the last ten years or so I have been working to replace those negative memories with better ones. I find I like it with trail mix cooked in. I will have to find some dried cherries, that sounds good.


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