In Psychology class in college, we had an entire unit on how certain smells can bring back memories. This happens to me all the time. What they really neglected to touch on is how your sense of taste can do the same thing!
Remember that scene in Ratatouille when the young chef brings food critic, Anton Ego, ratatouille? His coworker, his former boss, and even Mr. Ego cannot believe that this was the dish he chose to serve him. With one bite of the dish – Ego is immediately taken back to his childhood and is eating that very dish served to him by his mother. It is one of y favorite scenes in the movie.
I have certainly had this happen to me, but never with such a simple dish. I have had meatballs that taste like my grandma used to make. I have had breaded steak which tastes like grandma’s. I have had tuna noodle casserole that tasted just like my mom used to make. Today, it was something that I have certainly had more than once in the last year, and never had this happen. Today, while Ella napped, I made a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
I was hungry and wasn’t really sure what to make. Sam had the peanut butter out on the counter, so I decided a PB&J would hit the spot. I threw it together and grabbed a glass of milk. I sat out on the couch and took a bite. With that bite, I was immediately 11 years old. I am home on a summer day in the back yard. Things I had forgotten about, are suddenly very vivid.
I was sitting out on our back patio at a round table with a glass top. The umbrella has a burn mark in it from when my brother set it on fire with a sparkler. In front of me is the brick barbeque that the previous owner built, but we only used it for the first few years we were in the house. It had a huge metal square lid that covered the grill. In back of me is the sliding patio door, where my mom stood and handed me my sandwich, chips, and glass of milk. In the middle of the yard is a swing set. There were two swings, a bar, and a set of rings (which I used to be able to do flips on). In one corner of the yard was a beat up dog house from the previous owner and in the other a garden.
I remember so many summer days sitting out there and eating lunch. The funny thing is, I mostly remember eating bologna and cheese sandwiches out there. Why a PB&J brought this memory back so vividly, I’m not sure.
When I was in elementary school, kids could walk home and eat lunch and walk back to school. I remember doing this on occasion. I want to say that the distance from my house to the school was like 5-7 blocks. I liked being home, but I remember you literally had to sit down, wolf down your sandwich, and get back to walking or you’d be late. In today’s society, I can’t imagine letting my kids walk that!
Today, the table, umbrella, doghouse, swing set, garden, and my mom are all gone. I think the barbeque is still there, I could be wrong. It was nice to think back on those days today.