shortcake vs fiddle faddle

They are both very strong food memories for me. I’ve been considering the value of food memories lately and think that it’s extremely important to establish happy food memories for my kids. For instance, I can’t eat a bowl of strawberry shortcake without thinking of my grandparents from New Brunswick. Strawberry shortcake was served each and every time I visited them because they were passionate about growing strawberries in their garden. I can picture my grandmother’s tiny kitchen and how sometimes I would find a biscuit on the floor. Their eyesight was fading so a biscuit on the floor was not always noticed. My grandfather’s family owned a large strawberry farm near Grand Lake when my father was young and I’m sure strawberries evoke a similar happy food memory for him as well.

As for Fiddle Faddle, I’ve never even tried it. Once when I was grocery shopping with my mother I spotted a box of Fiddle Faddle, asked to buy some and my mother had a very strong reaction.

“We will never eat Fiddle Faddle in our house because your grandfather ate a whole box of it the night that he died.” I never met my mother’s father because he died from a stroke related to complications from diabetes before I was born. My mother had decided that Fiddle Faddle would never cross her lips after that. I’ve honored her decision. That’s an unhappy food memory even though I’ve never eaten that food.

I’m struck just now by these two examples and how they are both related to my grandparents. Food can provide you with a history of your ancestry that not much else can.

My wish for my kids is have happy food memories but it’s more than just the taste of something. It’s about the circumstances surrounding the food, how it’s served, who you’ve shared it with, and the pure joy of scent, flavor and togetherness. We accomplish this by eating most meals together and also by allowing everyone to have input into what we prepare every week.

How do you create food memories?