Let’s take a stroll down food, er, memory, lane
My Sentiments Exactly
It’s amazing, really, what triggers memories in the humans. Frankly, even the faintest of feels can spark total recall in the average earth-dweller.
At least, that’s what I’ve noticed in my 53 years of observing, I dunno, about a gazillion or so of them. I mean, give or take a zillion, natch. Consider it.
Seeing a hilarious television commercial, the bobbing white caps on the lake or a customized antique car. Hearing a favorite song, the honk of a gaggle of geese flying overhead or the roar of a crowd at a ball game.
Feeling a tropical breeze wash over your beach chair, the strength of your grown son’s arm on your shoulder to steady your gait or the soft fur on your precious puppy. Smelling the lilacs in springtime, the smoky mesquite from the grill or the wafting wonder which is morning coffee brewing. Ahh.
Tasting a new flavor of ice cream, your most beloved home-cooked meal or the sour slurp of an iced tea you believed to be sweet … erroneously. Either way.
The Homo sapiens can hurriedly hearken the old recollection connection at the mere drop of a hat … or the glimpse of a cat … or the sting of a gnat.
Okay fine, ya busted me. I DO like “Green Eggs and Ham.” The Dr. Seuss classic, not the actual chow combo.
Why on earth would anyone willingly eat eggs the same hue as Mr. Yuck?
I tell ya, I won’t do it. Not even for the good doctor himself … and not matter how clever and cutesy his quatrains, capisce?
I will not eat them in a house,
I will not eat them with a mouse,
I will not eat them in a box,
I will not eat them with a fox,
I will not eat them here or there,
I will not eat them anywhere!
Green eggs? BLECH. No thank you.
Unlike the susceptible schoolboy in the book, I ain’t changin’ my mind, yo.
Sam I Am — NOT. But much like that caving kiddo, I, too, am fiery about food. Uh, hello? I’m Italian.
So … is it fair to say that my memory mojo is most motivated at mealtime?
The other day, my first-ever roommate (and bunk-mate … and couple’s skate … and double date) and I were chatting about how some of our happiest memories center around, you guessed it, the magic of MANGIA! My sister and I waxed wistful about some of our all-time favorite fooderies in and about our hometown when we were Sam I Am’s age. Among our top picks for menu items we loved best:
The mouth-watering thick-cut fries and consistently crispy onion rings at the Brown Derby.
The half-sandwich, half-pie, humongously portioned, and scrumptious pizza burger at Alberini’s.
The super sloppy and sensational Slim Jim at Bob’s Big Boy. (Remember how he held that burger up on that tray 365, 24/7 on the rooftop?)
The handmade cream sticks at Poulakos Bakery. The tantalizing, topsy-turvy flawlessness that was the individual pineapple upside-down cake at Mr. Paul’s Bakery.
The pizza perfect pizza per any of the following: The Oven, Petrillo’s Pizza, Margie’s Pizza. Literally any Italian dish at Palazzo’s or Scarsella’s.
The fantastically fried clams at the restaurant in Howard Johnson’s.
I’ll let you guess who preferred what and where.
OK fine, the clams were mine and Pop’s top pick, and Gigi loves the cream sticks.
The most delicious dish of them all? The happy childhood memories they all served up, ya feel me?
Oh, all right … and the pineapple upside-down thingy.
— Kimerer is a columnist who just made herself hungry. Check out her juicy ramblings at www.patriciakimerer.com.