I will admit to you, my friends, that I occasionally purchase O, The Oprah Magazine. Especially when she has summer reading lists, as she did this month. I am also a huge fan of her columnist Lisa Kogan. I think she and I are living parallel lives, she living in the more successful universe, apparently. This months, Kogan's column was all about her life through memories of food. It got me thinking that a lot of my memories are tied to food as well, and that I might like to share them.
My Grandma Fleming will always be peach Hi-C (out of a circular aluminum can) and Archway oatmeal cookies. She made a phenomenal apple pie, that certain women in my family can replicate, but for me, this juice and cookies snack will always be my memory of my maternal grandmother. We'd have a cookie or two and a glass of Hi-C and then she would play a game of checkers with me. Or let me trace pictures through onion paper. Or let me sort through the extremely cool glass squares she had collected. Good times.
From first through fourth grade, I attended Catholic school in an Italian parish. This meant that several times a year there would be spaghetti dinners. REAL spaghetti dinners. Not this crap the Irish parishes are trying to pull off over at St. Bridget of Kildaire. The pasta sauce and meatballs from St. Anthony's spaghetti dinners will remind me of my youth both at school and at my paternal grandparents' house. My dad's parents were heavily involved with the church and, thus, the dinners. Both grandparents had a heavy hand in the making of both the sauce and meatballs for the dinners - both at the parish dinners at at their home every Sunday - where we were expected to be at noon every Sunday. In Columbus, Carfanga's sauce comes about the closest (but you have to add red wine when you cook it).
When I converted in May, I gave up pork. To be honest, I am weaning myself from it. We don't have it in the house at all, but I cannot resist now - nor have I ever been able to resist - a good BLT sandwich. When I was pregnant, Osi and I went to Rooster's restaurant before almost every doctor's appt. and there I ordered what I believed to be the perfect BLT. Lots of crispy (but not burnt) bacon that is not the fancy stuff, either; two thick slices of tomato and a couple of leaves of iceberg lettuce topped with a healthy (ahem) slathering of mayo. On a toasted white bun. It is so simple and so yummy. Too many places try too hard and end up screwing this up. So, thank you, Rooster's, for providing me my pregnancy food memory - your perfect BLT.
And what is food without drink? Thanks to the Wandering Jews, and the friendships I have developed with them over dinners, drinks, wings and beer over the last year or so, Corona Light will always taste like friendship to me. It's my drink of choice during the summer, and we have had so many laughs over cookouts, fire pits, fireworks and hot wings, all accompanies with a Corona Light with a lime. It would be nice if this were the last thing I taste before I die.