True Story
Adventure Life

Delicious memories

I love food. For me, trying new foods and eating old favourites is really enjoyable.

The thing with food is that it creates strong memories. A certain dish will remind us of “that time”, or “that place”. We will eat certain things with certain people. Food can surprise us, fill us, entertain us and excite us. Soon enough, food becomes not simply nice tasting nutrition, but a memory, a moment and an adventure.

A photo collage of foods with special memories for me.
Some foods that hold special memories for me… From the top left corner, clockwise: the world’s best bananas, always a priority when we visit Timor-Leste; the world’s best hot chocolate, from a chocolate store in Barcelona (we came back for more a few days later); Weis bars, the delicious, proudly Queenslander ice creams that my Uncle Drapes will always bring for dessert; and a snail, with its delicious sludgy garlic sauce, that was eaten enthusiastically in Paris.

A lot of my key food memories come from various holidays around the world. I love the variety of food we have from every corner of the globe; food is something that brings all of us together under its tantalising, sustaining fingers.

Paris holds many food memories for me. We were there for two short days, and spent nearly the whole time eating. At midnight our first night, we sat and watched the Eiffel Tower light up while eating our warm crepes we had ordered from a cart. I’m not sure if the location influenced my memory, but from what I recollect, they were the most delicious crepes I think I will eat in my life. Think banana, Nutella and fresh crepes… mmm.

The next day for lunch, we stopped in the Jewish Quarter for falafel. In the tight square, I think there may have been three falafel restaurants. Picking the one with the longest lineup of locals (L’As du Fallafel), we ordered, received our overstuffed pita pockets from the window, and sat ourselves down with our backs to a shop wall. Maybe one day the memory of the incredible tastes will fade away, but the memory of the experience won’t ever.

All my family seated on the cobblestone path in front of a closed shop in Paris, eating some of the best falafel I've ever had.
Eating our amazing falafel.

I could go on and on about the food of Paris: garlicky snails, macaroons on a clandestine mission to buy mum’s birthday present, and amazing pastries. Mmm…

We go to Adelaide about once a year to visit my great-grandparents, and every time, we eagerly anticipate going to Adelaide Central Market to stuff ourselves with good quality food. We wander the aisles with packets of cold meats and loaves of freshly baked bread under our arms, searching for samples of fine cheeses and fresh fruit. Our visit to the market is never complete without piroshki, a type of Russian pie. As good food often is, it is very simple (but time-consuming to make), with a warm, greasy pastry holding peppery beef. Maybe I have had it somewhere other than the market, but for me, piroshki is almost synonymous with Adelaide Central Market.

Eating piroshki in Adelaide Central Market.
Piroshki in Adelaide Central Market.

My family frequently have salad wraps for lunch, and we cannot eat them without thinking of my Uncle Nathan. We introduced him to the ‘phenomenon’ of meat-less wraps several years ago, and now every wrap made by him is a gourmet arrangement.

Eating salad wraps (with salami... defeats the purpose of 'salad' wraps :) ) with my Uncle Nath.
Eating salad wraps with Uncle Nathan.

My friends and I have semi-frequent picnics at school, where we each bring in something and sit under the trees at lunch-time. This results in a lot of food, sugar and laughs. We always go back into the next class extremely cheery. ๐Ÿ™‚

One of the picnics my friends and I have had at school.

One of our picnics; for this one, we had three wheels of brie, and we managed to nearly polish it all off. ๐Ÿ™‚

Food definitely gives us a lot to reminisce about: “Do you remember when we struggled through those Quakeshakes at Donut King?” (my cousin and I underestimated the size of those monsters and have vowed never to have them again until we’re at least 18). “Do you remember when we were camping and ate bug nachos?” (there were swarms of various insects around that night, and we gave up on picking them out of our food). “Do you remember when we were little and stayed up until ten cooking chicken for mum and dad?” (we would have been 6 and 7, and my sister and I wanted to cook cheese-on-toast, chicken wings and banana splits for mum and dad’s dinner).

My cousin and I drinking our thick, indulgent Quakeshakes.
The indulgent Quakeshakes (which we had on already full stomachs).
Gabby and I (ages 6 and 7) seated on the floor in the kitchen, surrounded by random kitchen items. A dish of chicken wings is on the bench, with some other random ingredients; chocolate milk, a baguette, condensed milk, mustard, ham.
Gabby and I, looking very young and having fun, preparing the three-course meal for mum and dad. I wonder what we were using the tomato sauce for…

It is also easy to bond, and have a good time together over food. I think maybe because it is a key part of all of our lives, and we can all enjoy it. Whether it’s making the food, or eating it, I reckon it’s a pretty good reason to spend time with someone.

With that in mind, I think of time spent cooking with my Nan. She’s an excellent cook, and while I don’t have the same enthusiasm for cooking as my sister, Gabby, I feel I learn a lot when Nan teaches me to cook. When she visits us, she works hard to stock our freezer full of baked goods and meals. We get home from school to find her hard at work in the kitchen, perhaps with the first blini to test. We then get to help out; assembling pelemeni (Russian dumplings), stuffing apple turnovers, stirring borscht. On a weekend, we might take turns making jam, slices, pies and cakes. And so, the making of the food becomes an opportunity to spend time with Nan; learning how to cook, while listening to the stories she has to tell. And then of course, we all get to enjoy the end product. ๐Ÿ™‚

I think it’s quite cool how we can enjoy food not only for its taste, but for the experience. It makes what could be simply a one-off thrill a long lasting memory.

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Gabby Francis
    April 16, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Yum!!! ๐Ÿ˜

  • Reply
    Wally R
    April 16, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    Nice story. Now I’m feeling hungry.

  • Reply
    Josh Francis
    April 17, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Some great memories there true.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    April 18, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Oh, this reminded me of eating falafel and hummus in Jerusalem, One of the best food experiences of my life!! I’m yet to travel to Paris — absolutely on my bucket list. The more I have travelled, the more I value sharing food. It’s so beautiful to make those connections.

  • Reply
    Celina
    April 19, 2019 at 7:22 am

    Lovely reflection Trudy! Made me think about the great food Mum always made on New Year and the sharing & fun on that day which set the tone for the year!

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