on food and memory

I think memory improves certain types of food.

I have this memory of being a kid, and my mom and I having girl time together. We’d go to the mall, and then we’d go to Taco Bell, where I’d have a chalupa (or tostada or whatever the flat taco is called) and we would share a Nachos Bell Grande. I remember when standard tacos came with sour cream and tomatoes, and I remember being disappointed when they no longer did and you had to order the “supreme” version to get those things. Going to Taco Bell with my mom after a day of shopping was a special treat. And I loved it. Today, the adult part of my brain thinks, “Taco Bell? Gross!” But the kid in me thinks, “Mmmm, Taco Bell! Let’s get some!”

The same goes with Arby’s. When we had a busy evening and Mom wasn’t going to be able to cook, sometimes Dad would stop at Arby’s on his way home from work. They had the five roast beef sandwiches for $5 deal, so he’d pick up 10 sandwiches for us. (There were six in our family.) We never sat down at the table to eat Arby’s. Instead we’d gather around the bar that separated the kitchen from the dining room. Half of us would eat standing up since we only had three stools. Usually Mom and Dad were taking bites in between getting ready to go to where ever we needed to go. My two youngest brothers loved Arby’s Sauce so much that when we had other meals that included French fries, they’d mix ketchup and mustard together because they thought that’s how you made Arby’s Sauce. Today, the adult part of my brain thinks that Arby’s is not good, but the part of me that remembers these things thinks, “Mmmm, sounds tasty!”

There are other things, too…. Did you ever eat Totino’s frozen pizzas? They were small frozen pizzas, and the pepperoni or Canadian bacon was cut up into tiny squares. I got to make those when I was babysitting my brothers if Mom and Dad were going out. Sometimes we also had them on busy nights or for Saturday lunches. We’d have to make three of them just for us kids because my oldest brother and I could eat an entire pizza each. I don’t know that I’d call those pizzas special treats like the Arby’s or Taco Bell, but I do remember them fondly, and sometime when I know I’m going to be home alone for dinner because Husband is at work, I’ll buy one and eat it. And there’s a part of my brain that thinks, “You are disgusting,” and there’s another part of my brain that thinks, “Mmmmm.”

Memory improves these foods that really aren’t all that good, because every time I eat them, I remember these family moments.

I have other food related memories, too, and those are about the things that actually were really good. But I think I’ll save those memories for another post.

One comment

  1. I remember coming to your house and eating your mom’s mac in cheese. Or stealing your Lemon Chillers cookies that your mom had packed in your lunch box. Oh, or what about that barbque place we used to go to all the time at lunch with Chris! Was it Big Mo’s??? LOL!!

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