Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dream a Little Dream of Me, or B.S.?

Drinking Kijafa and Akvavit reminds me of my maternal grandparents, who were Danish. I love consuming food and drinks that remind me of them because it is always comforting and, to be honest, only brings back the good memories. Memories related to my parents are another story altogether, but let's stick with good ones, eh?

I don't even know if my grandparents drank Kijafa. I know they drank Akvavit. At the Danish club, Aquavit was always present. The caraway sweetness is synonymous, in my mind, with adult beverages since I was never old enough to drink when I saw my grandparents drink it. Now, when I drink Akvavit, I feel grown-up.

My grandparents were together for decades and I never knew much about their past. What I know is made up of the times I remember being with them when I was a child and the the little I picked up when I spent time with my grandmother the two or so years before she passed away. I wish I knew more about them and I wish I could find a partner that would stay with me until the end. It doesn't look like that is happening any time soon.

My grandpa always made rice pudding for Christmas. He would always put an almond in the pudding, which was hunted after by the kids. The person who found the almond won a prize. Now, no matter who it is in my family, or where we are, we all hunt for almonds in our rice pudding. It isn't even because we are looking for the almond. It is because that is the way we eat rice pudding. I like to think that we all have good memories of my grandpa and we honor him when we search blindly for something that we know for a fact just isn't there. I have never encountered a rice pudding that was as good as his. I honestly don't even remember what his tasted like, but I will never think any rice pudding is as good as his was.

Wasa crispbread has the same effect as Aquavit, in that it makes me feel closer to my grandparents. Wasa crispbreads are best when smothered (and I mean SMOTHERED) in soft butter. On a related, and funny, note, baked chicken (that which I despise) was enjoyable to me when my grandma made it. I love mashed turnips thanks to her, as well as celery (Cel-Ray, or celery tonic) soda.

Are memories like this going to survive? I hope so. I can't think of eating roasted lamb with mint jelly without thinking of my grandparents. Currently, I'm gorging on brownies thinking of N. I hope the brownies don't cloud my brain so much that I can't eat them without associating them with what could have been. I am beginning to think I associate food with people a little too much . . .

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