I know it’s Nostalgic Fridays, but I’m taking this in a different direction. . .
So, my girl Cheekie wrote a post about food the other day. FOOD!? Nothing has the capacity to make me happy one minute and sad the next like food does. (No, not even dudes) Food is “that thing” that makes me smile. I’m not gonna get into my psychology with food, but you know and I know that NOTHING makes people nostalgic like food (and smells) So, below I am listing the foods that “take me back… way back” :
Now, most of these you might not have heard of.. It’s part of my culture..
1. Rum Raisin Ice cream
There’s a place in Jamaica called Devon House. It’s a mansion that has extensive grounds. While you’re walking around Devon House, you can get some ice cream and rum raisin ice cream is a classic. Jamaica doesn’t deal too much with normal flavors, we gotta get all exotic. Rum Raisin ice cream reminds me of walking the grounds of Devon House and sitting under trees with my aunt and uncle.
My youngest aunt is two years older than I am. During the day in Jamaica, after tv had signed off, we’d look for things to do. Because mangoes are in abundance there, we’d stick a few in the freezer, then go outside on the lawn and eat them. I mean, “mouth dyed orange, juice rollin down the arms” version of eating mangoes. We stained many shirts and would just wash off on the lawn with the hose. This memory is so vivid that I’ve never eaten a mango in America. They don’t look the same, and I’m convinced that it can never be as sweet as Jamaican mangoes. So I won’t touch them.
3. Roast Beef
I know how you yanks cook roast beef and that’s NOT what I’m talking about here. On Sundays, my mother would cook roast beef that we would eat for early dinner. To this day, I’m STILL a meat and potatoes girl. And if I’m feeling EXTRA gluttonous, I’ll have rice AND potatoes. We would then pass out on the sofa and wake up JUST in time for “Samurai Sunday” (kung-fu movies). My mother would make roast beef sandwiches for school on Monday. Which of course would have soggy bread by the time I got to school. Imagine, cold roast beef with “pasted on” bread. No bueno.
4. Hardo Bread
If you’ve never been in a Jamaican Patty Shop Plaxicothyself then you might not know what I’m talking about. Hardo bread is that dense bread that is everything wonderful about life. It has absolutely no nutritional value but hardo bread and butter with a cup of tea makes everything about the world seem alright. “What BP oil spill?” “What hurricane?” Yeah, it’ll have you like THAT!
5. cornmeal porridge
Now, I know we all have our version of some kind of hot cereal. There’s grits, Cream of Wheat, oatmeal etc. For Jamaicans, there’s cornmeal porridge. It’s thick, and sweet (||) and as my mother would say, “all you need is that and a cup of water and you’re good til afternoon.” Let’s put it this way. There’s a Dade County Fair that comes here every year. My mother would take me and my brother but wouldn’t want to buy us any food there so she’d make a big breakfast. Porridge, eggs, bacon, toast (hardo bread toast) etc. We’d go to the fair and be so stuffed that we wouldn’t want anything. When we finally asked for something to eat……. mom would take us home.
Milo is the third world countries version of Nestle’ mix. It’s that green canister with the soccer player on it. Before they changed the recipe, Milo was the equivalent of those chocolate crunchies they put in the middle of ice cream cakes (the BEST part!). It tasted like that and was GREAT! Every house in Jamaica has Milo (or Horlicks) but not every house has milk. To substitute, we’d take condensed milk and water and make “milk.” The thing is that I would start to make it, but not add the water. This made a sweet chocolate paste. My teeth STILL tingle (read: hurt) when I think about how I gorged myself on Milo paste. I gained 20 pounds that summer.
I have other food memories, but I think that 6 is enough. Is there a food that can transport you to someplace long ago? Whenever some of these foods cross me, I think of Saturday Morning cartoons and running late for school. I realized that my palate is a little more “cultural” than most folks. But I’d love to know what takes you back..
And don’t get me started on if there’s something you haven’t heard of. I would actually try to find a way to get it to you. I’m THAT passionate!
Have a great weekend..
Peace and Love, Nick