Can we talk about food memories without evoking memories of Grandmas? Naah, we can’t. Grandmas try to stuff your belly with food every chance they get. Most memorable foods will connect back to Grandmas; you will remember them and, for a second, you just might smile.
FRANCIS FRANKLIN wrote
It would be nearly impossible for me to choose a single, most memorable experience. But I’d say that just about anything traditional from my childhood, cooked years later, would do it for me. I’ll give you an example: my mom used to make a Jewish-style braised chicken dish called “gedempte chicken”. It’s cooked very slowly with lots of onions and little other seasoning. Mom would stuff chicken neck skin with a mixture of flour, salt and pepper, grated onion and schmaltz, then sew the neck skin closed and braise these little “helzel” in the pot. I made this dish for the first time last week, and the rush of memory was extreme. I had a similar experience making another traditional dish for my cousin who’s recovering from cancer treatment – it was kasha varnishkes. Toasting that kasha evoked very strong memories of my grandmother.
ABASIYENYIN USSORO wrote
One of my childhood holidays with my grandparents in Akwa Ibom… I got home from the stream and found my grandma peeling cocoyams. My countenance fell, thinking I was about to eat cocoyam swallow. I never really liked it because of the itching on my tongue. But out of curiosity I decided to ask my granny what she was preparing. She smiled and responded “ekpang nkukwo”. My eyes lit up. I had heard a lot of wonderful stories surrounding this Akwa Ibom delicacy, so I sat down and decided to watch its preparation all the way. To my amazement, watching how the cocoyams were grated into paste and mixed together made me wonder what the end result would be like. I was patient. Another shocking part was when the fresh cocoyam leaves were plucked and washed. The creative part that got me going ‘Wow!’ was the wrapping. All wrapped, all ingredients added with my favorite sea food-periwinkle added, I just knew it would end well. At this point, my throat had become watery, awaiting the delicacy. It was firewood cooking with a palm oil rubbed around the back of the pot. I just couldn’t take my eyes off the fire place till the food was done. I so craved for this meal that I begged to be served first. The feeling and taste from that meal has lingered with me all through childhood till date. It has always been a memory that still puts a smile on my face.