Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Food For Thought

grabbing a cart I run through a mental checklist
milk, bread, eggs . . .
                            meat, vegetables . . . don't forget potatoes
maybe some fruit, got to try to be healthy

turning into the 'Great Britain' aisle I stop in my tracks
hitting a wall of emotion that catches me by surprise
no matter how many times I shop here
overwhelmed by products that have me seeing dead people

chocolate bars transport me to my grandmothers house
and the stash of goodies she kept in a kitchen draw
my father given walnut whips, licorice and sugared almonds
because no one knew what else to get him

humbugs, chocolate eclairs and boiled sweets
bought for long journeys and holidays
chosen so they wouldn't melt in the car
a lesson in there somewhere

tins of quality street and roses at Christmas
always the same ones left over
malted milks, custard creams and digestive biscuits
to be dunked in mugs of tea

ribena and orange squash, drinks of childhood
frazzles, quavers, hula hoops, skips
crisps that filled school lunchboxes
flavors lingering on fingers long after they were eaten

so many memories wrapped up in food
of family and friends, alive and dead
wiping a tear from my cheek, I pick up a bag of sweets
and with a glance over my shoulder, I head for the fruit aisle

Linking up with Imaginary Garden With Real Toads and Poetry Jam

Just for reference biscuits are cookies, sweets are candy, crisps are chips and Ribena and Orange Squash are drinks.

36 comments:

  1. Yes, a candy bar today just lacks the true sweetness of those we had as children - a true treat given by a generous other. Now the candy aisles are crammed and I never buy a single bar for myself.

    Great share, Kathryn.

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    1. So true Kerry, it really was a treat back then.

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  2. Delicious! Like that final "glance over my shoulder". :)

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  3. Enjoyed your shopping trip, Kathryn. And the 'detour' too. I was with you on the flashback. Our U.K. spot has my English Hobnobs and Scottish Lemon Curd for me. But for the last five years we have been visiting London two, three (one, eight weeks and a day, last year) as our daughter's work is there (with KP, BP, and Hubby). Our suitcase carried mayo and Mac and Cheese going, stuff for us coming back.
    ..

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    1. Oh yes, hobnobs, can't do lemon curd though. I try to go home for a couple of weeks once a year and like you I have to take things out and then stock up coming home.

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  4. It's amazing what memories food can evoke - the scents and the tastes so tied up with family and love.

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    1. There are so many memories wrapped up in our senses and moments with family. :0)

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  5. I was going to say what Brenda did.

    It's nice to have memories even though people are gone. They will always be with you.

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  6. Food is full of the memories of childhood--this was very vivid and in the moment, taking me back to when such things were a very big deal, a pleasure, a joy.

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    1. Those were the days, it was a true treat back then.

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  7. Oh, I know how memories can suddenly assail one at unexpected moments. I loved this look back........and the particular treats that say "childhood" to you.

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  8. this poem tastes like childhood.

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    1. Thanks Sam . . . my husband was laughing at all the sugar infused items that brought back memories.

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  9. What lovely memories....my grandfather spoiled me with treats.

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    1. Grandparents were the best weren't they. :0)

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  10. Oh yes, and at Christmas I saw candy - the old fashioned ribbon candies that my grandmother and Aunt used to keep in a candy dish. Sometimes so long that you had to give it a good whack to break them apart, haha. And just the other day I was transported back by an aroma at a store that reminded me of these tiny little dolls that were scented and kept in a clear plastic locket, or ring. Might just be an American toy thing, but it was such a sweet moment.

    Loved this so much! xo

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  11. This is perfectly delightful ... do link up with Poetry Jam, food is the challenge!!!

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  12. Kathryn, thanks for linking up with Gabriella's prompt over at Poetry Jam! First of all I was interested to find that you have a "Great Britain" aisle in your grocery store. Well, we have Mexican and Italian and Asian (Thai, Indian, Korean) but I have not seen a special Great Britain display. Really, so many memories are wrapped in food, aren't they? A lot of your GB treats, however, I haven't heard of. I DO know and love eclairs though. Glad you left the aisle with a bag of treats! Smiles.

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    1. Our regular grocery store doesn't but there's an international market called Jungle Jim's near our home that stocks food from every country, it's really neat to see all the different products.

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  13. This is such a wonderful poem, Kathryn! You have brought back many memories of the time I spent in England as a child and teenager. I so remember 'orange squash', which I found wonderful at the time and so much better than what we drank at home. I think I'd find it horrid now. And I do recall those crisps whose "flavors lingering on fingers long after they were eaten".

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    1. Love that it brought back memories for you . . . :0)

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  14. So true! It's in the food and many packaged foods now were homemade back in the day. I miss short bread and gingerbread (not snaps) and Grandpa's raisin bread and on and on. I don't have British foods in childhood memories, but walk with you through these vivid images.

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  15. Ah, you have a sweet tooth! Foods - and the aromas of foods - bring back strong memories, but it's interesting that people have different tastes. Me, I'm not too keen on sweets. But the smell of cooking - proteins, vegetables, sauces and soups - does it for me.

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  16. This is just a lovely piece. Very nostalgic for me, as well. Thank you for this.

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  17. Foods do bring back memories for me too ~ Whenever I passed by our international grocery, I would also look over at the biscuits & tin cans I used to eat ~ Good one Kathryn ~

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  18. def lots of memories wrapped up in foods....sunday dinner at my grandparents was always amazing..playing with cousins...not being able to play until dinner was cleaned up completely...ha...that was my grandfather...he always kept a bowl of nuts and a cracker...he was not a big believer in candy....

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  19. this is so beautiful and raw...how the mundane of everyday (even a trip to the grocery isle) can take us to other places.

    i always love dropping by your blog...thanks for sharing your lovely words!

    stacy lynn mar
    http://warningthestars.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Stacy, what a lovely comment.

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  20. What a great flashback, Kathryn. I think they used real chocolate and sugar back then. Now, Dow and Monsanto own the aisles... :( ~

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    1. So true . . . have to also say that British chocolate tastes so much better than the US stuff too.

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  21. tins of quality street and roses at Christmas - and Easter too!! Great line makes me think of Christmas and my family. You have really captured magic in your words.

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  22. Food from different places really does bring back memories--I love going to stores that have sections like that. Don't think I have seen a UK section here. Very good capture of magic of food memories.

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