Food evokes strong memories for me. Most all of them are really good. I reckon one that I remember happening probably when I was about seven or eight was my Dad coming home from a hunting trip and he had killed squirrels. No way was I going to eat squirrel! For some reason, the image of this cute littl’ squirrel, the bushy tail swishing like a metronome, daintyly (I know that’s not a real word!) holding an acorn and nibbling ever so methodically was not my idea of tasty.
Now oatmeal is a different beast. My memories of oatmeal are glorious from childhood. Except on one occasion. My Mom fixed us four kids a hot breakfast every morning all the way through high school. As a single mother who worked her hands to the bone, who could stretch 50 cents further than I can 50 dollars and who was an amazing cook, she knew breakfast was the most important meal of the day, long before the scientific studies came out to prove it. Well, anyway, one early morning as we all sat at the little kitchen table in our postage stamp size house in Appalachia, she sat down four bowls of oatmeal.
We each did our thing with our respective bowls with adding cream, stirring and making it just right. As we each took our first bites at different times, we all had the same expression. It was a look of disgust on our faces. However, we knew better than to complain! None of us would take another bite. We all sat there. Mom, scurrying to get us off to school, lunches packed and herself ready to go to work, snapped at us, ‘What’s wrong!’ I think it was my older sister who sheepishly said, ‘Mama, this doesn’t taste good.’ ‘Well, then just let me take a bite!’ And she took the spoon. Scooping out a big bite, she put it in her mouth. Almost gagging she turned to the sink and spit it out.
No, we youngens weren’t crazy. We weren’t picky. In the morning frenzy with everything happening, Mama had pulled the big jar of salt from the cabinet thinking it was sugar. Yes, she’d cooked that oatmeal with a hearty portion of pure salt!
Now I assure you that this citrus marmalade oatmeal & almonds has no remote resemblance to that story. It’s packed with some extra nutrition. I’ve swapped out the water for cooking oatmeal and substituted some additional vitamin C. Enjoy my foodie luvs and just know that sharing stories about food, making memories with food all happens around the table. Make sure you’re spending time there! oxoxo ~ally