While I’m not widely traveled, I have lived in several different places. I also enjoy talking to people from everywhere, hearing their customs and traditions, especially the little things. Everyone is usually ready to share traditions and stories involving food. Somehow the tastes and aromas trigger fond memories. I invite you to share “food customs” you have enjoyed in the comments here. I’ll start the game…
As a child I grew up in what I thought of as a suburban area. Now I realize most people would see it as rural and countrified. But we lived in a little subdivision, not on a farm. There were houses on every side, a stone’s throw away – the homes were not on numerous acres of land. However, my granny, a few miles away, lived in a farmhouse that my grandfather had built. She had several acres of land and (to me) a large vegetable garden. I remember being a child, standing between rows of vegetables in the bright Georgia sun. I barely dusted the dirt off a ripe red tomato before biting into it, juice running down my arm, on a hot summer day.
So I understood small farms, vegetable gardening, and country living when years later I went to Alabama to visit a cousin whose grandmother really lived in the country. I was fascinated that they ate sliced tomatoes with their bacon and eggs for breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, I loved tomatoes and my family ate them for lunch and dinner. (We would have called it dinner and supper.) But tomatoes for breakfast?
“Don’t you like tomatoes?” my cousin’s grandmother asked.
The tomatoes were so fresh from the huge garden in the grandmother’s backyard that the sharp smell of the leaves and stems lingered on the shining red skins. As we sliced them, the juice sparkled onto our plates. Beyond the window-screen insects already hummed in hot, humid summer sunshine. “Oh yes. I like tomatoes,” I answered the question, happy to have one at any time of day.
Sadly my tomato this morning was from the super market, but as those go, it was a nice one. When I heard the July insects begin to buzz while I sliced the tomato, suddenly I could smell the sharp scent of the leaves and stems, as well as the hot, humid sunshine. As I plated my food I imagined the huge garden, laden with beautiful vegetables.
PS: That’s as close to a fond thought of humidity as I’ll have. (Smiles)
Once again, I invite you to share your food traditions.