I don't know about you, but sometimes I'll think of a food or a dish from my childhood and want to re-create it and, this is important, have it taste the way it did back then.
Some of my childhood food memories will never be re-created, could not ever be. My grandmother's raspberry cinnamon buns for example. She made them from scratch and rolled them out and rolled them up and baked them, then covered them with a vanilla frosting and a raspberry syrup she distilled from raspberries I'd picked that day in her raspberry/blackberry patch.
How could I do that?
And most of the childhood treats I try to make turn out bitterly disappointing. Like my mother's ice box cake, which is vanilla wafers, chocolate pudding and whipped cream frozen. How could I mess that up? But I did, big time. Awful.
Same for my Mom's spaghetti and pork chops, which I've tried several times and never came close.
But just Saturday, I did it! I re-created a dish from my childhood that was just right!
Bern bought two smaller turkeys for Thanksgiving because our granddaughters like turkey legs and froze a whole turkey breast, uncooked. She fixed it on the Friday after Christmas because we blessedly had no left-overs from Christmas dinner. Then I decided to fix a Black Baptist turkey sandwich the next day.
There was a black Baptist Church way up on the hill across the street from the apartment I grew up in. After Thanksgiving they made turkey sandwiches and sold them around town. It was on white bread (of course) with mayonnaise, iceberg lettuce and bread-and-butter sweet pickles. I went to Stop and Shop to get white sandwich bread and iceberg lettuce from the salad bar (I had the mayonnaise and bread-and-butter pickles, two staples of my life).
I cut the turkey breast with our top of the line bread knife to get it thin enough, put mayo on both slices of bread, added the lettuce and 6 slices of pickles and the ultra thin sliced turkey and amazing to tell, it was just right.
I was 10 years old, sitting at my mother's kitchen table, eating one of those amazing Black Baptist sandwiches again. Which meant my parents, long dead, were alive for as long as it took me to eat it (and I ate it slowly, savoring the memory, keeping my mom and dad near).
Maybe you can 'go home again', back to the past, at least for as long as it takes to eat a turkey sandwich.
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