Sunday, 19 June 2011

What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? ~Lin Yutang

Someone once said  "Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights...". When I go back in my memories, for some reason what I mostly remember is the food I have tasted for the first time and the feelings that came with it.  

I can remember the taste of fresh, still warm bread, straight from the bakery, with some butter on it, that my Grandmother was giving me in hope I will finally eat something.. And I remember (I must have been about 3 years old), that I felt happy and that its taste was incredible, and I just couldn't stop eating it, and kept asking for more, by which I was making my Grandma very pleased.

I remember, when I was about 13, I was on holidays with my mum in a beautiful Polish Baltic side town - Dziwnowek.. One day we bought some freshly baked and still hot sponge cake with plums and crumble on the top and ate it for breakfast (how naughty!) with some cold milk. Would you believe I can still taste it..

I remember the taste of the strawberries from my Grandad's allotment, eaten straight from the bushes, not washed (who had the time!), so sweet and juicy.

I must say, I can pinpoint my favourite dishes to each of the ladies in my family and still remember the taste of them - my Grandmother's dumplings with potato, cheese and onion filling (Ruskie pierogi!), my mum's.., well pretty much everything, but the memory of her scrambled eggs and cup of cocoa makes me want to go back in time and my favourite as a child very Polish "kopytka", my auntie's veal tenderloin in sauce with mash potatoes or beloved by us as kids radish and spring onions with salt in cream for breakfast.. Yummy :)

I hope that my daughter will be able in years to come taste some foods so good, that the memory of them will stay with her forever. And in her adult life, she will remember them as part of her childhood and whenever she comes over to visit, she will want to cuddle up to me and whisper.. "Mummy, please make me my favourite... Nobody can make it they way you do."

Because the memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.


  1. Very well written! One day it can be a good book from it! keep writing!

  2. Monika, your blog is amazing. The recipes, the photos, your thoughts, and sharing of childhood memories, it was very warming to read. You definitely have a dinner guest when I'm back home! I think you'll struggle to get rid of me ; )