In Our Own Backyard….A pasty is the way to a man’s heartThey say that absence makes the heart grow fonder – and it most certainly does. I would argue, however, that the old idiom holds as true with food as it does with loved ones.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder – and it most certainly does. I would argue, however, that the old idiom holds as true with food as it does with loved ones.
The tastes of home seem to summon up as nostalgic a response as home itself. Most of us harken back to the early days of our youth when expressing a certain fondness for some special food we love. I know for a fact that those of us on my side of the family seldom, if ever, buy or make potato salad because the potato salad my mom makes is impossible to outdo. And besides, having my mom’s homemade potato salad always means that we are together for some special occasion, and that makes it all the better.
While traveling to Alaska one year to visit our son, we fell in love with the reindeer sausage cooked on steaming outdoor grills by street vendors in downtown Anchorage. From that time on it was the “must have” item to ask him to bring us when he came for a visit. After all, it’s not likely you could stroll into Super One to pick up a package of reindeer sausage. And for us, it will always bring back fond memories of Alaska.
The same was true of a particular brand of coffee we drank at the fishing lodge. It had the distinctly Alaskan name of “ Silverhook,” and whenever our son wanted to send us something special, he knew a couple of pounds of that coffee would do the trick.
When various assortments of our five grown children and their families come home to our house to visit, it seems that they all have some special thing they want to take back with them when they leave. When our son from Alaska comes home to Minnesota, he always wants to take wild rice back with him. He claims it’s not only one of those things that distinctly says “home,” but it’s hard to get in Alaska and very expensive, so he never buys it there.
Our daughter from New Jersey and her family came home to Minnesota earlier this summer, and the nostalgic culinary memory they wanted to recreate – banana popsicles and dill pickle potato chips, both of which they swear they can’t buy anywhere on the East Coast!
Our daughter from Boston came home last weekend to celebrate her birthday with our family. We had my mom’s potato salad, of course, because that says “home” to her. But when it came time to think about what to take back for her boyfriend in Boston – a native of Upper Michigan – our daughter was adamant about what she wanted – pasties (those little meat pies that miners used to carry to work for their lunches) and Chocolate Malt-O-Meal! They were the two things she said she can’t buy out East that he absolutely loves, so we made a special trip to the grocery store to stock up.
And so, when the time came for her to leave for the airport to fly back to Boston, she tugged along a rather large tote bag slung over her shoulder. In it was a refrigerated bag filled with four large pasties and two boxes of Chocolate Malt-O-Meal.
“Gosh,” I worried, “do you suppose they’ll give you any problems going through airport security with that stuff?”
I could just picture the security guard studying the contents of her bag on the conveyor belt as it slid through the airport X-ray device….
“I’m just glad I’m flying from Minneapolis to Boston and not the other way around!” she said.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Because security in Boston would probably have no clue what a pasty is!”