Monday, November 23, 2015

Memories Forgotten, Re-Remembered

Twitter did an amazing thing the other day—it gave me the gift of a memory of my grandmother that I didn’t remember that I had forgotten.

Let me back up, yes? So, even though I’m not really here anymore, I am on Twitter. I have a nice group of people that I follow and interact with on Twitter and it’s a lot more communication and friendship like than just blogging into the ether. It’s also hella more distracting but that is not the point, mmmkay?

So, as it is that particular time of the year, The Twitter People were talking about Thanksgiving and recipes. We were discussing cranberry sauce and the merits of homemade versus sliding it out of the can and carefully cutting along the ridges when one person threw out a no-cook method. Toss the cranberry package in the freezer, then put them in the food processor with some oranges. Blend. Let sit. Add sugar as desired.

As I read it, I was suddenly transported to my parents’ table at Thanksgiving. It’s a round wooden table that would fit 8 at a squeeze, a beautiful old table with elaborate carvings and carved legs. I could see my grandma bringing one of her depression era glass bowls—this one was usually clear, because cranberry relish looks best in a clear bowl, no? No blue or green or amber, but she had all of those, too. I didn’t like it at first, when I was younger. I wouldn’t try it, but I knew I didn’t like it. Such is the way of children. Then I discovered the glory that is turkey with a cranberry accent, and I was hooked. It was all delightful bits of cranberry, with bright orange accents, sweet and tart.

I can see my grandmother’s crippled, arthritic hands on both sides of the bowl, and her smiling at me as I take a helping, looking at me through her big owl glasses with her big owl-like eyes.

When I first hosted Thanksgiving, I tried to replicate her cranberry relish, except I kept thinking it was called cranberry sauce. I searched for cranberry sauce recipes. So, I eventually came up with a great recipe, one I like and other people like and eat. Even Lis, O Picky Child, eats it. It wasn’t what I envisioned, but I was satisfied with it. I forgot the relish. I forgot that memory.

So, when that lovely friend on Twitter said that, I could see it in my mind’s eye—I could see the exact consistency, the flecks of orange, the tart and the sweet.

She gave me a new recipe, but what she doesn’t know is that she gave me back those memories of my grandma. Now that I have them, I won’t let them go. I will make the cranberry relish this year, and surprise my parents—I know they will remember it. I will make it every year after this, and I will remember her depression glass bowls, her hands, her eyes, and her smile.