When I was a little girl my sister and I used to go over to my grandparents' house. We would go over there often, for entire weekends, and on weekdays after school. No matter how frequent our visits, we always had special little things we did. For instance, we played dress up in my grandmother's silk night gowns and made up dance routines to Disney soundtracks (Beauty and the Beast being a favorite) and Barry Manilow tapes (no snickering, he's awesome). One special treat always sticks out in my mind when I think about those days.
When you walked in the front door of their house the formal living room was to the left. We weren't really allowed to play in there as it was for adult company. The room wrapped around to the formal dining room and then connected to the kitchen, where you would walk if you went straight instead of to the left when you walked in the door. We could run around the entire house in a loop. On the coffee table in the formal living room there was a large glass lidded candy dish. My grandfather was a sucker for orange slice candies and always had the bowl filled with them. For a long time he was the only person I knew who actually ate them (much like finding the person who really likes Peeps or candy message hearts you get on Valentine's Day). I used to run through the room and sneak a slice or two while we were there. I never took too many because I didn't want him to know I was sneaking one of his special candies!
Many years later my grandfather has passed away, the house has been sold, and the candy dish sent to a consignment shop. Sometimes when I'm feeling lonely or I miss him, I'll swing by a drug store and buy a bag of orange slices. I eat them quietly and linger over the crunch of the sugar crystals between my teeth. The gummy texture and artificial orange flavor take back 20 years. While I'm eating them I think about my grandfather and all of our wonderful memories together.
Do you have any foods that bring your back to your childhood? Any that help you remember your loved ones?