Isn’t it strange that I can share a piece of my childhood with you? I can give you a formula and you can make it exactly, taste it - yet probably feel nothing. It’s a simple recipe (Betty Crocker to be specific, although it took me many years of trial and error to discover that) and it is everything to me. It’s Saturday afternoons with my mom, it’s fighting with my brothers for the fattest piece, it’s watching my children cut themselves a slice on a weekday morning before school.
I had a colleague who told me she never set a timer, but baked by scent alone (an architect, a young mother, a food-truck owner - maybe you know who you are.) Often, I think of her as I make this small but poignant piece of my family story. I know it so intimately I can smell the moment the custard turns to crust and caramelizes, when the doughy soft fragrance shifts toward hard and sharp. I know the pregnant scent of the overripe bananas as I pack them into the freezer, and the saccharin smell as the fruit thaws in a bowl.
Through many metamorphoses, this daily delicacy carries with it an everyday ease - handfruit, Saturday, tinfoil. For me, the epitome of sensory affect. As the year closes, may you consume with pleasure and joy, with loved ones and strangers, with presence and mindfulness.
Blessings and Peace,