While visiting Santa Fe for a family vacation, a discussion of favorite songs took place around the dinner table. Yellow Submarine was thrown out, unashamedly a Britney Spears song was hummed . . . the first song in my head, Lionel Richie," Hello," is belted out from my mouth. Someone, probably the Britney fan, cranks their neck and says, "Really?" With a smile, I answer enthusiastically and with conviction, "Really!"
The next day, I thought through this conversation while exploring New Mexico's beautiful and ever changing landscape, and I had an epiphany. I realized I can liken food to songs. As Lionel's "Hello" pulled me back to that first crush, so does food pull me back to a memory or pivotal point in my life, whether that be fried cornbread waiting for me to enjoy after school (I'm from Alabama y'all- this just happens), to my Grandma's "homemade" lemon butter cake warmly waiting for me every time I visited her, to my mom's melt in your mouth iced sugar cookies (when I was in college, she even wrapped Valentine hearts individually in waxed paper and shipped them to me). Mom of the Year? Most definitely!
But I digressed. Food, like songs, takes me back to those memories, those places of comfort, those places of heart break and uncertainty, those places of fun and revelry. When I was sick, who was there? "Ice cream!" When I missed my grandma, who was there? "Lemon butter cake!" When I had some of my most life giving conversations and tears of joy moments, who was there? "Pizza!” Let's be honest. . .pizza can take me back to any memory or situation!
You ask, “Why is Ben swerving on about food, songs, memories and family members?” I am swerving on because I am thankful I can still be taken back to my Grandma’s hugs when I eat a Swerve lemon butter cake, or my mom’s creative and unconditional love when I eat a heart, turkey, star, or name that shape iced sugar cookie. I am thankful that in present day, I can enjoy these same treats, let’s not forget Carolyn Ketchum’s Deep Dish Sausage Pizza, and get transported back to those memories, without the calories and blood sugar spike, while singing to each beckoning bite "Hello, is it me you're looking for?" Was that a stretch? Maybe, but I’m still swerving, enjoying my memories, but doing it a little smarter, a little wiser.
What food helps you Swerve down memory lane?