Memory Foods, Stories and Recipes!
By now you know I’ve grown up in this crazy business we’ve all come to love.
A great deal of the passion I have for the restaurant business comes from my mother Linda Peters-Getchell and my step-father Chef Willis Getchell. They have emarked on a journey to create an incredible new kind of cook book, a cook book tied specifically to YOUR memories.
I have an opportunity for you and your recipe to become a part of this cook book, plus you will get a copy when it’s finished for FREE!
To learn more read the article below and then go to www.FavoriteMemoryFoods.com
Memory Foods, Stories and Recipes!
By Linda Peters-Getchell
Willis, my husband, and I were having a conversation about memory foods in our lives and the stories that go with them. I thought it would be a great book “Memory Foods, Stories and Recipes.” The more we talked about it, the more we both thought it would be a wonderful concept for a book. By the end of the conversation we were both excited and decided to go for it.
So we are beginning the research for a “Memory Foods, Stories and Recipes”
e-book. Because you are all food people we would like to invite you to share a story and a recipe for your “memory food” that we might use for publication in our book. Your story might be from childhood, from more recent times or even a story from your restaurant.
Let me explain exactly what we mean by Memory Foods, Stories and Recipes, and I will tell you one of my own.
What food aromas trigger wonderful thoughts or memories for you? What words trigger good food and good time memories? Take a minute or two after reading this paragraph before reading any further to just close your eyes, take a deep breath, smile a warm smile and just dream a minute. What aroma comes wafting up your nostrils, what flavors begin to titillate your saliva glands and ignite your taste buds? What wonderful memory does this food stir in your brain? What is the food? Who is there in the memory? What is happening? Enjoy the moment. Relive the tastes, the smells and most of all the feelings. Revel in that little vignette in time. When you have finished enjoying this experience return and finish the article.
Welcome back. I trust you had a pleasant, warm moment that brought you great feelings and happy memories. Foods that invoke these feelings are usually what we call comfort foods. They make us feel warm, happy, and feelin’ good. Frequently it is not as much the food as the good times we associate with that food, and sometimes it is the food as well as the event.
For me, I can remember my grandmother’s Swedish rye bread and with that memory I can see my grandmother, a slight woman, with snowy white hair perfectly curled, wearing a navy blue dress covered with white polka dots. She had little circles of pink rouge on each cheek and red lipstick on her mouth. I can see the curio cabinet of knickknacks that she would allow me to explore under her careful guidance. But most of all I can smell the aroma of that rye bread, and feel the anticipation of Potatis Korv, a Swedish sausage, another favorite of mine, and lingonberries that she served in a beautiful flower covered dish with a scalloped lace-like edge that rimmed the bowl. To complete the dish she had a very special spoon that was also china and had the same flowered print all over it from Sweden.
My grandmother’s name was Maude, and I can see Maude spreading a piece of oil cloth over the big wooden table in the middle of the kitchen. This was the start of Swedish rye bread that I dearly loved. She would put on an apron and tie it in the back, put a mound of flour on that oil cloth and add a little of this and a little of that and then she kneaded. This ball of dough would go into a huge bowl and she would carefully cover it with a cloth and we would have to leave it. I could hardly stand the wait. Eventually we would return and that ball of dough had doubled itself and was extending above the top of the bowl. She would knead it again and form it into loaves and it would sit again.
When the time was just perfect, as determined by my grandmother, the loaves went into the oven and the house was filled with the sweet scent of orange rind and yeast and baking bread. Oh, it was the best smell in the whole world. When it came out of the oven it was brown and high and inviting me to have a piece. And so she would turn a loaf out of its pan, reach for a knife and the butter, smile at me and say, “Linda, would you like the first piece?”
She knew the answer, but she always asked.
There was no other person in the world like my grandmother and there was no rye bread like Swedish rye bread that Maude made with essences of love, flour and orange rind. It was slightly sweet, warm, moist and made me feel so special.
This is what we mean by feel good memory foods.
I tried when I was older to learn to make Swedish rye bread. My grandmother was gone by then and no one in the family knew how to make it. It was something she made and she did it from memory and consistency rather than a recipe written down somewhere for posterity, at least for her granddaughter.
Time passed and I would think about Swedish rye bread. I even saw it in specialty stores on a couple of occasions. Yes, I would buy it without thinking twice about it, but then was always disappointed. It wouldn’t be moist, or there would be no orange flavor, or it would be like regular old rye bread. No memory there.
Finally bread machines came into our lives and I began to play with creating something like grandma’s Swedish rye bread. I came real close. So close that my taste buds dance with joy and my mind is flooded with good feelings and happy memories every time the aroma floods my kitchen, and I turn a loaf out onto the cooling rack.
Do I do it very often now? No, we retired the bread machine to a really high shelf since it was just too easy to make all kinds of bread and our waistlines expanded by the loaf. But I enjoy the memories and know that once a year I could take it down from its lofty perch and bring a loaf of memory to life.
Oh, I almost forgot my recipe for my bread machine that comes close to my grandma’s Swedish Rye Bread. I can only give you the ingredients, you need to compile them according to your bread machine directions. Each one is different and some quite different.
Nearly Maude’s Swedish Rye Bread for bread machines
Makes One Loaf
1 1/3 cups scalded milk
2 TBS + 2 tea. brown sugar
2 TBS + 2 tea molasses
2 TBS + 2 tea vegetable oil
2/3 cup rye flour
2 2/3 cup white bread flour
½ t anise seed
½ t fennel seed
1 T grated orange peel
1 t salt
2 t active dry yeast
If you decide to try it and a tiny white haired woman with round circles of rouge and a wonderful hat laden with silk flowers and ribbons (she was a milliner and had outrageous hats) appears before you, it’s Maude, and you are having a taste of my memory.
Is there a dish that you serve, appetizer, entrée, dessert, that you can offer and serve in such a fashion that you create an emotional good feeling as well as a good taste? A food that creates a memory that brings folks back? What would that dish be? How can you create a warm and special feeling around it that makes it a memory that people delight in, returning to time and time again. And each time you make, it reinforces the feel good emotional memory as well as tastes good?
Please go to www.FavoriteMemoryFoods.com to send your story, your recipe, a little something about you and about your restaurant that can be included. If you would like to include a photo of yourself, or your restaurant, your memory food or the people that play a part in your memory food, please do so. We welcome your contributions with open arms. As a special thank you for your contribution and publication permission we will send you a free copy just as soon as it is ready.
We thank you for your stories and recipes and for indulging our dream.
Wishing you continued good food memories and Bon Appetite.
Linda and Willis Getchell
Linda Peters-Getchell has 20 years in restaurant management and food and beverage customer service. She has owner her own restaurant, developed unique training programs and won two Key Player Awards for customer service programs at Showboat Casino Hotel. An artist and free spirit, she now teaches seminars on creativity. Visit www.thesparkconnection.com.
I hope you’ll participate. I promise you that you’re going to have fun putting your story together.
Remember to keep smiling,
David Scott Peters