Saturday, April 9, 2011

The aromas of friendship and fond memories

Food is good for so many things, including reminding us of some of the best experiences that we’ve had in our lives, and also some of the best friends that we’ve shared it with. Whenever you sit down to one of those meals the aromas take you back in time, and before you know it, you’re telling that story that everyone has heard a hundred times before.

However, this is not a story about food.

I remember a television advertisement that I saw once - I think it was for a spiced rice. A young man is preparing a meal while his grandmother keeps him company at the kitchen counter. He doesn’t really pay attention to her rambling but rather concentrates on getting the rice just right. As he serves it up and she smells it she automatically starts telling him a new story – one he has heard countless times - of how she met his grandfather and how he asked her to marry him. He smiles warmly, finishing the story in chorus. He knows that story so well. The spiced rice was the aroma of her memory.

One meal that does that for me is Knorr Pasta and Sauce ~ mushroom & wine, sour cream & chives, Alfredo, ham & mushroom – my favorites! Her name is Fiona – my best friend in my early twenties. She used to make this for us for lunch whenever we visited at her house. It only takes fifteen minutes to prepare and she used to make mixed vegies on the side. She taught me to spread the pasta out, eating from the outside in. (It cools down quicker that way - nothing worse than a blistered tongue :(

She also taught me to eat peas again. Being forced to clear my plate in chreche – right down to those dreadful little green peas – didn’t go down all that well – literally – and left me ‘scarred’ for life. Or so I thought as we played in the snow of ‘81.

Today still, whenever I make that for a quick, easy meal I’m reminded of the friendship that we shared, the conversations we had and our trip down to Hermanus to visit her parents. It was my first time driving that far – the first of many trips to Cape Town, it would later turn out.

I was only nineteen when we made that trip. I remember an attempt to overtake a truck on a bit of a hill. The closer you get to Cape Town the more courteous drivers seem to be on the open road, but I didn’t know that. Halfway past the truck I started doubting whether I should do it or rather fall back. In a rather tense moment she shouted, “He who hesitates is lost!”. I changed gears, put my foot down and finished what I had started. I’m glad I did and that advice has stayed with me; served me well many times since.

Our friendship smells like mushroom & wine, sour cream & chives, Alfredo, ham & mushroom...mmm ~ Knorr Pasta and sauce.

What dishes do you make that still reminds you today of a special friend or an occasion that you shared?

*Note: The image just shows what the pasta looks like. I couldn't find an exact picture of the Knorr Pasta & sauce that I speak of.


  1. Thank you, Cindy :) Had some lazy pasta and sauce last night. (I threw the packet away - sadly before I could take a picture. By the time I was needing it the packet was buried beneath too much trash. I momentarily considered digging it out but thought... NAAAH! ;)

  2. My grandmother's vegetable beef soup and her farmer's rice both bring back good memories. I miss her. Touching post, Liane. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you...

  3. You're welcome Carol Ann :) Vegetable beef soup, mmm! - a pleasant trip down memory lane ;) Not sure where you live, but with Winter on its way soon in South Africa your kitchen would be filled with wonderful memories again.