I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Culinary Genius

You know how they say that a baby 'imprints' onto the first thing it sees when it opens it's eyes? I think the same is true of food. We imprint certain tastes and textures onto our culinary psyche and when we taste it again, we get transported back to the time or place where we ate that thing. Recently I discovered that this culinary memory can start to take root from a very young age.

Way back when the kids were about 3 years old, my son had this minor obsession about spreads. Specifically, different sorts of spreads on toast. The deal was that he wanted toast with ALL of the following - butter, jam, peanut butter and Vegemite - on one piece of toast. At the time there was a whole procedure about it, how the jam had to be second from the bottom - so that effectively it could "hide" under the next two layers, and not a spot of jam could be seen from the top. Henceforth a family 'recipe' of "toast with jam hiding" was born.

For reasons I can't recall, DS stopped demanding his jam hiding toast ... most likely because I threw a tantrum at being a short order cook about breakfast meals, but possibly just because he grew out of that culinary phase. As is common for their age, my trio are obsessed by childhood stories - mine, their own, their grandparents...anyone, really, who can spin a good yarn about what it was like "when you were a baby." As it happens I've got some seriously good stories, because as a child I was notorious for getting seriously, hideously, horribly lost. ALL the time.

Anyway. So one of the recent stories I've told them is about how much they used to eat as toddlers. A ridiculous amount, especially at breakfast time - something like 10 Vita-Brits between them. There was a point in time when we would easily motor through 18 litres of milk a week. Thus the story of the jam hiding toast came out of the family food lore cupboard. Initially DS thought this sounded hideous and didn't want to try it again...but then curiosity won over disgust and he asked me to make him some.

Admittedly, I didn't bother with covering every last skerrick of jam like I used to, but I DID slather on all four toppings. He took a bite, a bit hesitantly, and then as he chewed broke into a giant grin and said, "HEY! I remember this flavour! I remember eating this!" and proceeded to happily devour the entire thing and tell me how totally fabulous it was and what a COOKING GENIUS he must have been as a three year old.

Yes. Well. There's me off to buy some jam, then.

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