Sunday, September 13, 2009

*1980s: Ophir Mill Ranch, Nevada

This was the original idea for this blog. An employment application to a specialty grocery store included the request for a "favorite food memory." One of my most favorites had recently come to mind as I washed a peach over the kitchen sink. Here is the mini essay that made me realize my head is filled with such 'food' memories:

I grew up fifteen minutes from my grandparents’ ranch and spent a considerable amount of my childhood there. There was a spot down near the river called simply the picnic area where we would celebrate all the national holidays, a wedding or two and many a random Sunday afternoon. Invariably, my Grandpa JohnD would enlist all the older cousins and uncles in helping with the lamb – roasted all day in an underground pit. It, along with the potato salads, orange sodas and other fare were always spread out on a big old wagon bed that rested in the tall grass. We sat around in those old woven beach chairs [you know the kind?] swatting away the flies and listening to the grownups and their stories. My favorite part – and this is where this morning’s peach comes in – was after the meal when the homemade ice cream was set out. It had been ground out by hand in a big salted tub, always made with the freshest summer peaches. I can still remember the big portions slopped into paper bowls – you had to eat it quickly before it melted into a peachy soup. Soft, creamy, speckled with bits of peach and enjoyed under the cottonwoods – it’s a memory I’ll never forget.

[am I really sharing this picture? look to the left. that's how I remember my Grandpa: his cowboy hat and pearl snap shirt]