The memory of food is amazingly powerful and persistent. You may not have tasted a certain food in decades, but there it sits, ready and able to be recalled. And the desire exists to recreate the experience again.
When I was a little girl we lived in a working class neighborhood of old red brick housing, and many of the neighbors were Germans and Poles. We were poor as dirt and did not get a lot of treats, but payday was the special day and it always meant we would get some lovely thing to eat. At least until my father drank up the rest of the pay. There were wonderful bakeries that made delicious bread, crusty and chewy, that is what I visualize when I think of bread. And then there were the pastries, something we might get after going to Mass. Modern pastries may look like the old ones, but they taste nothing like the originals. I saw a recipe in a cookbook from an old baker for Danish pastry and decided that I must have this one more time.
Real Danish involves making a yeast dough with eggs, butter and sugar and then layering in more butter, sort of like in puff pastry. The cheese layer has ricotta and cream cheese, some sugar, but not too sweet. So this picture is from the first batch that I made. It tasted like that way I remembered, with the goodness of butter and sugar, not artificial flavoring. So I took this to my knitting group, because as much as I enjoyed eating these, I couldn’t eat an entire batch and still fit into my clothes ;-). One of the older ladies in the group is from Austria, and this is the food memory she has of Danish as well. She really raved about the taste and asked for the recipe, so that she can have the memory again too. I wonder if the young people of today will crave the factory produced facsimile when they are old.
At long last, it is finally Spring. (Okay technically it has been Spring, but we have been unable to prove it by the weather, as it continued to act like Winter.) And as me and Miss P strolled along the path down by the stream, I noticed that the spring flowers were coming out. (Miss P noticed the abundant baby bunnies hopping about. I guess that the rabbits weren’t just sitting around eating blackberries and cream during winter.)
And it’s a good thing that there are flowers about, as the hummingbirds showed up on the 15th, greeted by cold and rain on the flat and snow in the mountains.
This bush had zero leaves, just these weird clusters of pale yellow blooms.
I have no idea what this is, but it was blooming.
This little plant’s blossom is barely visible, and doesn’t really look much like a flower. Miss P was quite bored by the stopping and taking of pictures that did not involve her, so we were quickly on our merry way.
“Over in the meadow where the green grass grows”
I was thinking of this poem as I was walking along with Miss Dog. And when you really look closely at the grasses growing in a meadow, they are not all the same boring uniformity as your basic suburban lawn. The grasses can be individuals, growing in their own ways.
This tall one grows in a tussock. It has wheat-like seeds, growing up from the stalks. It’s no doubt a feather reed grass of some sort.
This one features little sprigs of seeds. Miss P enjoys eating grass (perhaps she is part Black Angus) and she especially likes this kind. She swears it’s delicious, and can’t resist it.
This one is a fox tail grass, with lovely fuzzy seed heads.
This grass growing with an entwined dandelion has fine hair-like leaves. This species is called hairgrass (oh who thinks up these names?)
But it’s not all just grasses in a meadow, this weed features tiny white flowers to add a bit of variety to the sea of green.
This thing reminded me of the alien man-eating plant from Little Shop of Horrors. Pretty soon it will be large enough to start eating people (don’t say I didn’t warn you!).
This grass is possibly a patch of wild onion, judging by the stems (oh yeah, I guess I should have sampled it to be sure.)
Here’s a dried stalk of last year’s grass, looking vaguely wheat-like. This is what the others will look like come fall.
In the early days of the internet (AOL), your computer would let you know of the arrival of this modern miracle of instant communication with a cheery greeting. Now of course, it is routine to get an avalanche of e-mails, most of which are unimportant, with the occasional gem of communication. But besides the e-mails that I have kept, I also have written things that come from the past.
It’s fairly obvious from the postcard on the left that these are vintage greetings.
Some of them were sent, and others were saved for one reason or another.
I lined them up randomly to take this picture, but it turns out that they are actually in order. They are all written by my great-grandmother, Josephine Curry, to my grandmother. The earliest postcard was written in 1908, when my grandmother was away at Tunasassa Indian School. After she was at school, my grandmother worked as a domestic for some white people for a few years. There are no postcards from the time of my gran’s first marriage, that’s a mystery without an answer. The last postcard is from about 1926, before my mom was born, when my aunt was going to Indian School. These faded postcards and an even more faded photo are the only bits left from my great-grandmother, who was born in 1860. My mom had these bits so I assume that she kept them as a link to the past. Mom was from my gran’s second family, so most of the old people were already gone by the time she was born and she never knew them.
That is the good mail, then there are the modern letters that I get, and I would not classify them as good or pleasant or welcome, but it is mail.
My youngest brother likes to send me whiny letters complaining about all his bills and ills. He writes letters because he never answers his phone, this is the only way to communicate with him. I believe that his purpose is to guilt me into paying his bills, and this is not going to happen. So I reply; change what you’re doing and I will help you. That never happens, and I continue to get the same letter on a different date. Oh well, maybe the fleeting messages of the internet are the way to go.
So the thing I love about the Manitou Arcade is that unlike your standard (if there is such a thing) video game palace, is that they feature machines from the earliest machines, to the latest craze (not pictured here, as I don’t relate to them 🙂
Like this early game. I find the name both hilarious and descriptive, but it now costs a quarter to play.
These are the sort of machines that gave pinball arcades a bad name. And no, I did not waste my collection of quarters on them.
This vintage machine involves making a clown dance or at least hop about. It’s not very exciting, so I don’t think it gets much use, but it takes up space to remind us of what the previous generation wasted their money on.
This modern game includes clowns and shooting, a popular combination.
And as an example of a classic pinball machine, what could be more iconic than the Elton John pinball wizard game? Oh yeah, you have to be an old person to get the reference, but not so old as to have totally forgotten the movie. 😉
What do you do when your frenemies (third cousins) come for a visit? This lot stopped in for a visit with Miss P and she was not best pleased.
So off we went with the dog parents for some fun at the Manitou Arcade, a tourist trap in the heart of Manitou Springs.
There is a similarity to tourist tat throughout the world, but having a trough to pan for gold is somewhat unique and different.
And it is a lovely setting, and it would have been perfect; if it was not cool and rainy instead of the expected warm and sunny. Also there were lots of actual tourists and they kept getting in the way, although Miss P did get plenty of love.
We did drop a certain number of quarters in the vintage pinball machines. But I only came in second in the skeeball sort of horse racing game, so I missed out on winning a tiny coffee cup 🙁 I think the winner was some sort of pro.
So we had lots of laughs and it provided a perfect photo op. Then it was off for some ice cream, even if it was cold.