Food Memories


Strawberry frosted donuts with rainbow sprinkles on top, eaten before going to the train store. Watching toy trains rush by on wooden tracks, licking the frosting from my fingers.


Long nights at the dining room table, suffering through the Passover Seder.

Each course drawn out and extended with prayer.

I only eat matzah with butter, several sheets of it, until my stomach aches.


Searching for the perfect hamburger, combination of juicy and charred.

Find my Holy Grail, a medium-well cheeseburger and fries, with a chocolate milkshake.

Order at Ted’s Bulletin, a restaurant nestled in Capitol Hill, secretly hiding fried fatty goodness.


Everything about the food in Paris.

The cheese, sharp and best paired with crunchy crackers.

Dark chocolate, melting into my mouth.

Buttery bread that unpeeled in layers, light and flaky.


Jewish food, passed down for generations.

My mom, like the matriarchs of old, spending hours preparing.

Noodle Kugel, steaming hot and topped with cinnamon. Served in slabs, thick and fattening. Recipes created before saturated fat and calories, when it was okay to add a stick of butter to a meal.


Buying popcorn and Snow Caps at Blockbuster’s, while searching for a DVD.

Looking at rows of Pez dispensers with cartoon characters’ heads on top.

Searching for which Push candy or Baby Bottle Pop I want, always deciding on the pinkest one, strawberry.


Stew Leonard’s in Danbury Connecticut.

Camp field trips ending with a stop at this gigantic grocery store with a buffet.

Piling carts with candy and chips, what I lacked at camp.

Getting steaming hot buffet food and hoping I have enough money to pay for my four pounds of mac and cheese.


Browsing the aisles of Hinata, the sushi shop my parents went to when I was little.

Looking for “boy and girl” cookies, chocolate pops with children faces on them.

Chewing several Pocky sticks at a time, the biscuit ends sticking out of my mouth.


New Year’s Eve 2005, ordering a fizzy pink Shirley Temple with my Chinese food.

Bubbles bouncing in my throat, popping like balloons.

Swearing to stay up until midnight, but falling asleep in the restaurant, my plate untouched.


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