Number 13 of 52

By: gmaphotos

Apr 03 2012

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Photographs


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This week’s theme: Food

“Food, glorious food!
What wouldn’t we give for
That extra bit more —
That’s all that we live for
Why should we be fated to
Do nothing but brood
On food,
Magical food,
Wonderful food,
Marvellous food,
Fabulous food”  ~~~Oliver (soundtrack 1989)

Ever since the stone age, when people gathered around a fire to cook and share food, it evoked a calming and comforting atmosphere.  The preparation and sharing of food has produced some of the strongest traditions ever known in every culture imaginable.  Think about it – what is a holiday without food and a gathering of loved ones? 

When I think of holidays in my house growing up, so many things come to mind.  Planning the menu:  not too much straying from the expected, after all, that is part of the tradition.  Gathering the ingredients:  being the youngest, it was my job to accompany dad to the food store, the bakery, the Lithuanian butcher.  The preparation: Mom would usually begin a few days prior to the holiday, preparing the baked goods.  For some reason, I was always allowed to help with the baking but hardly ever the cooking.  The day of the holiday:  we would wake up to the aromas wafting from the kitchen.  Such delicious smells!  Just the anticipation of sitting down to such a wonderful meal was enough to make your mouth water! 

According to Regina Schrambling in The New York Times on 9/19/01, ” Cooking is the most sensual activity a human being can engage in, in polite company. It involves smell, touch, sound, sight and especially taste. Making food is a way to feel alive and engaged.”  This is why food memories are so powerful.  A familiar smell, the touch of an heirloom pan, the sound of the rolling pin on the board, the look of the completed process and finally, the taste.  Any one of these elements can transport you back to a treasured memory, to a precious time, with a extraordinary individual(s).

The above photo is the recipe that does it for me – it connects me instantly to my mom and dad.  Plum kuchen – a German dessert cake.  My mother was Lithuanian, my dad was German.  This was one of dad’s favorite desserts.  Mom bought herself a German cookbook (which I now have) and learned how to make this delicious confection.  She would make this every fall, when the Italian prune plums were available.  In fact, at one point she had two Italian prune plum trees planted in the back yard so that we’d have our very own supply! 

As easy as this recipe may look, do not be fooled.  This recipe took me years to get right!  Trial and error – not enough plums, not enough sugar, baked a minute too long, and a host of other variables.  The highest compliment I EVER received  was from my dad,  a couple of years before he passed away.  “You finally got your mother’s recipe right – delicious!”  My heart just about leaped out of my chest!   So now, every fall when I go through the process, hunting for Italian prune plums, slicing them, preparing the dough, etc., I am instantly transported to another time and place.  As my dear friend, Patti, says on her food blog ( : “Preserve old recipes, stir up memories, and whisk up new ones!”  Thanks, Patti!   Thanks, mom and dad! I love you! OXOXOX

If you’d like to see more of my photos, please scroll to the top of the page and click on the link for FLICKR.  It will bring you to all my public photos available for viewing. Remember to leave a comment and thank you for stopping by!


7 comments on “Number 13 of 52”

  1. I love plum kuchen and hoped that you would have included your recipe since you had perfected it.

  2. Another nice image and fun post. Thanks!

  3. I think you were Dad’s favorite! Beer and plum kuchen – good memories of family ties. So nice to re-visit them with you.

  4. i still remember fighting over the lithuanian bread that was still warm when daddy picked us up after practice. mom always said warm bread would give us a tummy ache…never happened, i think she was afriad we would eat half of it before it got home. don’t forget no jars on the table!!!!

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