fiddlehead definition

fid·dle·head [ fídd'l hèd ] (plural fid·dle·heads) noun
Definition: edible fern shoot: the coiled frond of a young fern, often cooked and eaten as a delicacy

Monday, September 12, 2011

franks and beans

(image from

“Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table.”Charles Pierre Monselet (1825-1888)
Whenever I am feeling nostalgic and missing my dad, I feel like making pork and beans. This simple dish is pure magic for me. We had these rituals, he and I. Together on weekend afternoons we sometimes made pork and beans. No, we didn't soak beans and render pork. We opened cans and used condiments. He especially liked to use Heinz baked beans "because they are English." So, we would open a couple of cans and he would talk about the army. Each time we cooked I heard a new story but he always talked about eating canned beans and how he had perfected seasoning them. He would ask me to hand him the ketchup, the mustard (plain yellow, not the fancy stuff), pepper, brown sugar and sometimes even vinegar. We would pour, shake, taste and adjust until it was just right. Then he would cut hot dogs using surgical scissors and toss them in the pot which would simmer until lunch. We would sit together, talk and laugh. When I try to think about all the important moments of my life, my wedding, the births of my children, etc. I feel this ranks right there and I didn't even know it at the time. I hope that my children and I are creating these food memories as well. They seem to stick, much like pork and beans sticks to the ribs.

This is the power of food. The best meals don't always come from Michelin stars but are remembered so deliciously because of the moment in time and the company.  When I need to journey back in time I just need a couple of cans and some condiments.

No comments:

Post a Comment