Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cookies and milk

I've been steadily making my way through a package of amaretti cookies, which I recently bought for my nectarine galette. They're a perfect, bite-sized treat and I have to admit that I've snacked on them before breakfast. More than once. Like today.

I stood looking out the kitchen window enjoying the sweet almond flavor and the quiet neighborhood when Bam! A memory flooded its way back into my brain in full technicolor. You know that feeling?

My grandparents lived only twenty minutes away growing up, so I would often go spend the night with them, especially in summer. They were quiet, neighborly folk who enjoyed speaking French and listening to classical music. Many of my personal influences come from early days spent at their house.

If I happened to be there on a weekday, my grandpa (Boppa) would leave me a special breakfast treat before he left for work early, early in the morning. This was one of the best parts of staying at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Sliding my way into the kitchen in my nightgown, I was sure to find a small plate with four or five Stella D'oro cookies and a tiny glass of grapefruit juice. If you never had the pleasure of encountering these cookies, here's a picture.

They look almost as I remember. But the rainbow sprinkles used to belong to a flower-shaped cookie, and they were extra rainbow sprinkly.  I really don't remember that obnoxious green frosting. Weird.

Anyway, these Italian cookies were such a warm way to wake up. I would eat them while Grandma slept, imagining what Boppa's day was like at work. The cookies were our own little secret, Boppa and I. "Be sure to finish them before your grandma wakes up," he would say in hushed tones. I'm sure she knew, but at the time I felt so...sneaky. In a good way.

These memories are important for us writers. I know this to be true. But I'm having trouble putting my reasoning into words. Anything that zaps out of the ether into my consciousness has got to be worth remembering, right?  I think my job is to write it down and keep it in the Well of Ideas. It might not get used immediately but it's ready to serve at a moment's notice.

This is such an offshoot of my recent ponderings on Flow. I've noticed a lot of other wonderful, creative people who have been musing about the same the past few days. I'm going to let this idea simmer. What do you do with those lovely memorable tidbits? How do you keep them with you and do they ever suddenly reveal their purpose? Big questions...

1 comment:

  1. I go back and forth between feeling like a) our memories and our brains are trying to reveal deep hidden truths to us, necessary at the present moment; and b) our brains run like poor search engines. Any time any item affects our senses, our brain goes off into a thousand different tangents with completely irrelevant information until you don't remember how you got there. "A firetruck drives by, a siren, alarm, my alarm went off late this morning, can't believe I was late for work, missed lunch, couldn't heat my chicken, are these cage free? I should really recycle more."