17 September 2008

Those potatoes.

There must be a bright mid-September day.

There must be a memory of an early autumn afternoon from your childhood.

There must be…potatoes, cooked in a certain way.

The combination of these three delivers to you a gentle feeling sprouting from the depth of your heart, the feeling of nostalgia.

The air is fragrant with autumn; the sun’s shining through a thin layer of lazy clouds filling up the nature around with hazy shadows. A crystal silence, it’s all what you can hear now. Such is the day.

I am back in my childhood in a country house that once belonged to my family. It’s a sunny autumn afternoon, a lunchtime. Neighbours tend to their gardens; the subtle smoke of fire from the piles of leaves flavours the air and makes me feel cosy. Shabby, wooden case of stairs lead to the bank of a slipping river. I sit on a mighty stone that the river coughed up years ago onto its bank. I watch. I listen. I wait. For nothing. For everything. I am happy. Such is the memory.

My grandmother used to cook a simple potato dish I devoured whole-heartedly. It was nothing much, really. But it had to be a) my grandmother who would make it, b) that particular early autumn day in the fresh air that would sharpen up all my senses, and – of course - stir my appetite. Seasoned well, potatoes would be slow roasted in the oven, or just fried; that was it. I would sit at the dining table with my grandmother; we would share a plateful of steaming potatoes; she would tell me the stories; I would be happy.

Sixteen years later that is now, I cooked my potatoes like this. And I hurry up to add, I did not deprive myself of the merits of the vegetable in question all the years in between, I hope you understand. It simply happened to be the combination of a day, a memory and food (how novel!) that brushed my being with the gentle feeling of nostalgia.
P.S. I'm prone to eat lots of potatoes and surrender to memories in autumn.

1 comment:

Astra Libris said...

Anya, what a beautiful story! Your words elevate a subtle potato dish to the epitome of culinary art, bringing food and joy and memory together!