For nearly a year Pam, Peggy and I would pool our pennies to score pickles, peppermint sticks and a package of kool-aid from the ‘penny’ candy story. We were in the third grade and we thought this concoction second only to Chic-O-Stiks.
I haven’t had a pickle in I don’t know when. I haven’t had the pickle, peppermint, kool-aid combo since the third grade. I moved away from Pam and Peggy and haven’t seen them or our treat since. The new neighborhood’s ‘penny’ candy store didn’t even sell pickles.
A few blocks from where I work there is a pickle factory and distribute business. Every so often, when the wind is just right, the vinegary, cucumber
stench aroma from the plant reaches my nose and prompts a joyful little tromp down memory lane.
There are a number of pleasant food and food combo memories from childhood. There are also a number of very un-pleasant foods from childhood that I prefer not to remember or re-visit. The worst of the bad foot vignettes star beets and black-eyed peas. The peas I was convinced to re-visit with dire results. Beets, I thought I might be now mature enough to re-visit. I haven’t and I don’t think I will, now because...
I did recently re-visit a good food memory. Eating pomegranates was a childhood favorite. My friends and I, from the many neighborhoods I inhabited as a child, all indulged in pomegranates. We peeled and pulled the tangy, sour seeds from the pulpy center with reckless abandon. I remember our fingers being stained by the juicy seeds. I bought a pomegranate a few weeks ago for the first time in many years, bringing back a surge of a few happy times.
For my morning snack break, I broke open the pomegranate. I start to peel back the skin, dig through the pulp to plop out the seeds. I ate one and then two. I peeled more and found a cluster of seeds. A funny feeling started to come over me. Not a funny ha-ha happy, but funny icky, weird feeling. I kept peeling and eating. The creepy crawly, heebie jeebie, willie nillie feelings kept coming, intensifying. Each pull of pulp, each exposure of a cluster of the deep red seeds, brought on more itchy twitchies. I’m feeling a little goosey just thinking about it now.
Enough! After only a few seeds, I toss the whole thing in the trash. I take the bag out to dump it into the office dumpster. I wash my hands and all the while deciding that some things are best left in the past.