Monday, September 17, 2012

Zucchini Memories.

I make, if it is not too arrogant to say it, very good zucchini bread. In fact, the goodness of my bread is well known in my little community and when the end of summer rolls around and zucchinis are available, people start to inquire casually whether I've made any zucchini bread, whether I intend to make any zucchini bread, and whether, if bread does exist, they might have some of it. When I make it, I use the same recipe my mother used, years and years ago. It is said sometimes that when you cook or bake, you're not just creating food, sometimes you're creating memories, which I would have to say can be true.

I like making zucchini bread because it reminds me of my mother. My mother hated to cook but inherited a love of baking from her father, and one of the things she baked every summer, using her home-grown zucchinis, was bread. I'm not the world's biggest fan of the actual zucchini, but I do love z. bread, hers especially. Her bread figures strongly in my summer memories of dinner picnics in parks, the cold slices of bread thickly spread with butter, eaten with some sort of protein and a salad, or something. I just remember it so clearly; and my father loved her bread, too. So I think about her every time I make it.

I usually make a double batch at a time, which means four loaves, and I'm planning to take a loaf over to Dad's home for them to give him as a snack or dessert. I suppose I should be kind and tell them they can give it to all the residents, and I probably will. But something in me wants to say that it's for Dad and Dad only, and that he likes lots of butter on it, just like years ago. I don't know if it will spark the same memories in him that it does in me; or any memories at all, for that matter. He'll probably just enjoy the taste and not think anything at all.

But once again, I'll be the one holding all the memories for the both of us, which is a really hard job. I like to imagine that all of us who give care think several times a week, if not more, that we don't want to be the memory holders anymore - we want our loved ones to remember on their own! A wish that will never happen. We are the ones who have to be two; carrying our own dreams and memories, and those of our loved one. For the rest of my life, I'll be carrying the zucchini bread memories for the both of us. All he has to do now is enjoy the bread part.

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