The kitchen table
When I think of the word food, it evokes liquid memories of love.
Memories of wonderful days with my sister and my cousins at grandma’s house.
Food represented love.
Each Saturday my grandmother would prepare to bake fresh bread, pastries, and other treats.
I, along with my sister and cousins would gather at our grandmother’s table. We knew there would be laughter, food, and fun.
Golden rays of sunlight streaming in through the muslin fabric added magic to the dance of grandmother’s hands as she wrestled with the dough. Next, she patted and covered it on a large wooden tray to rest and rise.
The heady fragrance set our taste buds alight with the promise of joy.
Our shiny sun-kissed faces marveled with the wonder of youth as the doughy mixture seemed to come alive before our very eyes.
Later, grandma would set the dough into rolls and loaves. We would get small pieces of the raw dough to play with as an artful form of learning.
We would try to make each tiny bread look like my grandmother’s, but ours never seemed to come out quite right.
Next came preparing the oven for baking.
The oven is located in the yard and is a structure made of mud, cow patties (dried cow poop), and water mixed together in a manner reminiscent of an adobe-like structure.
My grandma would artfully light the oven using the bits and pieces we had collected until they formed red hot bits of coal.
The dough is then placed in the oven and the real magic begins. The intoxicating scent of fermented yeast explodes as heat invigorates the fungi causing its energy to dissipate overpowering the palate of the waiting children.
We eagerly await the opening of the oven door, a signal for the salivary glands to let it all hang out — literally.
The golden goodness is freed from the ovens bowels and presented to the salivating kids.
The heat emanating from the too-hot rolls causes us to change hands constantly, like a clown juggling way too many balls in the air.
We love it warm from the oven as the heat causes the fresh cheese or salty butter to dribble down our fingers as we enjoy this yeasty goodness with some freshly made lime drinks.
Afterward, we would rest in the shade of the veranda, now replete.
The older kids would tell us scary stories until one by one we doze off dreaming of playing hide and seek in the coming moonlight.