I just returned from three days on the Russian River celebrating two dear friends’ 50th birthdays. They threw their own party - inviting their friends and family to their getaway on the River, renting three other homes for the multitude of attendees, and then planning and cooking all the meals for the 30+ ravenous eaters. An amazing feat in and of itself, but the real gift to us all was the connections, camaraderie, conversation and lasting memories we will reminisce about forever.
In fact, during one conversation that drifted to food (shocking isn’t it?), we were naming food flavors from childhood that still bring us comfort, put a smile on our face, or remind us of a wonderful memory. And then casually our friend used the term memory flavors to describe those special food associations. @dormantchef and I looked at each other in wonder - that phrase captured the essence of the weekend and in so many ways, describes the reason I write this blog. Food gathers us together, nourishing not only our bodies but our minds and souls too, creating memories that can last a lifetime or when captured in words and visuals, perhaps, even longer.
This weekend was full of flavors that each guest might stash away for future recall from this amazing edible journey. Perhaps the sweet and tangy peach sangria accompanied by the spicy chicken carnitas that preceded our cozy conversations around the fire pit Friday night. Or the succulent ribs we devoured Saturday night after wine tasting, hiking, kayaking or sleeping our way through the lazy sunny day on the River. Or maybe that layered ice cream cake comprised of chocolate cookies, malted milk balls, ice cream and ganache in one tantalizing child-like ice cream dessert.
If you haven’t already drooled on your keyboard, here is a visual recap of the flavorful memories of a most glorious weekend at the River. Thank you Sharon and Arie from the bottom of our hearts for providing the venue and energy to gather us from across the U.S. for this happy, heartwarming event.
What are your memory flavors? The foods that bring you comfort or always put a smile on your face? My list includes Kraft macaroni and cheese and my bubbe's matzo meal pancake. Now that I’ve revealed some of mine, don’t hesitate to share your memory flavors in the comments below.