I was listening to the radio in the car the other day and at the end of the interview the interviewer posed a question.
“What is the taste of home for you?”
He said Hush Puppies were his taste of home. I thought hush puppies were shoes but it sounded interesting. Then the other presenters chimed in and they all had an answer. A passionate, ‘mamas cooking’ kind of answer. Anyway then I had to think what the taste of home was for me. I have been pondering this for days now.
I have gone through the foods from my childhood thinking it might be one of them. A roast of mutton with crunchy roast potatoes. Steak and cheese pie. Summer warm garden never-been-chilled tomato and fresh basil on Vogel’s toast. Maybe marmite on toast. Or fish and chips out of newspaper with old fashioned Watties tomato sauce that has no sugar added! Avocado from the trees on Charlie’s orchard!
Then I got hung up on the word ‘home’. I have felt at home in a number of different places. Many of them while traveling alone. So the tastes from all these homes might be The Taste. Edamame – hot with salt at Wagamama in a broken down shopping area in Angel, London. Paella in a tiny Spanish restaurant a little walk from Smithfield in London – (I was not alone that time!). Homemade Pesto and Pasta with piles of Parmesan cheese eaten at a marble table overlooking the Mediterranean on the Amalfi coast in Italy (alone). Potato Salad ( with everything in it) in Prague in a tiny underground bar (alone). Warm Pizza Bianca bought from a hole in the wall on the streets of Paris ( alone but not for long).
Water infused with cucumber at the Termemilano Baths in Milan – not alone that time either and it felt like home with family. That scented water.
Custard Squares and Sally Lunns from the bakery on Emerson Street in Napier, New Zealand. ( never alone).
Can each one of these be my home? That would suit me and my Gypsy Caravan tastes. ( I have always wanted to live in a gypsy caravan but one with walls that would lift out to let all the light in. I have never liked walls). Don’t let me get distracted.
What would your taste of home be?
What taste would I associate with my present home – fried eggs on toast? Eggs from our chickens and home made bread from wheat grown in my fields. Hash browns? Probably hash browns: homemade from newly dug potatoes. Like the ones I had on Friday evening – with a book and two dogs and the potato dug straight out of the ground.
It has been an interesting exercise trying to nail down the taste of home and it has underscored the essential feeling of homelessness that immigrants and motherless women often feel. Though I know many immigrants and emigrants who have found their homes in a new land. I find home in many places. But when I talk of going home- I mean New Zealand.
Have a lovely day – it is perfect weather here this morning. Sparkly. I am going outside to get you some photos.
Are you thinking now? About your taste of home? Would you like to tell us? The Fellowship of the Farmy? We would love to hear about your taste of home.