Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.
It’s so funny to think of it now, but my favorite meal as a kid, simple as it is, was franks and beans. My brother and I visited my maternal grandmother often as small children. My Gram would always ask what we wanted for lunch – pizza? burgers and fries? mac and cheese? But we would always shout in a loud chorus, “Franks and beans!” Gram would chuckle and shake her head, heading toward the stove.
My favorite memory is a rainy afternoon, me and my brother sitting around my Gram’s dark wooden table in her warm, sweet-smelling kitchen, looking out the small window next to the cabinets as the raindrops streaked down the glass. I remember feeling so safe as my brother and I played some game we’d made up, the rules of which I can’t even remember now, as our lunch simmered on the stove. My Gram would pull a huge canister of our favorite beverage at the time, sweet peach juice, from her cavernous pantry and opened it with her dangerous-looking can-opener, deftly creating two perfect triangular holes on each side, it seemed like magic to me.
Looking back on it now, I realize now why that meal was always my favorite as a kid, besides the fact that Gram made it best, it meant fun, Gram’s house, playing with my brother, no worries, simplicity, safety, love. Not bad for a can of beans and some cut up hot dogs. Sometimes, every blue moon, and maybe today qualifies since there’s a full moon on Friday the 13th, I still make it for myself, curl up on the couch, watch cartoons, and pretend to be five all over again.