Every time I suck on a Chupa Chup I’m immediately 10-years-old again. I’m at tennis camp with my siblings and cousins and it’s hot, it’s really hot. It’s Summer time and Christmas is just around the corner. I have not a worry in the world. Oh happy day!
Food is powerful like that. Similarly to music and perfume, it has the ability to dig up memories SMACK BANG in an instant. Well, for me anyway! Am I alone in this!? I’m SO sure I’m not!
The same thing happens when I spray Issey Miyake on my wrist whilst browsing the cosmetics at my local department store. All of a sudden I turn into my 14-year-old self. I’m getting ready to go to the movies in the city with my friends. I’ve got Poppy King lipstick on and I’m wearing Timberland boots with white socks, high waisted jeans and a Sportsgirl t-shirt with the multi- coloured logo on the front. Those were the days….
If “Barbie Girl” comes on the radio – I’m gone. I’m 17 at my year 12 formal dancing the night away. It’s unstoppable. It just happens. My brain just works like that!
But back to the food. Another one that does this to me, and there are oh so many, is Tzatziki, the Greek yoghurt dip. For as long as I can remember my grandmother has lovingly made this for us at least every couple of weeks. It’s one of my faves. Every time I spread it on bread and pop it into my mouth I’m in a happy place, a safe place.
I don’t get one specific location or age with this food, as I’ve eaten it pretty much every 14 days since I came out of the womb, but I do get many thoughts of my grandmother, of the kitchen in her old apartment, of sitting up sharing a meal in her current apartment, of her stories from the village, her laugh, her eyes, her warm heart…….all beautiful things. And for that, I’m super grateful.
Does food evoke memories for you!? What food brings back what memories?! Do you eat these foods on purpose sometimes just so you can reminisce?
PHOODIE’S TZATZIKI RECIPE
- 1kg full fat Greek style yoghurt (my Yaya actually “hangs” this overnight – don’t tell her, but I never do, I’m too lazy! She places it in muslin cloth and hangs it over a bowl so that all the water can drain out. This leaves you with only the creamiest of creamy bits!! Feel free to do this, or if you don’t have time/can’t be bothered, like me, then don’t, it’s still AMAZING!)
- 2 tablespoons salt (that’s TABLEspoons folks!)
- 2 teaspoons pepper (that’s TEAspoons!)
- 1-2 cloves garlic (depending on how much you like garlic!)
- 1 lemon – juice only
- 1 bunch dill
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cap white wine vinegar
- Grate cucumbers onto a paper towel or a clean kitchen tea towel. Spread grated cucumbers out and sprinkle with all the salt. The salt will draw the water out of the cucumbers so that when you add them to the dip later they won’t release excess liquid making the dip runny. Leave them drawing salt out for about half an hour.
- Place the yoghurt into a large mixing bowl. Add in the pepper, crushed garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar and mix well.
- Add in cucumber (after having waited half an hour and pressed dry – see image). Stir through.
- Just prior to serving, finely chop the dill and stir through well.
- Serve with fresh, crusty bread.
Note: Can be stored in an airtight container until the expiry date of the original tub of yoghurt! YUMMO!
After graduating from high school, Phoodie studied Interior Architecture at UNSW. She worked for several years as a designer before having the courage to throw caution to the wind and run, very, very fast to the Le Cordon Bleu cookery school in London. She is a cookbook, restaurant, and all round food obsessed blogger and Mum of 2. She can be found posting recipes here, tweeting here, or on Facebook here.
What food brings back memories for you?