Out of all the church services I attended in my youth, and the countless sermons delivered, I struggle to recall specific messages, (not to say they are not still with me in some shape or form). This strikes me as odd, because I can remember every single ingredient layered inside the soft breakfast burritos purchased at the local Mexican joint, Anita's, after church. Sitting quietly in a pew seemed to summon the deepest of hunger pangs. Whenever the last prayer was said, my mouth would begin to water in anticipation.
Anita's had a narrow breezeway entrance, with a pick-up window and a heat lamp beaming over a pyramid of wrapped burritos, for patrons looking to grab-and-go. One of us kids would run in and purchase a stack, sporting our Sunday best, making sure to remember little side cups of homemade salsa and sour cream. Those burritos completed church for me.
When guests come to visit, my favorite time to catch up is over shared meals. Two friends from Washington state graced me with their presence this past weekend, and we took time out to casually break bread together throughout their stay.
Before leaving, Sarah came through the door bearing her homemade zucchini pickles and hand packed albacore tuna, as a farewell token. The tuna was caught by a fisherman friend, which she carefully canned in olive oil with carrot sticks, to add a pleasing color. It was incredible, as were the unbelievable pickles! Gifts such as these bring me back to the phenomenon of memory. The details we remember, and those we let go of, are perhaps retained best by the flavors in which they ride in on.