As I was looking for photos to use in the food tradition blog post, I came across these adorable photos from 2010, and I thought about how the food we eat affects all parts of our lives. For example this simple nursery rhyme:
This little piggy when to market,
this little piggy stayed home,
this little piggy had roast beef.
This little piggy had none and
this little piggy went wee, wee, wee all the way home.
I have never understood why the pig has roast beef. Of all the foods in the world, why that particular meat. I've even done a little sleuthing to see what I could find online, and I'm still not satisfied with any of the reasons. So when we started having children, I changed it. My piggy was going to eat tortillas, because who doesn't love a delicious homemade tortilla. No one I know. I know it's too many syllables for the rhyme and it gets shortened to "tillas" the second and third time around.
It was a simple decision, something I certainly didn't give a great deal of thought to at the time. I don't like roast beef; I do like tortillas.
However today as I have been thinking about food traditions and how much food affects so many different areas of our lives, this simple thing is perhaps more meaningful. So much of our lives revolves around food. We need food to survive so it's only natural that the same life-giving substance should also be pleasurable and evoke memories. Smells are powerful, and the smell of homemade tortillas makes me feel safe and loved. It is the smell of love, for tortillas come from the kitchens of my maternal line filled with strength and resilience.
Today everyone is too big to have their toes wiggled and then tickled with a silly nursery rhyme. But perhaps one day when I have grandchildren I will wiggle their toes, and my home will be filled with the aroma of homemade tortillas as I kiss their little cheeks and tell them stories of their parents and the lives lived before them.