It was the gooseberry jam that did it. In a coffee shop this past Sunday a row of bottled gooseberry preserve glowed golden on a shelf next to imported biscotti and tricolore farfalle, which I also reached for. But it was the gooseberry jam that triggered for me a memory so acute that I was in a moment transported to my first taste of a gooseberry…. and the utter wonder of opening up that papery parcel, as fragile as an earthy fairy’s wing, to find a glowing, perfectly round berry that burst under my teeth tanging sweetly on my un-jaded 5 year old tongue….

Getting home I greedily opened the lid and scooped out a teaspoonful of the jam, and could almost not swallow for the lump in my throat finding it perfectly reminiscent of my grandmothers’, cooked and bottled from gooseberries picked by my sister and I and my mother in that garden of my first taste, standing bottled eventually, in proud profusion, in her larder.

So when I saw the blog opportunity in Taste magazine, it seemed perfect timing to explore my connection with food over time… the meals, the moods, the moments,

the memories which have shaped and continues to shape my life…

I have no idea where this may go: I may share a recipe or two, I may tell of people and places and pleasures past and present….forty three years since that first gooseberry has certainly brought a wealth of taste experiences, which may seem trivial to write about. But there’s something about writing and food and loving and living that makes perfect sense, at least to me.

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