FOOD AND NOSTALGIA 13 March 2010 – 5/6 pm 34 St. Mochtas Green, Clonsilla, D15
“… there isn’t much literature on taste, because defining a taste is difficult as much as describing a smell. Both are spirits with their own independent existence, which appear, without having being invoked, to open a window on our memory and take us through time to a forgotten episode.” The perfume , Patrick Suskind
I will be leaving Ireland soon, for the second time. I would like to celebrate with you all before my departure. And being a foodie as I am, I would like to challenge you all with a Food and Nostalgia day
Food is food. It is the visceral link to our body. It is what it reminds us every day of our being physical and decomposable. Food enlightens the relation to our physicality. Yet, food is linked to emotions and senses, to memories and past experience.
Nostalgia is a sense of lack. A feeling of being away from what we want, from where we want to be and from who we would like to be with. It could be referring to space as well as to time.
I am going to throw a house party. There will be a food buffet, made by us all . Everybody will come along with their own creation. Everybody will cook their own favourite recipe: the recipe that defines them; the recipe they are attached to the most; the recipe that reminds of a special person, of a special place, or of a special time of their lives. To make it simple I can only reheat the food you bring over, but the food has to be cooked already. I don’t have a big kitchen for everybody to come and cook there.
Cherry on the cake, I would like you to take the time to write your chosen recipe down on a piece of paper for me (it can be handwritten or typed, it doesn’t matter). Ingredients and preparation should be included, along with a little note to explain what the dish means to you. The recipes will be displayed during the party and I will then put them together to make a little anthology. I would like to keep that as a special memory from you all. Once gathered together, I could send them on to everybody who wishes to keep them.
For the day I will make sure we have plastic plates, cutlery and glasses. It is not really environmentally friendly though. If you know of a place in town where I could get these stuff made out of potato starch, banana leaves or other biodegradable materials, please advise. I will make some food and prepare some drinks, but bring your own booze along with your food and if they need to be served together, even better! If then you think the whole experience also requires a specific playlist, I can’t ask for more, just bring it on!
Nothing else needs to be said, tell me what you think. I thought of starting the party in the afternoon, around 5/6 pm or so. It’s going to be on a Saturday, so people may be busy for the night. Besides, I live in Clonsilla, which is not a handy place to reach, and to leave from, at night. Just in case, but if you are all fine with the location we could as well start it around 7/8 pm and go on. 34 St. Mochtas Green Clonsilla, Dublin 15 Here are some links for you: www.maps.google.com www.dublinbus.ie
I hope you are going to have some fun time with this little task. Open up the gate of your memory, think of your comfy dish and let your senses inspire you. It can involve sight, hearing, sense of smell, touch… It can also be a holistic composition of five or less senses. The most important is: it has to be food!
“ Will it ultimately reach the clear surface of my consciousness, this memory, this old, dead moment which the magnetism of an identical moment has travelled so far to importune, to disturb, to raise up out of the very depths of my being? I cannot tell. Now that I feel nothing, it has stopped, has perhaps gone down again into its darkness, from which who can say whether it will ever rise? Ten times over I must essay the task, must lean down over the abyss. And each time the natural laziness which deters us from every difficult enterprise, every work of importance, has urged me to leave the thing alone, to drink my tea and to think merely of the worries of to-day and of my hopes for to-morrow, which let themselves be pondered over without effort or distressed of mind. And suddenly the memory returns. The taste was that of the little crumb of Madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (…), when I went to say good day to her in her bedroom, my aunt Leonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of real or lime-flower tea. The sight of the little Madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it;” Remembrance of Things Past , Swann's Way, Marcel Proust
“ And once again I had recognized the taste of the crumb of the Madeleine soaked in her decoction of lime-flowers that my aunt used to give me (although I did not yet know and must long postpone the discovery of why this memory made me so happy) immediately the old grey house upon the street, where her room was, rose up like the scenery of a theatre to attach itself to the little pavilion, opening on to the garden, which had been built out behind it for my parents (…); and with the house the town, from morning to night and in all weathers, the Square where I was sent before luncheon, the street along which I used to run errands, the country roads we took when it was fine. And just as the Japanese amuse themselves by filling a porcelain bowl with water and steeping in it little crumbs of paper which until then are without character or form, but, the moment they become wet, stretch themselves and bend, take on colour and distinctive shape, become flowers or houses or people, permanent and recognisable, so in that moment all the flowers in our garden and in M. Swann’s park, and the water-lilies on the Vivonne and the good folk of the village and their little dwellings and the parish church and the whole Combray and of its surroundings, taking their proper shapes and growing solid, sprang into being, town and gardens alike, from my cup of tea.” Remembrance of Things Past, Swann's Way, Marcel Proust