This weekend I kept dreaming of food. A specific food. A specific taste. I would wake up with the memory of the taste in my mouth, knowing that I was remembering something from my childhood, a sensory memory without a name to put with it. But I could see it and taste it, that was the start of my detective work.
I knew that it was a hot cereal. So, I went to the cereal aisle of our grocery store. I didn't think that anything really fit the bill, but I'm only really used to eating oatmeal, so I wasn't sure that it might be a brand of cereal or not. I called my sister and said, "Do you remember that cereal that Nana and mom used to make for us when we were little? It was hot and grainy but not oatmeal." It could have been Orovo for all that I knew. Her guesses were Cream of Rice, corn cereal and Cream of Wheat. I described it a bit more and she said that it was probably Cream of Wheat. I bought it. I tried it. It was not Cream of Wheat.
My next font of info was my mom. I called her. She then called back and said that she couldn't understand my message. We met up at my nephew's baseball tournament and I was able to describe the cereal in detail. Right off the bat, she said, "Cracked wheat." That really sounded like that was what I was dreaming about.
I made a pot of cracked wheat this morning and it was heaven! I can remember eating it on the back porch on summer mornings at Nana's house. Eating it at our dark brown laminate shiny table from wheat stenciled bowls at my mom's. All of my adult life, I had forgotten that this had ever existed! But my body and mind remembered. How cool to get this memory and this food back into my life. I might even have it for dinner.