Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Sardines and Custard Pies”

A Moment in My Life – Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Today, I need a pick me up. Ooh, a tiramisu sounds delightful just about now. Alas, no tiramisu in my neck of the woods. Aw, excellent, the sun just came out. My day is beginning to feel better. It’s so peaceful in my neighborhood. I’m grateful for that. It would be perfect if I could shake this disheartening feeling that clings to me like static. The weight of the world churns in my gut. I turn the other cheek to all things politics. I love my friends. I respect everybody’s view. It breaks my heart when people push their opinions on others. It’s bad enough so much is going on that we can’t control, but respecting each other’s individualism is something we can. It seems every time I look on social media, something else unsettling is happening—too much, too soon. I haven’t gotten over the last episode yet. Just about now, reaching into the freezer for the tub of rocky road ice cream or the fridge for that unfinished piece of chocolate cake sounds plenty fine to me, but I have neither. Thinking about comfort food reminded me about sardines and custard pies. Not that they were, by any means, my comfort foods, but that came to mind, and I happen to have a light-hearted story about them to tell.

When I was a little girl of about eight, my parents took my year older sister with them to the diner that we owned, and they left me home to babysit my one-year-old sister. Don’t let my age fool you. Back in the days, we kids were the sitters. My mother would leave a loaf of white bread and a can of sardines out on the kitchen table for me to make sandwiches for our meals in their absence. After a few days of sardine sandwiches, any craving that I might have had for that menu item vanished for the next couple of decades. 

My sister and I went as far as pretending not to see the loaf of white bread and can of sardines on the table to avoid eating another sardine sandwich. I don’t remember what we ended up eating, but it wasn’t a sardine sandwich. 

Move forward a few decades, a friend invited me to her house for lunch, and she opened a can of sardines to add to her menu. I don’t remember anything about that meal except for the can of sardines. I hadn’t thought of that word, let alone eat sardines since I was a kid. At that time, sardines were still revolting to me. Fast forward another decade or so, I actually bought a can of sardines for a change of pace because I learned they are healthy for us. Who’d thunk it?

My father was a baker during our teen years, which meant leftover cakes and pies, never cookies, came home with Daddy. Mm, chocolate, and white sponge cake rocked my soul, and even though Daddy’s custard pie was to die for, one could only eat it so often. After a while, I couldn’t lay eyes on another custard pie for most of my adult years. About a decade ago, to my surprise, I suddenly had a craving for Daddy’s custard pie, but I had to make do with any old custard pie I could find. It was good enough to satisfy my craving. 

I never thought I’d touch sardines or ever crave custard pie again, but time does change things. I’m a living example of that. I enjoy a slice, not a whole, of custard pie every time I get a craving for it, and I’m a happy camper. This thought made me wonder, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could restore all that is wrong in the world to when it was right so we could be happy campers like me with my sardines and custard pies?

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