“Sometimes you have to travel back in time, skirting the obstacles, in order to love someone.”
~ Frances Mayes, Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir
When I was a kid, growing up in the seventies, there was this pie Mum used to make.
‘Tropical Pie’ it was called, if memory serves me correctly.
I loved that pie.
Mum only ever made it in summer, if we had friends coming over for a party or a barbeque, or if we were invited somewhere and she offered to bring a dessert.
Mum was a great cook, and we looked forward to birthdays, events and parties when she would always make something that was a little bit special.
By the eighties my parents had split up, and we didn’t go to parties or barbeques anymore. Mum stopped making that pie.
By the time I was brave enough to remind her about it, Mum had lost the recipe.
I spent years searching for it amid the kitchen drawers, the old exercise books with the hand-written recipes and pages torn from women’s magazines. But it was no good. I never found that recipe again.
That recipe came to represent the essence of my childhood – a time when I still felt happy, loved and safe. I found myself yearning for Tropical Pie, and the ability to make it for myself. Last year in a pique of nostalgia I trawled the internet looking for it.
And then, yesterday, as I was sorting through a bag stuffed with recipe clippings and old cookbooks that once belonged to my grandmother I found it!
It was so unexpected that I burst into tears. Silly, I know, but at that precise moment I felt Marga looking down on me, wisely and kindly guiding me as she had always done in life.
I’ve gone and bought the few ingredients I did not have in the house, and I shall share the recipe with you tomorrow.
Who knows how it shall really taste? How can anything ever live up to those rose-tinted memories of old?
Still, I shall bake my Tropical Pie, and eat it with my husband, and feel with every bite that my world has come full circle.
Is there any food that takes you right back to happy memories of your childhood? Do you ever make or buy it for yourself or your family now that you’ve grown? Or is there a food your children or grandchildren have come to request and think of as special? I’d love to hear your stories either here in the comments, or over on my facebook page.