photo credit: stevendepolo
The following is a guest post by my wife, Lynley SanGeorge.
There are a lot of times when I am brought back to childhood….like right before a storm when I catch the scent of rain in the summer air before the downpour ensues, or the laughter of neighborhood children carried by the refreshing breeze. The five senses are powerful memory evokers and the smell of chlorine does it for me time after time. Growing up in Florida, my two brothers, sister and I, LIVED in the water, especially in the hot, humid summers of Miami. The smell of hotdogs and hamburgers makes me nostalgic too, although, much to the chagrin of my parents, I was probably one of the pickiest eaters, or at least that is what they would tell you. While everyone else was munching on a deliciously juicy burger, I would say “just cheese, ketchup and a napkin please.” But, really the smell of the meat cooking on the grill reminds me of family, security and being together.
Hands down the most powerful memory evoker is the smell of my mother’s homemade chocolate chip cookies wafting like angels in the air. Way before the threat of salmonella was even thought about in our house, we would pile huge clumps of raw dough on top of a warm cookie and eat them one after another. My mom often let us help her with baking, (as much as four children running around you in circles, saying “my turn, my turn” is helpful).
One of my favorite things to make with my mom besides her famous cookies was Rice Krispies treats. The feeling of being grown up and the independence I was granted by making something “all by myself” cannot be underestimated. As a shy child it helped build my confidence. With my mother standing close by I was able to pour the Rice Krispies into the hot pan and stir the marshmallows. I would watch as the butter turned the fluffy clouds into a gooey goodness, and then we would spread the sticky concoction into a buttered casserole dish. I would inevitably lick my fingers when she was not looking. The worst part was waiting until the treats cooled in the refrigerator and of course the best part was devouring them. Rice Krispies Treats always required a tall, cold glass of whole milk to go with them.
It’s the little things that bring me joy, and every time a familiar product becomes gluten free, I get excited. Not just because of the price and availability, but really because it means companies are listening and becoming more aware, people are taking notice and change is happening.
This week, my girls and I will put on our matching aprons and make Rice Krispies Treats for daddy. I will tell them to be careful and watch them closely as they stir the mixture and I will pretend not to notice (just this once) while they lick their fingers. Afterwards they will ask me, just as they always do when we bake together, “can daddy have one? Are they gluten free?” I will happily answer “yes!” Their daddy will be able to eat actual Rice Krispies Treats, of course along with a tall glass of cold milk. Probably skim; after all, we are adults now.
**The gluten free version of Rice Krispies cereal should be available in stores today, July 1st 2011! Be sure to look for the words "gluten free" on the cover to be certain .