Sep 21, 2012


By Syeda Rabea Sarwar

Q. Describe a food and the memories associated with it.

Banging my head on the desk in front of me, I groaned. Two whole hours were spent on this thesis and even now it was only half done. Times like this make me wish for another university closer to home. Home, the place where my mother would be working her magic in the kitchen. Hunched over a well-worn recipe book, her greying hair in a bun and her eyes following the movement of her forefinger on the sacred text in front of her- that's how I remember my mother.

My mother, Ammi, and comfort food always went hand-in-hand. Scraped knee? Here's a moist chocolate-chip cookie right out of the oven. Mean girls and a few insults? A steaming bowl of creamy chicken soup coming right up. Lost the class election? Have a slice of this gooey chocolate cake with a scoop of Wall's vanilla ice cream. However, all of these pale in comparison with her apple pie. One bite of that flaky crust and luscious filling and I'm in heaven.

I open my eyes as the yearning turns into a gut-wrenching pain. Putting aside the paper, I jam my feet inside sneakers and rush to hail a cab outside. After giving the driver my mother's address, I close my eyes and once again let the memories wash over me. The summer of sixth grade comes to mind. My eldest sister had passed her exams with flying colours and Ammi was baking an apple pie as a surprise.  That was the first time she let me assist her in baking the infamous pie. She quickly sliced the ripe apples while I gathered the rest of the ingredients. Then she started preparing the crust and the flour started flying everywhere. I, on the other hand, began to mix the filling. The combined smell of sweet apples and spicy cinnamon spread through the kitchen as we worked in harmonious silence. 

The cab driver brings me back to the present and I realise I am outside my mother's house. Taking out my key, I unlock the door and enter. The delicious smell from my trip down memory lane infiltrates my nose and I walk towards the kitchen in a daze.

The "ding" of the timer greets me and I watch as my mother takes out an apple pie from the oven. She cuts a slice of that golden heaven and places it on a plate with a spoon. Adding a dollop of Wall's vanilla ice cream, she walks towards where I am standing in a trance and holds it out. 

"I had a feeling you would come" she says with a smile.


Anonymous said...

Love the ending!!

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