Flavor is a gateway to one’s greatest memories.
My personal favorite is the memory from a pancake. Warm, fluffy, and just the right amount a sweet. It takes me back to when life was a little bit easier.
My mom stands in our kitchen. She and my dad have just finished building the house of their dreams so there’s still sawdust around the kitchen island. It tickles my nose when I disturb it. I used to hate that but now, I miss it.
Mom hums while she flips a golden pancake onto a chipped plate with snow men decorating the rim. I sing the lyrics to the beat as well as a five-year-old can.
The plate of pancakes slide across the island to me and I’m hit with the tooth rotting smell of sugar. My pancakes are submerged in Grandma’s homemade maple syrup and the fresh strawberries from the garden outside.
I take a bite and mom starts another batch. I’m a growing girl. Mom knows I’ll want seconds.
When she slides the second pancake stack to me, she leans across the island with it. She presses a kiss to my brow.
“I like our new home,” she tells me and I beam, forgetting about the sawdust on the floor. Right now, I like our house too.
As an adult, I no longer live in that house. I’m in the city, my home now a one-bedroom apartment with a leaking ceiling and an infestation of wolf spiders.
My limbs are heavy from a long night of work. I turn on my gas stove and heat up a pan. Pancake batter bubbles and I flip my pancake on a paper plate. I have a few strawberries from the community garden next door and plop them on top of my store-bought syrup.
The first bite has my head spinning. The scent of sawdust tickles my nose and I swear I can hear someone humming from the kitchen.
A tear rolls down my cheek and I pop another bite into my mouth.
I miss home.