Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cherries and memories

For quite some time now I have been ruminating about the very subjective nature of memory . I was discussing this with my sister who lives in Israel. She is six years younger than me and so we have different memories of growing up in the same house.
For some reason, recently my auntie Rebecca came to mind. Ah, I know the reason. Someone in South Africa is working on a history of the Jewish families in South Africa, and my sister is in contact with this person. My sister is really the family archivist.  So we were discussing memory, and a wonderful memory bubbled to the surface of my mind. Sunday mornings in Berea with Auntie Becky. She was the mother of my dad's cousins, and about once a month we would go as a family to visit. her. I remember her flat with a long corridor along which my brother, sister, and myself would run. Auntie Becky had twinkly eyes and curly (possibly permed) grey hair. She always served us tea and these wonderful things she called 'heisenblozen' - like fried dough dipped into icing sugar. Whatever they were, she made them, and they were divine. You bit into the dough and it cracked on your tongue and you licked the icing sugar and it made everything sweet. My sister and I both remembered those things, and the taste of them. What she doesn't remember are Auntie Becky's cherries. Before we left she would take a bottle of brandy out from a closet - apparently she put cherries into this bottle. She would judiciously give each one of us children a cherry, and my parents would get two each. My memory after eating the little bomb is of sugar and fire and laughter and a warm feeling that overtook me
Why do I remember this? At this moment I have boiled together sugar, water, cardamon seeds, lemon juice and brandy and I have poured it over cherries (organic of course) which I pitted.
I cannot wait for them to be ready!

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