The Button Box


They say our strongest memories are taste and smell. I know that certain foods or candies can bring back memories to me. I had quite a few things I loved to eat when I was a teenager and just seeing them remind me of those times and some foods and smells remind me of my dad.

Going to the movies in Greensburg on dates always meant a shared tub of buttered popcorn and coke. After the movie we always stopped at Sadies drive in for a burger and her curly fries with the peel left on them. I have never had curly fries since hers that tasted as good but they always remind me of her little drive in on the east side of town.

As far back as I can remember I have always associated my dad with the smell of butter rum. Butter Rum Life Savers that is. He always had a roll in his pocket and one at home beside his chair. He ate them in the evenings while watching TV. They were the treat that held his appetite at bay after supper until it was time for his bowl of popcorn at 7:30 or 8:00 and then ice cream with chocolate on it about 9:15 before bed time.

I always envied his ability to stay at 135 pounds when he was 5’9″. He ate twice as much as most people did and probably 6 cups of coffee a day with 2 spoons of sugar and a tablespoon of heavy cream in each cup, but never gained an ounce. Especially when he ate all his treats every night before he went to bed.

The night he died and we had to go through the pockets of his slacks and his billfold to find some information mom needed. We found a new roll of Butter Rum Lifesavers in his pocket and a roll that was almost gone.

I have always liked Butter Rum Lifesavers; the flavor is so different from butterscotch candy. It has a richer flavor than butterscotch. I don’t keep them around because like my dad I would not be able to leave them alone until the whole roll was gone.

Molasses makes me think of my maternal Grandmother and Grandfather I have written so many stories about. Every morning when I was a little girl and spending the days with them Grandmother would make biscuits (from scratch). The lightest biscuits I have ever eaten. Grandfather and I would cut one open and lay it on the plate and put butter on it and after it melted then pour some Brer Rabbit molasses over the top of that.

The flavor cherry, which has always been one of my favorite flavors, always brings back memories of working in the drug store. I made thousands and thousands of cherry cokes during the 4 years I worked there. Some people liked lemon or vanilla cokes but it was always cherry for me. I still don’t like plain cokes and keep some cherry flavoring to put in my cokes here at home.

Sand hill plum juice always makes me think of my mother. My mother always canned some of the plums so we could have sand hill plum dumplings now and then. She would open a jar of them and put them in a big pot to bring to a boil. They always needed more sugar so they would be sweeter than the normal sand hill plum juice.

Once the juice was boiling she would drop the dumpling dough into the juice. She would add a few drops of red food coloring to the juice as it started to boil. She always used a teaspoon to put the dough into the juice because it would really puff up and she didn’t want them to be to big.

The dumplings were never stirred but she would shake the pan to keep them moving in the juice. They were so fluffy and light mom and I could eat a whole batch of them and I can smell them as I type this story. I haven’t had any sand hill plum dumplings since my mom died. It brings back memories of her when I think about eating them.

Every one has memories of favorite foods. Hopefully this story will get you thinking about when you were growing up and the foods you liked to eat. Enjoy your walk down memory lane of foods in your past. Hope you can remember those special taste memories and the person that cooked the foods you loved.

To contact Sandy: [email protected]


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