It’s the little things that trigger happy memories – memories of family togetherness during travels or times living abroad (or in another state). Little things like dessert. World Market does it to me every time. For a minuscule obligatory donation, I return home with an edible item that will trigger smiles, laughter and stories of times gone by. Most recently it was German ice cream. The ice cream didn’t start out German, however. It started with a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream, a favorite Rittersport Chocolate bar (made near Stuttgart, Germany), and travel biscuits of the British type, i.e. a cookie. I crushed up half the chocolate bar and several cookies from less enticing destinations (uh-hum, Las Vegas) and mixed them with the softened ice cream. After refreezing the batch, I selected an appropriate biscuit with which to garnish the edible memory-inducer. This being “German” ice cream, I selected a Berlin biscuit. Then, using my favorite IKEA repurposed candle holders, the dessert was ready for assembly, presentation and consumption. This dessert brought back memories of passing through the Brandenburg Gate while running the Berlin half marathon. The course was packed with participants and spectators the entire length of the race. I also hadn’t counted on only seeing kilometer markers. Kilometers go by faster than miles, but there are a lot more of them. That’s a very profound concept for a runner to contemplate while weaving through a course in downtown Berlin, admiring nearly every significant landmark in the city. While drinking the last melted drops of sweet cream from the bottom of my glass, I also recalled the city bathed in warm summer sun. We had taken a nap on a grassy lawn, along with every other tourist, student, businessman-on-lunch-break and local senior citizen loading up on warmth after the previous season’s numbing cold. If you could take a tour via biscuit, to which city would your memories take you?
P.S. Hosting a World Cup party? Serve a city biscuit appropriate to the country playing the match. Argentina’s on the field? Mix ice cream with authentic dulce de leche topped with Buenos Aires. Will you be watching Colombia play today? Serve ice cream drizzled with espresso and a side of Bogotá.