Together, we host Tarot by the Mouthful: a mouthwatering, multi-media culinary tour through the world of Tarot.
Sublime recipes. Soulful stories. Essays, videos, interviews and delicious surprises.
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This week: Six of Cups
Six of Cups: This gentle card symbolizes a return to days gone by. Nostalgia. Happy memories from childhood or a different time. The blast from the past returns. Look backwards but don’t lose sight of the present moment. Stop and smell the roses. A desire for simplicity or simpler times.
Kyle: Memories and Caviar
I was 8 years old the first time I tasted caviar. My father had remarried when I was 7, and with that union came a slew of new bothers and sisters, 9 in total, all older than me, bringing our familial count, including my older brother by birth, to 11.
When all fully assembled for family events, we moved through the world in a manner that must have appeared to other people as something resembling to a swarm of bees; composting the air, swaying and careening, with some sort of unknowable logic, and then gone.
To add to the 9 bothers and sisters came a host of relations. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and the like, some of which, who lived in a tony suburb, and hosted the holiday party the season of my eighth year. The party was, to that point in my short life. The fanciest holiday party I had ever been to.
My family entering the front door holiday fete was more like the populous of a flight deplaning in the pre-security days, Loved ones at the gate, waiting to meet the eyes of one or more of the passengers as they passed through the door. For me, not knowing most of this new relatives, I was like the business man just visiting the city for the first time, wondering where the closest bath room was, and hoping to get a good meal while I was there, and all the while thinking of home.
The child’s eye view of any crowded room is all at once one of obstruction and sincere observations. The hand gestures, subconsciously flexed by the grown ups, their overhead interactions, all tell their own story. Their rising and falling laugher, silences, words hushed mid-sentence, and exclamations, make for an opera of it’s own sort, rich enough to rival anything by Mozart or Puccini.
Amidst all this, new relatives reached down with their eyes to spool out their questions about age, interests and what stuff I hoped to have appear beneath the tree. Between velvet pencil skits and green holiday sweaters, cuff links, cocktail glasses and cold cut platters, I began to move through the house like a shark, anxious watchful and worried for who might talk me, should I stop.
Weaving from the kitchen through the living room to sun room where the sea of sport coats and sweater vests seemed to be thinning, my new cousin Julie, a teenager, and daughter to the new relatives hosting the party, nearly checked me in my path next to the buffet. She was cool and friendly. A teenager that would be described by teachers as “a good kid.” Though we were both foreigners to each other, I was fidgeting in her parent’s sunroom. A visitor in her land. “Do you like caviar?” she asked smiling “no?” I replied, sounding like someone who was trying to ace a Rorschach test. Not sure if it was bunny or a bat I was supposed to see. “It’s fun,” she said grinning, “I like Saltines, do you like Saltines? It is waaay better than those.”
Upon a small cracker she placed the loose pyramid of inky, polished, wet and heavy eggs. Tight with the mass of their initial design’s potential, they where their own culinary equivalent to the center of something tugged from a black hole, where matter was compacted, and an once of it weighted much more than it ought to.
I pressed the cracker into the roof of my mouth as instructed, and as her eyes waited for me to squirm, swallow or smile, the ocean, pure white summer clouds, silk, salt, and a life force wed to flavor rushed over me. I grinned. She set me up with another cracker.
More crackers and more caviar, with sour crème, some off of ivory spoons. Some smeared and some piled up, on and on until she sensed as only those can who straddle that age between childhood and what comes after, that the urge to shoo-away by grown ups was building across the room.
My new comrade cousin Julie scuttled me off to something else in her house. The Tom and Jerry cups where cleared by the staff and Greensleeves filled in between the swells of conversation.
When people talk of nostalgia, as represented in the Six of Cups, I think they often miss the mark. It’s not wishing for the past and the way it used to be. That soft focused view discredits the memory and where it has brought you. It’s the salt and succulence. A bright moment coming forth from the deep dark of memory and time. What you do with it, the Six of Cups card directs us to as well. You can lock it away in tower, or turn to the garden, with it’s rich soil, and cultivate the moment into something alive a new.
Theresa: I want candy
The sweet Six of Cups shows two figures in a garden, one handing the other a bouquet. This card symbolizes joy coming from the past.
I’ve written before about my mother’s cooking. Yes, I’m all sorts of nostalgic for that. Although I cook some of those long ago foods, it’s not the same. Moms have that way – you can recreate but it’s still not theirs.
But there are other things that I miss from my childhood. Things that I miss dearly. Namely, certain candies that are no longer available. I have always been a bit of a sugar fiend and I blame some of that on my Aunt Deal but also on the array of delicious candy bars and other such goodies that often found their way into my belly.
Marathon candy bars – a whole foot of chocolate covered caramel shaped like a braid? Yes, please. Sorry, Cadbury, but Curly Whirly bars are not the same. Nice try though.
Oompas – Willy Wonka made some amazing chocolates back in the day. Now they only make those hard rock-candy like Nerds and similar stuff. Oompas were to-die-for! They were like big M&M’s with a half-chocolate half-peanut butter filling on the inside. Peanut Butter M&Ms are a sad substitute but once in a blue moon, when I want to recapture that Oompas feeling, I’ll eat a few. And then I get bitter all over again because they can’t compare.
Super Skrunch – Another offering by Willy Wonka, the Super Skrunch was peanut buttery crisp covered in chocolate. My mouth waters like Pavlov’s dog just at the mention of these. Why oh why did Willy Wonka abandon us chocolate lovers?
Choco’Lite bars – These thick chocolate bars were billed as “puffed milk chocolate with crispy chips”. They were very light with little bubbles inside and the crisps were minute but made the texture wonderful. (I also liked the design which reminded me of little gravestones. Yeah, I was a macabre kid.) PS Aero bars are NOT the same.
Milkshake bars – These candy bars were filled with nougat and caramel. They didn’t really taste like a milkshake but they were yummy. Milky Ways had a similar flair but the Milkshake bars had better chocolate. Just sayin’.
Jello Spoon Candy – I had this one time. My Aunt Marie made it when she visited. It was a pudding with a hard chocolate shell on top. It came in different flavors like vanilla and chocolate (we had the chocolate version). Unfortunately, it was on the shelf and gone so fast that I was never able to find it. Thanks to the internet, I was able to relive that memory and prove to myself that I wasn’t insane: it did exist.
Cristy bars – Another here today, gone fast candy that made a brief appearance in my life, never to be seen again. When my mother was getting her first open heart surgery, I stayed at my Aunt Shirley’s house for a few days. Dad came to see us and he brought along a bunch of candy bars. I spotted that blue wrapper with the blonde girl and had to have it. The candy bar was some sort of nougat covered in white chocolate. When I opened it up and saw it wasn’t chocolate, I felt ripped off. But then I took a bite and fell in love. Cristy vanished, but I never forgot her.
The thing about getting older is that you find yourself reflecting more, both on the painful parts and the sweet. Although my life has had it’s fair share of difficulties, I like to remember the simple joys that helped make the hard stuff bearable. There is much good (and goodies) behind me…and more to come.
“Candy is my religion.” ― Sarah Addison Allen
Theresa and Kyle
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015
photos from personal collection and Jessica Kaminski
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