My favorite meal from youth? Ones that have emotional importance – it depends. Actually, no, it would probably have to be the one mom would make for us for St. Nicholas day. St. Nicholas Day, December 6th, was always the precursor, in my child mind, to Christmas. I put my shoes out by the fire place and got gold chocolate coins. But the day before, St. Nicholas Eve was also like a holiday in my house.

That was the day, when I was little, that mom and I decorated the house for Christmas. She would put up the big bulky tree and we would put candles and garland around the house, and ornaments up.  It may also have been the day we started playing Christmas music, though that may have always been Thanksgiving.

But to decorate that day, she would always lay out a spread of our favorite kinds of foods: summer sausage and cheese and crackers, crackers, veggies, maybe some chocolates, and – this I remember distinctively – ham rolled up around cream cheese and pickle, cut up and pierced with a toothpick. That was the most distinctive and interesting flavor to me.

*Writing 101: Day 10

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