Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Peanut Butter & Chocolate: The Taste of Love (and yes, there's a recipe)

For the impatient among you, here is the link to my previous post for the recipe for peanut butter balls, a Christmas season staple in my Dad's family.

sometime, somehow,
I know neither
a young woman
who was my grandma
got a recipe – or
maybe her husband
brought it home from
the plant – he did that
sometimes – and with
her strong hands and her
new receipt, she turned
chocolate chips and
peanut butter into

and every year thereafter
come the cool times
when such things could
be stored without refrigeration
and there was enough money
she did it again and again

her oldest daughter at her side
it’s a two-woman operation,
you know, making all those
balls the size of walnuts

and the years passed and the
daughter became a mother
and aunt and grandmother
and down the slide of the years
her daughters and niece and
grand-daughters (do they yet?)
stepped into the fold and flow
of it all, the niece (me) calling

every year around this time
checking and rechecking the
recipe – too important to
family lore to get it wrong,
but mostly just to talk, to hear
the laughter, the warmth, the
love, across so many miles,
so many memories

and last night an e-mail comes
from my own mother – one of
the steps – daughter of
another father, linked across
time, wants the recipe – my uncle
yearns for a little taste of home
and Puerto Rico is far away
from old mountain receipts
that mix chocolate chips
and peanut butter into magic –

her magic in my imagining
having come from more
exotic, interesting, flavorful
places and spaces, and I write
down the recipe and pull out
a sheet of paper to write down
my shopping list – the air is cool
enough now it’s time –

and I and others along this family
trail of lines and dashes and dots
and memories, will travel to the
altar of memory encased in
chocolate and call it good.

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