Sunday, April 17, 2016

Wendy & the Won Tons

It's no secret that I attach memories to "things". I do it all the time. Every day of my life.

For example, to this day I can't eat a crab rangoon without thinking of one of my favorite babysitters of all time, Wendy.

From my past blogs, you know that I did not always have the kindest babysitters when I was a kid. But, Wendy was different. She was a teenager with soft, brown hair. She loved all the cool music of the early 80's. She would part my hair on the side and tell me I looked like Princess Diana!

She took very good care of my brother and me and for some reason I've never forgotten the time she made us won ton wrappers....Strange, huh?

I remember sitting in the kitchen of her (and her parents) home. It was a typical kitchen from the 70's. It was dark brown  with pops of white and possibly orange, but it had a counter with bar stools to sit at. I was sitting up there waiting for a snack. I didn't know what she was making.

She had a fry daddy out, probably not super safe, but was the 80's. She took a package of won ton wrappers from the fridge and dropped them in the fryer, one by one. Not filling them, not folding them. Just as they were, a small square. She fried them for less than a minute then drained them on paper towels.

She served them to me on a plate with ketchup. I thought it was a magnificent little treat! I had never had such a snack, and never have again....Until this evening.

Last week while grocery shopping, I ran across a package of won ton wrappers. I'm sure they are always present but I simply never look for them. When I saw them, a wave of sweet nostalgia ran through my body. I closed my eyes and smiled right there in the fresh food aisle. I thought of Wendy. I thought of my childhood.

I put a package in my cart and told myself I'm going to make these, for old times sake. This evening was that time. I went above and beyond and went on to fill about 10 wrappers with a cream cheese mixture then lightly fried them in a shallow pan. The rest I kept exactly as they were, in their square form. Fried them lightly and drained them, just as Wendy had done for me all those years ago.

I didn't use a fry daddy, nor do I have a brown kitchen, but I do have the 1970's Sears "Merry Mushroom" canister set on my kitchen counter. Just a bit of whimsy and a nod to homemakers of the past.

I sat down with my children at our vintage dinette set with the television turned off. I told them the story of my sweet Wendy and the Won Ton wrappers while they ate (for the very first time) these "new" snacks.

I connected the food they were eating, to a memory. Maybe someday it will mean something to them.....I hope!

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