She’d had a life long relationship with food and its colors--it defined her moods, her place in the world, her status with life. Joy was something covered in chocolate...it was a taste of which she’d never grown fond. Golden roasted chicken, cooked long and slow, surrounded by bright green vegetables served on a deep blue plate heralded a time of prosperity and luck. Ah, but, it was the foods in the white palette that gave her creative success in cooking, its shades comforting and familiar. She'd awake deep in the night, finding her way around the kitchen by the light of the gas ring on the stove....she knew proportions by heart, never hesitating as she moved to boil and stir and bake. Bowls of cream of wheat, varieties of rice in main dishes or deserts, tapioca pudding, grits topped with an egg....oh, and potatoes! Potatoes boiled then smashed with the skins still on, potatoes scalloped with thick cream...potatoes baked until they burst, rich with sour cream and swiss cheese; each of these helped hold off the black.
She seldom thought back to the hours she’d spent as a child, made to kneel on raw rice or grains, for transgressions real and imagined. The memories surfaced when she’d absently scratch a rough patch on her knee, and find a small grain of rice or a bit of corn meal had worked it’s way to the surface--she put them aside, in a special jar, planning the pudding she’d make one day....using those pieces, sugar, cream and hate.