The Language of Love

Today we met up with the Greydanus clan (my mom's family) in Sneek to board our chartered boats and begin our canal cruise through Friesland.

Before starting our trip, I went to a grocery store in town with my Uncle Arjen, Aunt Maja, and my mom, to stock up on provisions. I felt very far from home until I got into the supermarket and started to see so many of the things I grew up eating at my grandparents' house. Food was the language of love there, and encountering all of these wonderful Dutch foods again brought me back to my childhood and put a lump in my throat.

I push my cart through
the aisles of Super De Boer,
throwing into it
things that taste like my childhood--

Roggebrood: dense, moist,
and heavy as a little
rye brick. Gouda with
caraway seeds and without.
raisin buns--on which to put
the cheese. Currant jam.
Fresh bread. Butter. Almond cakes.
A guilty pleasure
I can't resist: a package
of tiny, Twinkie-
shaped sweets wrapped in marzipan.
And best of all, dark
chocolate hagelslag, which
Grandpa would sprinkle
on buttered bread and present--
with a flourish and
hearty "Ja!"--on a blue
and white china plate.