Worse than sauerkraut, is sauerkraut again.
The smell is horrible. But there is a complicating factor for me.
See, the slightest whiff of the stuff makes me choke – and takes me back 30 years in time.
Back to a middle-class house, on a middle-class street, in 1980’s Panama City, Florida.
It’s a place where I learned to swim and ride a bike and be a child, where the future glittered the way adults have a hard time remembering.
Understand: Smell is the most powerful sense.
It all comes back. Even that recipe for sauerkraut: even that brings it back. I was on Fire Island when I first made that sauerkraut, and it was raining, and we drank a lot of bourbon and ate the sauerkraut and went to bed at ten, and I listened to the rain and the Atlantic and felt safe. I made the sauerkraut again last night and it did not make me feel any safer, but that is, as they say, another story.
-Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem