I find that my tastes are changing as I age. I used to love the trick-or-treats candies I would get every Halloween (my favourite ones being Kit Kat and Coffee Crisp!), but now I think those candy bars are too sweet, and now I prefer dark chocolate as well as healthy food choices (chips aren’t the first snacks I grab from the store anymore).
However, some tastes never change, especially if they are linked to happy childhood memories. As a child growing up in Taiwan before immigrating to Canada, my grandma would always buy me breakfast, and it’s usually from the same place. One of my favourite breakfast items was rice ball made from glutinous rice, stuffed with Chinese fried donut (老油條 fried twice so it’s crispy), dried white radish (蘿蔔乾), and pork floss (肉鬆).
Every two summers when we went back to Taiwan to visit, my grandma would always buy it at least once. I even went with her once early in the morning to visit the rice ball stand and saw the old lady that makes them. However, one year she stopped because she said the old couple who owned the rice ball stand were getting old and didn’t have the strength to continue making them, and their kids aren’t willing to take over the business.
So for a few years we didn’t get rice balls from that stand, and other rice balls we tried just couldn’t match up to the flavour that we were used to!
This summer, the old couple started to sell their rice balls again. I felt extremely fortunate to be able to eat something so familiar to me, and I treasure it every time, because as time goes on, things you once knew or were familiar to you will start to slowly disappear, and soon all you’ll have left are memories. So treasure every moment, and be grateful of every day, because time flies and nothing gold can stay.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
– Robert Frost. Nothing gold can stay