I’m kind of a nostalgia junkie. I love visiting sites such as this one and enjoying small trips down memory lane. I get this strange feeling in my chest when I see something I’d completely forgotten about. It’s hard to describe the feeling… a jolt? A rush of joy mixed with a touch of longing and a dash of sadness? I always find forgotten memories slightly sad. What else am I forgetting? Regardless, I love the feeling. A single image can bring back so many associated memories. A glimpse of an old toy will take me back to the room where I played with it. 30 years may have passed since I’ve tasted a particular candy but I remember exactly how it tasted the moment I see it. It’s amazing how our minds work, isn’t it?
I don’t live terribly far from my first childhood home. My parents still reside in the house where I lived from age 9 until college so I visit it regularly. But that first house… I want to peek inside so badly and see how it looks 25 years later. Sometimes when I’m in the neighborhood I’ll drive past it. There’s a tot lot right behind the house. I haven’t been there in years but there have been days when I’ve sat on the swings at the tot lot, marveling at the short distance between the playground and my old backyard. It’s a small hill, but when I was little it was like running the length of a football field. At the end of the football field was a massive weeping willow tree that I used to hide under. The tree is still there.
How small would that house look now if I walked through the halls, the kitchen, the bedrooms? I’m fascinated by the distorted perspective of my memories. I’ve only seen those walls through the eyes of a 9 year old. I know it would look tiny now but in my mind the inside of the house is so big. If I were to visit now the green shag carpet from my bedroom would probably be long gone as well as the yellow and white tiles from my playroom. I would love to see it but I don’t see how that’s possible. I would never knock on the front door. Do I write a letter? It seems like something so simple yet so unattainable. I’m not sure there’s any way to request entering a stranger’s home without sounding creepy. I guess I’ll just have to settle for distorted memories and an occasional visit to the tot lot on top of the not-so-big hill.
Cold Sesame Soba Noodles
- 3 ounces (1 bunch) soba noodles
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili oil, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon light agave
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds + 1 teaspoon for garnish
- 3 tablespoons pasta water
- Prepare soba noodles according to instructions. Drain, reserving about 3 tablespoons of the pasta water. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together peanut butter, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, chili oil, light agave, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds and pasta water.
- Toss the soba noodles and sauce together. Garnish with remaining sesame seeds before serving.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
For immediate help troubleshooting a recipe, please email me using the form on my contact page. I’ll try to respond to urgent questions as quickly as possible! For all general questions, please leave a comment here :)
The noodles look gorgeous. I’m not usually a huge pasta fan unless it’s mac n cheese so that’s saying something ;) My parents are actually in the process of looking for a new house – it’ll be so weird for it to not really be ‘my’ house anymore. I’ve heard of people knocking on doors and asking to take a quick visit into their childhood homes, though I’m not sure I could do it!
These look like a perfect dish; quick, light and fast…perfect flavor. Great recipe! Hope you have a great weekend!
What a lovely post! It’s my first visit here, love your site! I too live close to my childhood home and my parents still live in the house that we moved to when I was in 2nd grade. I often drive by my childhood home and fantasize about walking those halls again. I wonder if we’ll still be living in our current home when my teen & tween are all grown up? Think I’ll take this opportunity to remind them to savor little nook & cranny now. While they still can. Nice to * meet* you!
Jennifer Farley says
Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind words!
Such a beautiful and true reflection! Journeying back in time is often an emotional experience for me. My childhood home looks so different than what I had stored in my mind! Thank you for sharing your thoughts…and this lovely bowl of pasta. It’s just beautiful.
Cold soba noodles make me remember when I lived in Japan, and how it was a seasonal dish that everyone seemed to eat at the same time. When I moved to northern Virginia it was great to see huge displays of soba noodle bundles and bottles of seasoning appear right was I was starting to crave it. I even had the bamboo mat and plate to eat them off of, though I think that got lost in a move.
Thanks for the memory!
Your photos are incredible. I just want to reach through my computer screen!!!
I wish I could go visit my childhood home in New York. I once looked at it from google maps and it was so weird because everything looked the same, and it’s been over 10 yrs!
Anyway, these noodles – amazing. I may just have to make this for dinner tonight.
What a great meal, quick, easy, and delicious.
Slllurrrrpp! These look so tasty – I’d love a big bowl of ’em for dinner!
Your noodles look fantastic, Jen. I was thinking of them all day.:)You know one family that lived in our house over 30 years ago did come by here a few years back. She did knock on the door and asked if she could come inside. She looked around and told stories about how the house used to look when she was a young girl. She came out back with us and told us stories about the trees that used to planted there. It was a very nostalgic moment for her. She ended up writing us a really sweet thank you note afterwards thanking us for letting her see her childhood home as it is today. As I’ve been cleaning out my dad’s home these weeks, so many memories have come flooding back. Your post was very sweet to read.
Oh my goodness, I love that site! I could spend too much time looking through it. It reminds me off all the stuff I had when I was young too. So fun to look back and remember those things and the memories associated with them. These soba noodles looks delicious too!
I love that site!! I can’t believe AOL chats are supposedly archaic… whatev!! Pass me a bowl of that deliciousness while I continue to browse around memory lane. :-D
Every time I visit my parents in upstate New York, I drive by my childhood home, and think of all the lovely memories. Love your post, Jen – and also the soba noodles! Your photography is amazing!
I’m very nostalgic too. And it’s true that going back to a place as an adult is so much different from what I remember from being there as a kid.
PS – I want these noodles for lunch.
ashley - baker by nature says
So swooning over these noodles, Jen!