My Thursday Thirteen post for today is below, so scroll down if that’s the only reason you’re here. Otherwise, I want to talk about wheat germ.
Specifically I want to talk about why I like wheat germ. It’s not for nutritional value, and it’s not for flavor or texture, though it offers all three. I like wheat germ because it reminds me of my grandfather.
Chilly mornings when i was little I would come downstairs to find my grandfather standing at the stove in his robe and slippers, the former a faded blue that matched the shade of a stormy sea, the latter scuffed brown man-slippers. (Men’s shoes are so distinctly masculine, even the slippers. They’re masculine in ways that women’s shoes are NOT feminine. It’s weird. Or it’s me. Probably both.) We would discuss the merits of raisins and walnuts, of brown sugar and honey, and always, at the end, I would watch him spooning wheat germ from the tall jar, sprinkling it over his bowl.
Wheat germ smells like fall. It’s an aroma that is reminiscent of baking bread, of cold nights, of warm ovens, of home. It is a little sweet, a little nutty, gritty, and faintly metallic. Sometimes it’s like cookie crumbs, other times it’s not.
This morning, as I write this, I am just finishing a bowl of oatmeal with wheat germ.
Thanks, Grandpop, for all the great memories.