The Taste of Memories
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When I was a child, my favorite food was the pot-au-feu my father prepared.

My mother died in an accident before I can remember, and my childhood memories always contained my father in them. My father, who worked at a small factory in town, was a clumsy yet kind man. He played with me on his days off, and he took me on trips when he had a little extra money on him. I’m not a good cook, and would often ruin the ingredients, but I remember I could always cook pot-au-feu without issue somehow.

“It’s, uh, it’s a taste of my father’s memories. I’ve never been able to make it right.”

 

One day, being in my rebellious phase, I got into a big fight with my father. I don’t know how it started, but after that, we didn’t talk much anymore. After I got a job and moved away, I became separated from my father even more due to how busy I was and how many more people I’d met. Even during days off I would never contact him, either sleeping in my room to recover from the fatigue, or going to clubs with my friends. I would eat out for dinner most of the time, but sometimes I would cook the pot-au-feu my father taught me. Sometimes I would make enough for two by mistake, and would share it with the girl next door, which led me to getting closer to her.

 

At 29, I married the girl next door. When I picked the phone for the first time in a long while, my father was already on his sickbed. Liver cancer. This was due to an increase in alcohol consumption since the fight, and a dislike for hospitals. My father laughed as he said that. I was shocked and immensely guilty when I saw him happily talking to my wife, not caring that I hadn’t contacted him in years.

 

After that, I spent more time with my family, visiting my father occasionally. We were blessed with 3 children, all of them growing up to be good people. I sometimes cooked on my days off, but never pot-au-feu. I could never bring myself to do it, not even when my wife pestered me about it.

 

At 48, my father passed away. His cancer had been treated, but he would occasionally get very sick. My father, realizing he was about to pass, sold off almost everything, leaving only a few clothes, a pair of emerald wedding rings, and a notebook with the recipe to pot-au-feu.

My daughter took the recipe notebook. Days later, pot-au-feu made using the recipe was served for dinner. It should have tasted the same, but something was missing somehow.

 

At 60, I was hospitalized. Terminar cancer, something I didn’t notice until now.

Life at the hospital is depressing. My family comes to visit, and the shows on TV are interesting. My grandchildren are also adorable. However, a hole in my heart has remained empty ever since the day my father died. It can’t be filled, as if emotions flow straight out of it.

One day, a weird doctor arrived. He wanted me to drink soup. When I asked if I could feed my grandchildren who hadn’t eaten much, the doctor nodded. After a bit, a bowl with a lid on top was put in front of me.

I slowly removed the lid. It was pot-au-feu. Pot-au-feu filled with vegetables of irregular sizes. The bowl was filled with gold-coloured soup.

 

I took a sip. Ahh, that flavor. The chopped vegetables seeped out and mixed in with the seasoning added by eye, creating this messy yet warm taste. Without a doubt, it tasted like the pot-au-feu my father used to make.

Even after fighting, even after we stopped talking, I would eat this pot-au-feu; no exception. When I tried making it myself, it wouldn’t taste right, and even with the recipe, it would be different. But this, right here… We’ve met again.

 
 
 
 
 

Ahhh, I’m so glad. I’ve nothing left to regret.

 

 
 

SCP-348 was once used in a test involving a 60-year-old man suffering from a terminal illness. The subject, a grandfather with multiple grandchildren, stated that the soup produced by SCP-348 was “the best he’d ever tasted”. Following the test, the subject reported feeling a sense of “satisfaction” and noted that the pain caused by the illness seemed to have faded. The subject passed away peacefully a week later.

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