Back when they were little girls, Mrs. Roadhouse used to carefully craft Easter baskets for our daughters, abe_froeman and her younger, non-Roadfood sister. The candy was always appreciated, but the star of the basket for abe was a jar of pickled herring in cream sauce.
Our cured fish loving daughter was wacky for sardines as well. She used to watch my Dad as he’d eat a peasant lunch of tinned sardines and crackers, insisting that he name each salty fish before eating it. “This one is named Fred,” gulp, “This is Louise,” chomp, “Say hello and goodbye to Jimmy,” munch…until they’d devoured the entire can.
Given further thought, I guess it all ties in to Easter: Sardines on crackers is just another version of loaves and fishes. A single can feeding a Jewish grandfather and his Jewish/Catholic granddaughter suits the story nicely.
abe still loves the little fishies, but her tastes have evolved and refined. She now insists on a very specific Spanish brand of sardines and nothing less will do.