Maybe I should open a patisserie. I recently tasted the most delicious concoction of a cake in a dream. Architecturally it was a stand-out, a creamy white abstract puff atop a stack of four dried figs.
I passed the cake around for everyone to taste. On closer examination, I noticed the figs weren’t figs after all. They were biscuits shaped like figs.
Freud might have taken a sexual approach to interpreting my dream – a creamy puff atop a phallic stack, and figs too?
Contemplating my dream the next day, I closed my eyes and imagined biting into the cake, just as I had done in the dream. I wanted to connect with the taste. I waited a few seconds, nothing. I persevered. I believed. I knew that if I had tasted it in my dream, I could access the sensation again. And suddenly there it was. Carnation evaporated milk. Quickly followed by a vision of my favourite childhood biscuits: fig rolls.
My dream symbol began to make sense. Puddings – as desserts were known in our family when I was small child – were sometimes served with Carnation evaporated milk. The can was placed on the table, two holes punched in the top, and, if we were good, we were allowed to pour an extra spoonful and – the best part – drink it straight from the spoon. Not two spoonfuls, just one.
“When I grow up and have my own home,” I remember saying on one such occasion, “I’m going to have a cupboard full of Carnation evaporated milk, and drink whole cans whenever I want to. And I’m going to have lots of packets of fig rolls and eat as many as I want.”
Fig rolls were my favourite biscuits, and a very rare treat in our house. Whenever we went visiting relatives, Mum would remind us of biscuit etiquette just before going in, “One fancy and two plain.” Our relatives would look quite astounded when they passed the plate a second time and we selected two plain tea biscuits each despite their encouragement to have another chocolate digestive or custard cream. We understood about the cost of fancy biscuits, about being polite, and about being healthy, but when our cousins, subject to different family rules, happily plundered the fancies, it niggled. It more than niggled me when there were fig rolls on the plate.
In my dream, I had more than a measured spoonful of Carnation evaporated milk whipped into my cake, and not one but four fancy fig biscuits. I shared my cake and still I had more.
I was able to look at the rest of my dream and understand the cake symbol in context.
When a dream symbol presents you with a taste, smell, texture, or unusual sound or colour, close your eyes and invite the dream sensation to return. Memories are often filed away with associated smells, tastes, and other sensory details, so reconnecting with the dream sensation can unlock those associated memories and throw light on the meaning of your dream symbol.
Thanks to a taste sensation, I now understand my dream. As an aside, my tastes have changed, and there are no cans of evaporated milk or packets of fig biscuits in my cupboards. I don’t fancy them at all. But wait a minute! I always include dried figs and a dollop or three of creamy yoghourt on my morning muesli. So I guess I have lived happily ever after, after all!
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