Friday, March 18, 2011

Smells Like Home

The DH and I have been down and out with an upper respiratory "crud" for two weeks. Luckily, my son was able to come over and help us out with the dogs, run errands, and he even cooked dinner one night.

My son is actually a pretty good cook when he puts his mind to it. I started teaching him to prepare meals when he was in junior high school, because that's when I started to learn myself. I taught him the old stand-bys like mac & cheese and mashed potatoes. Plus, I passed along some old family favorites like my grandmother's recipes for Spanish rice and meatloaf.

I knew I was on the road to recovery when my stuffy head cleared enough for me to smell the delicious scent of Gramma's meatloaf wafting through the house. AHHH! I've heard more than one real estate agent say that before they hold an open house, the homeowner should bake something that smells great, like cookies. Just the scent of something tasty will leave the buyers with a more positive impression of the house. I have to agree!

I'll never forget one particular Thanksgiving when I went to visit some very good friends who had recently relocated from California to Savannah, Georgia. My friend had a new range with a special timer feature. She prepared and stuffed the turkey late that night and set the timer to start baking. There were several over-night guests and I had slept on the couch. At about 7 AM I was awakened by the most heavenly smells of roasting turkey! YUM!

Another smell I associate with childhood holidays is my mother's yeasty rolls. They were a real hassle to make since you had to let the dough rise, punch it down, and let it rise again. All that on top of the rest of the meal and trying to ride herd over four kids was why she only made them about twice a year. Usually at Easter and either Thanksgiving or Christmas. The scent of them cooking was fantastic!

I've only attempted her roll recipe once. Unfortunately, my oven didn't heat evenly and they came out like rocks. After all that work I said NEVER AGAIN! But if I drive by the local bakery at just the right time, I can still catch a whiff of that wonderful smell.

What about you? Are there certain smells that bring back fond childhood memories? What are your favorite scents when you or someone else is cooking?


Anonymous said...

Hola AC!

I remember one of my early attempts at making bread. I didn't realize it was such a long process. I had to go to bed before I was finished, so I put the bowl of dough on the bottom shelf of the fridge...and the next morning, I had to really tug on the fridge door to get it open. Somehow, the dough had risen and expanded onto the bottom shelf of the door. What a mess!

I remember the scent of ginger, garlic and fermented black beans as a child. My mom cooked Chinese almost every night. Most of my friends don't cook, but I do love the smell of the cookies and bread that I bake. Your meatloaf sounds heavenly. Enjoy!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Jen,
I LOVE the smell of roasted garlic! There used to be a pizza place I frequented because they made a roasted garlic pizza that was TO DIE FOR! And I am ROFLOL about the bread dough that invaded your fridge.

I'll have to send you the recipe for Gramma's meatloaf. It's made with cornflakes.


Jane said...

I love meatloaf, but have only had the homemade version twice. I keep bugging my cousin to make it again, but she's reluctant because she doesn't like the ketchup topping she used the last time. My dad used to make roast pork often and the house would smell like a mini barbecue. He doesn't make it anymore because it takes a lot of work. It's definitely easier to buy it at the shop.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Jane,
MMMM pork roast sounds devine!

I use tomato sauce on my meatloaf -- don't like ketchup either. :-P Except on fries, of course!