This is Julia’s Child, here.
I really could be. Someone once told me that I reminded them of Juli Child. they must have seen me wrangle with a roast chicken or talk cooking … a lot.
It must be this weather. We are actually having a winter. Last year, we lucked out with wonderful weather except for about a three-week blip of cold that froze a lot of the peach trees
But this year? It has been hibernation time.
So … I have cooked and baked like a fool.
As you can see from my photo, my cheeks have puffed up a bit.
But if you wear lipstick, you can get away with it.
There is something wonderful about having good smells come from the kitchen.
Actually, I wonder if many of us appreciates that gift of aroma.
We hang out in our house or come home from a long day at work or feel like the world has gone to Helena in an Amtrak train. But if we are lucky, sometimes, or every so often, we come home and are greeted by not just a smell … but an aroma.
Close your eyes and think about when you have enjoyed an aroma. It might be at Thanksgiving time when the house smells of turkey. Or when you inhale and a waft of burgers on the grill awakens you senses.
Most of the time, when we are home, the house smells like a house, or maybe a scented candle. People are busy. Restaurants thrive. Kitchens lay moot, or rushed about, just to get something to fill our gut.
But there is a difference between feeding our gut and nourishing our soul. Aromas are a part of that.
Think about the smell of simmering chicken soup, to cookies in the oven. What about that aroma of pot roast that conjures up warm feelings of family and warmth and joy. Lick your lips and think about the inviting aroma of garlic bread, and how that makes you want meatballs or spaghetti sauce.
I am sitting here in our big room, looking at my clean, quiet, kitchen. The light are turned off but through the windows, I see gray and dark white skeletons of winter trees. There is no aroma.
But yesterday, there were aromas. There was the aroma of soup cooking. I made what I shall call, “Leftover Soup”. It had bacon, carrots, onion, celery, bits of ham, shredded chicken, diced potatoes, fresh corn from the night before, a handful of pasta, thyme and a bit of tarragon, in chicken stock. It made the house into a home.
And then, there was the dark German rye bread I made. I had ordered rye online. Nick grew up eating dark German rye. I remember getting that when we would visit. We’d got to the West Side Market and get the fresh rye bread and ham and eat it in the car. Or Nick would get hot souse or head cheese.
so when I made this bread, not only did our home smell of fresh baked rye, but we were both transported back to Cleveland, and his mom’s house and the market.
Aromas. Memories. Sustenance. Nourishment for the soul.
The sun has cast its morning light on the tree skeletons that, a few moments ago, were bleak. I might go outside and inhale deeply, and smell the morning.
And then, come back inside and figure out what aromas I would like to enjoy, today.