If you want to tease the palette of anyone within sniffing range, fry bacon, bake cookies or bake bread. Pleasing aromas have the power to tweak your taste buds. Scents conjure memories.
Hubby and I opted to oven fry bacon because we could make a larger batch than going the skillet route. Also, the process requires minimal cleanup. He mixed the bacon grease into the dry dog food, and the dogs loved it. So, we had plenty of fried bacon with less brain damage.
On Sundays, he would let the lady of the manor sleep past her usual four a.m. rising time, and start making breakfast. She often awoke to the tantalizing aroma of bacon cooking. Nothing takes the decision to get up or to stay in bed a little longer out of one’s hands like that come-and-get-it smell.
Now that he is gone, the smell of bacon always brings back happy memories of those Sunday mornings with Hubby.
If you are a realtor, you probably know the aroma of baking cookies makes a house more appealing and makes the buyer feel as if they have come home. Of course, some take the easier route and burn vanilla candles or spray a vanilla scent in the air to simulate the same thing. If you experienced both while looking for that perfect house, you know what we mean. Cookies always trump candles.
The smell of baking bread always reminds this writer of her mother. The woman would mix the ingredients and knead the dough until it was ready for the rising step. Unfortunately, her ritual also included singing sad Hungarian songs and weeping copious tears.
As you might imagine, the scene was depressing to watch because children are not equipped to console unhappy parents. They are all about focusing on the bread she made and how yummy it will taste.
There is nothing better than biting into a slice of warm bread rubbed with a clove of garlic and slathered in butter. Go ahead and feel free to salivate because it is that delicious. The downside of mother’s homemade bread was it took her far longer to prepare, bake, and serve than it did to disappear. Almost within the blink of an eye and several greedy grabbing hands, the bread disappeared into the family’s pie holes.
Carrying on the tradition of baking bread was fun and worth the effort. The process began after each school year started. While our children attended classes, their mother baked several loaves of bread almost every day.
Her recipe made the process easy and adapted to her busy schedule. It consisted of three main steps before actually baking the bread, which made it possible for the mother to take care of chores, run errands, or work.
Step one included dumping flour and other ingredients into a giant Tupperware bowl, sealing and burping the top and placing the bowl in a draft-free place. When the seal popped open, it was time for adding the rest of the ingredients and kneading the dough.
This part was tricky because this lady is short, and it became tiring to stand on tiptoes during the ten-minute kneading process. Eventually, she used her noggin for something more than bouncing around ideas and got a step stool. Except for feeling like a little child, the kneading became so much easier after that.
Step three often turned into what we liked to call the Blob Stage. She sealed the dough in the bowl to rise. Then, she drove the children to play baseball or softball. If they were gone too long, the dough was sometimes six inches above the bowl, stuck to the seal’s bottom.
All it took was separating the seal from the dough and giving the sticky mess a good punch or two before shaping the Blog into loaves and sliding the pans into the oven.
By the time her son and daughter were in high school, all their friends knew about Mom’s bread. It was common to find hulking boys in her kitchen, smiling as they gobbled up all the bread, which may be the reason she had to bake bread every day.