Learn to bake bread. Learn to make stock. Ah, aromas!
I am not one to make everything. I have my limits; I will not make cheese, or smoke my own meat. If you have a certain talent and enjoy making certain foods, then by all means, ask me over. There are still things I am interested in learning; yogurt, sourdough, etc. But my day to day eating pattern keeps me with two quite lovely smelling cooking projects: Baking bread and simmering stock.
I have a perpetual sweet tooth so making sweet baked goods weekly and the occasional fudge and
divinity give out a nice bakery like aroma. Another golden thing to do is use a crockpot while you’re at work. When you walk in the door at the end of a long day and your home is filled with the aroma of dinner you will literally feel blessed. This is by far the best thing ever. When the time changes back an hour in the fall and driving home after work its dark and windy with weather coming, having your meal ready in your crockpot is the nicest thing you can do for yourself and your family.
There’s something about pie. To be more precise, apple pie. Cinnamon and apples in a golden crust
the warm, spicy aroma wafting through the house. Pumpkin pie is another hands down favorite and I make it all year round.
Tomato sauce, garlicky and spicy simmering for hours on the stove. Heaven on earth.
Dark chocolate brownies, chocolate chip cookies. Cold glass of milk, anyone?
Croutons toasting in the oven are the most amazing smell; cubed old bread tossed in olive oil
and garlic with dried herbs, spread out on a baking sheet and toasted in a low oven until
golden and crunchy.
The basis for stocks contain what is known as mirepoix, or aromatics, simply a medium onion, a
stalk of celery and a carrot, diced, then sautéed, giving a lovely aroma for stock and countless
other recipes. My grandmother used to make big batches of mango chutney, creating a powerful aroma of vinegar and gingery spice that could be smelled from the street below. Ah, home sweet home. Not
a particularly nice smell, but when there was a jar of chutney in the refrigerator it was special—an
event almost—and everyone looked forward to its spicy, gingery flavor that went on anything from
toast to ham.
When my son was in high school, it was hell to get him up in the morning. Every once in a while
I’d fry bacon during the week and before I knew it, he’d be making noises and show up in the
kitchen eating it from the paper towel it was draining on.
Garlic bread….oh yea, toasting up in the oven, lingering with the smell of tomato sauce and
melting cheese from the lasagna baking in the oven…Onions, sweating on low heat for
caramelized onions…If you are a curry person, this will fill you with love. Chicken curry stewing
on the stove. If you’re getting hungry, you’re getting the idea.