, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recently I stepped into a barn at the edge of my daughter’s soccer game and breathed in the odors of my father, the farmer, long gone from my life but conjured instantly as I took in the smells.

Today I spent the morning showing that same daughter, and our 17-year old exchange student from Taiwan, how to make yeasty cinnamon buns, one of my mother’s specialties. Both were sure I was kidding when we peeled potatoes and boiled them to make the dough! I remember as a kid, my own mother impressing me with this implausible idea, that potatoes are added to the flour of baked goods!

Something matters to me about passing this recipe on because it has the smell and the feel and the taste of something powerful. Just like stepping into a barn and finding Dad.

My house as a kid was often filled with the aromas of a bake shop because my mother, a southern lady, prided herself in preparing home cooked meals every day, including the biscuits, muffins, cakes, pies and cookies that top them all off. So it is not a coincidence that many people have entered my home and remarked that there is something great wafting though the air.

Even though my parents left me wanting in so many ways, food was never one of them, and they were honorable people who worked hard to support their family. The unexpected smell of my father in a barn and my mother in the kitchen are welcome reminders of parents who wanted more for their children then they had themselves.

Hopefully my kids will take the memory of a morning like today’s, combined with the thoughts of stews and hot apple pies their mother’s home is noted for, and take those to their own parenthoods to share with their children, because at so many levels there is a gift in the aromas of home.