Salford 21st November 2016
Its not difficult for me to tell when winters on its way,
It begins – quite surreptitiously in our house. Dad (the head cook and bottlewasher) will have his nose in the leaves of a cookbook and be checking out the recipes in it. Within days herbs and spices will have been bought – everything from Oregano and Basil to Ginger and Allspice. Kitchen staples such as Worcester Sauce and Soy Sauce get replenished and so do the cooking sauces.
So, if I smell the smell of Basil wafting up through the house, i’m sure there will be a bolognaise or pesto dish on the go.
Get that whiff of Ginger or five spice – then we’ll be having Chinese , Barbecue ribs, chow mein or chop suey – Add a whiff of Garlic though – and that means mum’s not eating, so dad has to go through the ingredients before cooking.
Get a fruity or spicy smell – dad will be experimenting with a curry – if he uses a paste, then normally the smell of a beef or chicken curry fills the house
At Christmas there’s all sorts of smells, from citrus to pine cones. I particularly enjoy the satsuma around this season, and the various hot fruit teas that are sold around this time fruit flavours mixing with cinnamon, nutmeg , star anise and allspice. As the heat rises into the air the Christmas scents travel up the nose and warm you almost instantly
treacle, fudge and cocoa all have their distinct aromas – so you know when a sticky toffee pudding on the go.
And you cannot fool my nose when a hot chocolates being made – rich scents of chocolate dance through the house with either a mint or an orange partner – usually being followed by two little munchkins after a cup of the brown liquid gold
Roast dinners are particularly pleasing…the smell of crispy bacon a sign the Christmas bird is cooking nicely. Buttery carrots mingling with fat roasted hot potatoes and a sweet swede, turnip and parsnip trio a perfect sides for the turkey chicken or duck . Any water from the veg falls delightfully into the roasting pan, where it combines with the meat juices and stock cube to make a brilliant gravy.
And what’s that fruity smell that’s coming from the stove? raisins sultanas cherries and walnuts mingle longingly with winter spice and Orange and Lemon to create a brilliant Christmas pudding…the only dilemma? what you have with it…rum or brandy butter, or plain old vanilla custard…me? a bit of all three if I get away with it 🙂