A Sense of Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving but a week away, this year will be somehow be quite different.
For reasons that are for the most part mysterious and unknown to me, I’ve lost my sense of smell.
I didn’t leave it anywhere per se but it has all but dissapeared.
I’m confused, angry, sad and have nothing to blame my emotions on.
I can’t even smell my own farts, for God’s sake.
That alone can drive an old Boy Scout crazy.
The biggest problem in my mind is that I’m also a cook.
And I love cigars, beer and my amazing smorgasboard of aged pipe tobacco.
Sucks to be you, Michael.
Sense of smell is such a primal and primitive thing and something I’ve always taken for granted. Until now.
My mouth is now filled with odd and nebulous specters, the whispers of ghost flavors manufactured by a stumbling brain trying to make sense of what the hell is going on with my sleeping nose. And what my brain creates is pretty much horrible, nasty crap.
I really miss the taste/smell of a nice cup of coffee or tea, my spaghetti sauce simmering, fresh cut summer grass, Pamela’s Apple Crisp slow baking in the oven.
I miss the smell of people, well, certain people (you know who you are). Wow. That was a weird one.
I’m even missing the smell of me.
Feels like a small part of me has inexplicably disappeared.
The ENT confirmed that this was not an allergy complication but more likely the result of a viral infection (flu) that cold cocked the pants off my olfactory nerves.
So what does one do when they have to cook for Thanksgiving and the potatoes taste the same damn way as the carrots?
I’m thinking that this is one of the reasons someone came up with something called the ‘recipe‘.
I can’t trust my non-existent sense of taste and smell anymore but I’ll be damned if someone else will put their mitts on my Butterball.
In my heart and mind, I’m jarred to the core on this one but I also know that there are people counting on me to do what I’ve done for the past 33+ years. And will continue to do.
I can promise that this house will be filled with all the familiar smells they’ve come to know and love.
And although I won’t be able to truly take it all in this year, the smiles I hope to see as they come through the kitchen door on Thanksgiving is all I’ve really ever needed anyway.
For now, I’ll continue to pray that my missing sense decides that there’s no place like home for the holidays.
~m

Recipes of the heart

It was a cold, brisk November night several weeks ago that Pamela and I went out to dinner (a rare occasion), not an expensive “date” by any means; a burger and a shared salad along with a few Shipyard Pumpkin Ales which were quite good, one or two and you’ve had your fill of this delicately spiced brew.
Maybe it was the up and coming holidays that turned on the “memory” faucet for me but for some reason I began thinking about my mother. (big surprise, huh?)
When I think about her, I really miss talking to her.
I wonder if that feeling will ever stop?
The two just go together, I guess.

It was no surprise that I found myself on Sunday afternoon making a big pot of Beef Stew, a recipe that I adopted from her.
The simple act of cooking something she used to make brings her back to me, in a quiet and introspective kind of way.
She’s almost standing next to me in the kitchen and to be honest, I love it.
Strange, huh? Not really.
After Thanksgiving dinner, I found a great seat on our “way too comfortable” living room couch and joined my daughters while they watched “Ratatouille”, the Disney flick (and a real good one at that).
I’m not giving anything away regarding the movie but now and then souls and memories intersect for reasons unknown.
This simple children’s movie spoke to me deeply.
Sheesh. It’s Dizzney.
Go figure. (one scene in particular)
Should you ever care to watch it, maybe you’ll understand where I’m coming from, maybe not.
I’ll just say that special dishes are such a beautiful and lasting thing in terms of our deepest fields of memory.
Our minds literally refuse to forget the special foods we ate and loved as children.
They bring us back.
Way back.

It was no surprise to me that the beef stew came out as good as it did.
The simple act of re-creating a recipe my mom once made me feel so good.
Maybe she had more to do with the end result of the beef stew than I did.
I like to think of it that way, anyway . . .

~m

ps.
My mom’s beef stew recipe is up for grabs for anyone that wants it.
If there’s enough interest, I’ll post it here at S&M.

Which one would you stuff?

The next few days will find me laboring in the kitchen.
Not a great time for blogging.
I’ve had a few great ideas over the past few days but they won’t see the blog until sometime next week.
Please be patient.
I may be around, I may not.
But don’t get too excited.

A Happy Thanksgiving!

to all of my readers!
Be safe, be well and damn you if you’re frying your turkey.
Sommmm’ bitch, I’m jealous!
Talk to y’all in a few days . . .
Peace, Out
~M

ps. as far as which one I’d stuff?
Guess it all depends on how many people I’m trying to feed.
Later, folks