The Fragrance of Fall
What is it about smells... it's more than a sense, a memory passport giving you the ability at any given moment to transport you back in time to experience a memory all over again! This time of the year always floods me with a gammit of memories, many of them evoked by the amazing aromas of my childhood... I'd love to share some of those with you today!
Sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy (don't we all though?) when I smell something and it makes me pause right then and there to relive a memory, but did you know there is a scientific name for such a phenomenon? Its called odor-evoked autobiographical memory or the Proust phenomenon, after French writer Marcel Proust (that is about as smart as I get, I googled it). Research is clear that odors are especially effective as reminders of past experiences, much more so than any of our other senses.
Think about it for a moment, are there certain smells that remind you of days gone by? Whether good or bad scents they trigger our brain and often bring us back through a range of emotions. As I sit at my table today with the smells and sounds of an autumn breeze, I am reminded of all the reasons why I love the fall! Growing up in VT, fall meant the county fair, sweaters, layers of clothing, boots, brilliant colors, and the smell of a homemade apple dessert made fresh each evening. Well, maybe not every evening but it sure felt like it most of the time and I wasn't complaining!
Long before the Mitchell’s became a “Mac” household in regards to technology, I grew up in a "Mac" house of my own. My childhood memories are of McIntosh apples in my school lunches and simmering away on the stove, they were a main staple. So much so that we would pick them by the bushel ourselves or my dad would arrive home from work with a bushel or two from a local farmer!
My Dad and Mom went to be with Jesus many years ago, but I am so thankful for their memory and the stories that I have passed on to my kids. Like the October we took the kids to VT to celebrate John’s parents 35th wedding anniversary. Although my Dad had already passed, it was a must that they experience apple picking in its finest! Boy did we go for it, apple cider processing, definitely one memory I would like to forget... Why you might ask? Because it looked like vomit, and that my friends is something your home and garden magazine won't tell you! We also loved visiting Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory which felt like we were at Willy Wonkas chocolate factory! I remember getting a behind the scenes look at how they make it, tasting as much as we could, and of course paying our respects in the ice cream grave yard (the flavors that didn’t make it.) Last but not least, we smelled our way through the Cabot cheese factory and I do believe that it is one smell that Meaghan will never forget!
As I meet people over the years, I sometimes wish I could bring them with me on my memories in VT so they can experience the fall bliss I enjoyed growing up... I'm still working on the whole time travel thing but in the meantime, here's a recipe that will fill your home with a smell that fills my heart and soon yours!
I never quite mastered the art of pie crust, in fact in our home John makes the pie! I go to Costco and buy theirs, it’s the closest to the real deal. In our home we say Costco makes apple pies with real apples, and Noel makes the yummy cobblers and crisps! I do have a favorite apple cake recipe from the first cookbook I ever bought, Bakery Lane Soup Bowl. It was from a small restaurant back in the 70’s in Middlebury, VT.
It's well worth the buy and is available on amazon. Click Here to purchase!
I would love to know your favorite apple dessert so please share your recipes in the comments below or email them to us! I can already smell the aromas in your kitchen. Apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, and more…. Yumminess in the making!
What memories are stirred for you today? I’m sure my friend Kimberly would say it’s the smell of a pumpkin spice latte or Donna Lynn would say it stirs the memories of Stowe, VT with breath taking follage. What memories are making you smile today? I’d love to hear your story!
Remember, life does happen around the table and this includes seasons... what do you want to accomplish this fall around your table?