Posted on Dec 7, 2011
I doubt that there is anyone out there who hasn’t heard about my over-active olfactory sense. Smells are such strong representatives of my most powerful memories that sometimes I find myself weeping over a whiff of a chilly autumn breeze or smiling maniacally after smelling my son’s sleep-warmed hair.
In fact, I just packed away a bunch of his way-too-small-for-him clothes and smelled each and every piece before folding it and packing it away in a box in his closet. I found myself in a puddle on the floor of his room with a yellow onesie pressed to my face, wishing he was still little enough to fit into it. Whoever said “they grow up so fast” was absolutely right, and I hate them for it.
I think I have always had a maddening love affair with the smell of gingerbread. The molasses, the ginger, the cinnamon – their heady aromas beckon to me from the kitchen. It’s such a “homey” aroma that brings a smile to my face whenever I come across it. I have candles and room fresheners that smell like gingerbread but somehow they just don’t quite capture what real gingerbread smells like when it’s baking in the oven.
Adding chocolate to gingerbread has me rethinking the recipe my mother has been making since I was a child. The smell of the ginger ale/chocolate icing (who would have thought of that combination other than Nigella herself??) as it oozes into the nooks and crannies of the still warm chocolate gingerbread cake is wonderfully wicked.