Thursday, December 10, 2020

Comfort Smells, Comfort Food

The heat has rumbled off and on through the night.  It's the earliest we've ever had the heat on down here in the southeast tip of Florida.  Our low yesterday morning was 48 degrees, which I know will sound balmy to people in the northern part of the continent.

I'm thinking of the first days of the furnace of my childhood in Montgomery, Alabama.  We usually had warm Septembers, but there would be one night in October when it would get chilly, and my dad would turn on the furnace.  I have nostalgic feelings about that scent:  waking up to the whiff of natural gas that fueled the furnace, the smell of summer's dust incinerating.

If I was creating a container of comfort smells, that one would be catalogued.  Would I also include baking cookies?  Maybe.  But I much prefer the smell of baking bread.

Last night I would have liked a festive food like Christmas cookies, but I didn't feel like baking them, and Christmas cookies from a commercial bakery just aren't the same.  My spouse didn't feel like dinner, which was fine.  I wasn't sure I did either.

To be honest, it's not the prep work, but the clean up afterwards that often makes me sigh and say, "Why bother?"

Unlike my spouse, I was hungry last night when I came home from work.  I prepared a grown up form of comfort food, a wedge of brie cheese, with cranberry-pepper jelly and pecans on top and popped it in the microwave.  I opened a package of crackers and a bottle of wine.

And then I ate most of that warm wedge of cheese.

I had many motivations to get out and exercise this morning, despite the chill, like these days of excess calories.  There was steam coming off the lake--I rarely see that sight down here.  And a flock of parrots came in for a landing on a tree--I could have reached out and touched them, that's how low they were.

It was chilly, yes--even with my fleece jacket on, I was cold.  Today I'll wear one of my heavier scarves as fashion accessory.  Soon enough, it will be warm again.  So today, I'll wear the velvety scarf that I bought on my 2003 trip to England, a scarf that's much more suited for a cooler clime.

And maybe I'll bake cookies soon--again, soon it will be January, with its abstemious ways.

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