Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Food - Fall Fents... err... Scents

I knew that it was fall a couple of weeks ago when the mensroom at work suddenly started smelling like manufactured fall. In other words, instead of smelling like random institutional air freshener, it started to smell of fake cinnamon, dry leaves, and bonfires. Or something like that. Whatever they say in the masculine version of Glade and Febreze ads on TV. 

And, okay, I have to admit that I kind of like the new scent. It's certainly better than it could be (after all, it's a mensroom), and at least it isn't sickeningly, sweetly floral. (Which is apparently what has materialized in the women's restroom.)

All this (well, not the women's restroom aside, but the rest of it) got me thinking about how there are definitely "fall scents." But there aren't really scents for the other seasons. At least not that I can think of. I mean... There are all kinds of "holiday" fragrances, but they are specific to leading up to Christmas, and not something you smell and think "Wow, that smells like mid-January to me." 

Summer has all of the "cooking out" smells. Along with charcoal and grilling meat, there's also the smell of "hot dirt" (you know the smell, right?), and the smell of rain. 

And, yet, spring doesn't really have anything that comes to mind, either. Sure, there are days that simply feel like spring, but offhand I just can't think of any smells of spring. Maybe warm, damp dirt if you're someone who gardens? The smell of rain probably overlaps both summer and spring, but when it's cool out, the rain doesn't have the same smell as in the hot summer. 

But fall... Fall is all about spices. Heavy, heady spices. It's the season of cinnamon and nutmeg baking apples. It's when pepper and wine and onions bathe meats that sit for hours on the stove. It's when chilis of all kinds show up and the house simply smells warm, like the yeasty aroma of baking bread. When tomatoes meet oregano and basil and garlic and the house smells like a trattoria for days (this works especially well with someone like Christopher around). 

It's when I break out the baking cookbooks, when hot apple cider gets both spiced and spiked, and when leisurely meals that have simmered for hours take over from the flash-in-the-pan-ities of summer.

Which, come to think of it, probably explains why I've been feeling hungry after each trip to the mensroom, lately. But, more importantly, it explains why I'm contemplating going out to buy some canned pumpkin (Libby's, of course), and thinking about trying out some recipes with the warm butterscotchy aroma of curry, and contemplating spending a whole weekend in the kitchen. 

No comments: