This time of year, “Aromatic” brings to mind my late Mother. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized how hard she worked to give her 6 children “perfect” holidays. In my mind’s eye, I can see her in the new holiday clothes she made, wearing an apron to protect them. And the aromas that have been floating out of her kitchen for days! Starting the first of November, Mom would start making practice turkey dinners a couple of times to refresh her skills. Most of the time, she didn’t need to, but then there were a few times when the dog ate real well. Once or twice, we’d come home after school and the house would smell of turkey and we got leftovers for supper. Mom would never want to talk about, why…
Then, the week of Thanksgiving the house smelled of Pumpkin Pie, Mincemeat Pie and Homemade Bread. Thanksgiving morning the Turkey would be in the oven, but Mom would always have time to cook breakfast. Even if we were eating Thanksgiving Lunch instead of dinner and she’d been up since 3 am to get the Turkey started. Mom’s stuffing has chopped apple and raisins in it and those smells along with roasting Turkey, boiling Potatoes and the ubiquitous Green Bean Casserole are Thanksgiving to me, still. I remember a couple years when the smell of baking dinner rolls wasn’t present because Mom was so busy doing everything else, she forgot them!! Or, that one year when the rolls were forgotten in the oven and the house smelled of burnt rolls! They were “fine”, just scrap the tops and bottoms. Poor Mom was in tears because the perfect meal was ruined. We assured her over and over that stupid rolls didn’t matter and she did seem to feel better.
Then, the weekend after Thanksgiving the Christmas decorations would come out and we’d spend days putting it all up. A couple weeks before “The Big Day” the best Aromatics would begin. Sugar Cookies, Anise Cookies, Peppermint Meringue, Traditional Danish Pastry, and “Spritz” Cookies. More Pumpkin Pie, Mincemeat Pie and Dad’s favorite Apple Pie would be baked from scratch. Christmas Day after presents Mom would sometimes make Danish Aebleskivers, little pancake balls with apple inside and dusted with powdered sugar (blissful sigh…) and that Turkey would already be in the oven along with a nice hunk of ham.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using plant aromatics to evoke emotion. For those who think it’s nothing more than New Age crap must not have had a past like mine. Rose Essential Oil doesn’t evoke love in me, but Roasting Turkey stuffed with bread, apples and raisins sure does.
Thank you, Mom, for making Holidays Magick and leaving me with Aromatics that trigger memories of Love and Family.