Sep. 20th, 2017

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Alla came up with a marvelous fish-based soup, of which I consumed two bowls just now.

As I spooned the goodness into my mouth, I got to thinking of how certain people (Galina and my late stepfather come to mind) simply cannot stand cooking aromas in the house, especially aromas of cooked fish.

As for me, perhaps it is simply a case of crass sentimentality, but I recall with fondness hanging out with my grandmother and immersing myself (so to speak) in all of the wonderful smells that wafted through her kitchen when I stayed with her on weekends and for extended periods during summer vacation. If I close my eyes, I think I can still smell the exquisitely prepared budget cuts of meat that she prepared with gently caramelized onions and mashed potatoes.

It was my grandmother who taught me the rudiments of finding my way around a kitchen, without making a fuss about it. I fried my first egg under her watchful eyes. I toasted—burned, actually—my first piece of bread on a venerable folding contraption that was designed to sit over a gas burner with slices of bread carefully leaning on what was essentially a truncated wire pyramid. She didn't get upset about it; she took the burned toast and showed me how to scrape off the really charred parts so I could eat the rest.

In other news, I gave the curing fish an extra day to cure and then unwrapped the result. (And do I wish you could see the smile on my face right now!) The end product is quite tasty!


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