Wakey, Wakey, Eggs and Bakey.

Abigail - Lexington, Kentucky
Entered on December 13, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, place
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Wakey, Wakey. Eggs and Bakey.

Another haphazard attempt at baking something new; why is it that everyone requests food that I have never encountered a recipe for, much less attempted to make? A promise is a promise, though, so I search the web for what seems like a decent Cinnamon Swirl Bread recipe. Not that the recipe matters so much in the end. In actuality, the only vague hint of the origins of my baking come from the recipe title, everything else gets more than lost in translation from computer screen to mixer.

I leave out the salt; I add extra sugar; and, not knowing exactly what the swirl in cinnamon swirl bread is actually made of, I throw ingredients together randomly to obtain the perfectly scented paste to slather over top of the flat dough. With the oven pre-heated, I place the loaves on the metal rack and in a matter of minutes could smell success. The aroma of the sweetest, most delicious cinnamon swirl bread fills the entire downstairs. I know it’s an accomplishment when my dad wakes up to the scent, practically begging for breakfast. These instances bring me back to times when our positions were reversed and I was the one waking up to similar aromas. There was never an after school nap that didn’t end with me waking up to the delectable scent of a wonderful dinner being made.

Even today, as a home cooking deprived college student, I look forward to my trips home not just for the plates piled on with homemade provisions, but for the smell that comes with them; for the feeling of waking up each morning with that unmistakable knowledge that I am loved. In a way, I believe that love can not only be felt, but also smelt. Yet, it’s more than that: it’s the level of comfort that comes with the aromas of home.

I believe in baking, in cooking, in living by scent. It is the one thing that I can always depend on when recipes fail and the one thing that, in a matter of seconds, can take me back to a scratch and sniff book my grandparents owned when I was young. As any given scent hits my nostrils and travels to my brain, memories that I never knew I had come rushing back: Mom’s homemade taco bar, Dad’s loaded nachos, a moldy doll that I left out in the rain. Things I never thought would be forgotten, and thanks to their scents, things I can hope never will be.