Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Spice up New Year

FRAGRANCES awaken memories. The essences of lemon, orange and anise are not your favorite flavorings. However, on an after shave lotion formula, these bring back memories of your father.

Dad would stand before the bathroom mirror to shave his three-day old whiskers. To finish off his grooming, he would splash on his favorite lotion, Old Spice Original.

It has a fresh smell that makes you think of a ship captain enjoying the salty breeze as he steers the ship to safety. It calls to mind dewy grass, a steaming cup of coffee and sunny afternoons talking with your dad. The fragrance is forever his.

I have decided to spice up New Year with some of the common herbs and spices we use at home.

My Aunt Tita Blitte uses bay leaf (laurel) when making humba or stewed pork knuckles. Whenever I smell this herb, I’m reminded of my aunt’s nurturing and caring spirit. It is no wonder why her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends honor her with praises and love. Bay represents honor, reward and glory.

My cousin Dona’s main spice is garlic. Whenever I come home from work, I know it is Dona making dinner. The lingering aroma of garlic makes me long for dinner.

One thing I like about Dona is her positive outlook. She dispels negativity with her hopeful words. Symbolically, garlic means strength. It wards off not just bad cholesterol but also evil and negative energy.

Krystalle, my niece, likes onions. Whenever Krystalle fries onions with green beans, she makes me happy. In fact, onions symbolize happiness.

Uncle Gustave must have his cup of ginger brew every morning. It is this spice that best describes him. It represents civility and traditions.

Peetong, Dona’s husband, is an in inventive cook. One time he replaced bay leaf with oregano when he made paksiw nga inasal nga baboy (vinegar stewed leftover roasted pig). “We ran out of bay, so I snipped off some fresh oregano leaves from our garden,” he said. Oregano represents joy and appreciation of what you have.

Ellen is a fan of basil. She promised she would make her famous basil pasta: Saute garlic in olive oil, then add basil leaves and sliced mushrooms. Add drained spaghetti noodles and season with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Basil symbolizes good wishes and love. And this brings me to Pannon. I love this affectionate nephew of mine. No wonder. Sugar has an obvious symbol: sweetness.

So how about you, what kitchen flavorings do you intend to use as mnemonics this New Year?


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