It's beginning to smell like pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice as November is here. The smells this month are fabulous. All of the delicious desserts we usually only get at Thanksgiving time are available.
My mother makes the most delicious pumpkin pecan bread, but only at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I also enjoy apple pecan pie. I associate these desserts with family, traditions and holidays. What scents do you associate with the Thanksgiving holiday?
Growing up, we had a tape of Thanksgiving music we played with pieces like "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come" and other hymns. Playing these pieces while baking and making Thanksgiving dinner was a family tradition.
Another delicious scent I associate with Thanksgiving is the dressing Mother would make. She'd cook mild Italian sausage, saute onions and celery, add lots of butter, chicken stock, and pecans to her dressing. The smell of it baking is out of this world.
She generally had to make two 9-inch by 12-inch pans of dressing as that is what we all overloaded upon. The turkey was secondary to the dressing and gravy.
We also went to church on Wednesday night, came home and had some pumpkin bread along with hot apple cider or hot tea. Such fun memories.
What are your family's Thanksgiving traditions, and which are your favorites?
Smells or scents evoke memories in us. Psychology Today (https://bit.ly/2WY5IFy) stated: "A number of behavioral studies have demonstrated that smells trigger more vivid emotional memories and are better at inducing that feeling of ’being brought back in time’ than images." Looking at old photographs evoke some memories, but apparently smells trigger even stronger memories.
Perhaps that is why places such as Disneyland and Walt Disney World have "smellitzers," or scent machines, that pump scents into different parts of the theme park. For instance, it is well known that Disney uses the scent of vanilla along Main Street, evoking memories of cookies and other baked goods.
There is evidence that Alzheimer's patients have lost their sense of smell, and along with that, they lose their memory. According to Web M.D. (https://wb.md/2K27L6z): "Losing your sense of smell may mark the start of memory problems and possibly Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests." A person quoted in the article also stated: "The findings suggest that doing a smell test may help identify elderly, mentally normal people who are likely to progress to develop memory problems or, if they have these problems, to progress to Alzheimer's dementia."
I find this quite interesting, that smell and memories are so closely related. This may be ground-breaking research for both dementia and Alzheimer's patients.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving time and enjoy the delicious smells that come along with it.
Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.