Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The Smell of Snow
This goes back to my childhood in southern New Jersey. It didn't snow often there--maybe one or two good snows a winter. When it did, school was likely to be closed, and then it fell to my sister and me to shovel the driveway and the walks. I still remember how much effort that took! (If I tried it now, I'd probably keel over.) While we were outside, Mom was busy in the kitchen. She was a public school teacher in those days, and so when school was closed, she'd have the unexpected bonus of a day off. That meant something good to eat.
Usually, there was a cup of hot cocoa ready for us when we came inside from shoveling. There was also a loaf of white bread baking in the oven. In fact, the only time I can recall my mom baking bread was on snow days. So for me, snow instantly conjures the smell of hot cocoa and bread--an oddly and wonderfully warm association for such a cold thing. (And by the way, I think cocoa should always come in a stoneware mug. To me, it's nearly a sacrilege to serve it in a chi-chi teacup, or worse, some slender, curvaceous glass contraption, unless that's all you've got. Cocoa is down-to-earth stuff that should be treated with heartiness and hearty respect. It doesn't need dressing up.)
I don't much miss the cold and snow, but I do kind of miss that hot chocolate and the bread. Oh, I can bake a very respectable loaf of bread (almost any kind you want), and I can certainly whip up a cup of hot cocoa. But somehow, it just isn't the same.
Posted by David Schildkret at 3:13 PM