I love how effective our olfactory nerves are at conjuring forgotten memories. As I stirred my ground turkey with mixed vegetables for the base of my Shepherd's Pie this evening, I was unexpectedly transported to the dining room of the dorm in which I stayed for the first half of my semester in Russia junior year.
I was standing in the hall outside the entrance, waiting my turn in line as the aroma of dinner wafted out the door.
I was seated at a small table for four, surrounded by walls painted a bright yellow with orange trim in a sad attempt to brighten the room in a way the dim bulbs overhead could not.
I'm going to have to guess Rosemary was a key ingredient to much of the cooking in those Russian meals that semester - as this was one of few recipes I've found which uses the herb, and I strongly doubt it was the pepper or steak seasoning that brought about such a journey down memory lane.
At least I now know which spice jar to turn to when I'm feeling homesick for Mother Russia.