06 December 2011

Of Rosemary

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.


  1. Wow! Those are quite accurate memories you have there! I think the spice they like to over-use is dill and bay leaves. In absolutely everything. Take a whiff of one of those and see if they do the trick:) Do you really miss Russia?

  2. I do miss Russia - all the time.  I do think of Russia when I use bay leaves, but more for the memories of finding it in our soup than for the smell :)  My husband doesn't like it when he gets the leaf - I try to tell him it's good luck, but he's not buyin' it.