Some people may say a certain shampoo, perfume or lotion but the scent that makes me think of my mother has to do with food. Not cake or pie or chocolate chip cookies – those remind me of my dad :). The smell that reminds me of my mother is the smell of freshly steamed tamales topped with a dark rich molé. Coming from Mexico making food that reminded her of home was something she loved to share with us.
Tamales were always a labor intensive process and she and I would work vigorously together to cook the meats, make the dough, soak and prepare the cork husks and put everything together. It was amazing how the work of several hours could be devoured in just a matter of minutes. The earthy smell of sauces made with chile guajillo, pasilla and ancho paired with the slight sweetness of the corn masa always makes my mouth water. It brings back memories of my childhood working side by side with my mom. I remember making myself sick eating tamal after tamal. It reminds me of her desire to take us back to visit her family, learn her language and get to know her culture and history.
What smell reminds you of your mother?