Last Saturday, my friend Leslie Santamaria and I taught a workshop called, Write YOUR Story. We had a wonderful time talking with writers and would-be writers about how to get started writing their life stories. Often, that pesky beginning is the hardest part of all.
One of the ways to break that mental barrier is to follow your nose. Certain scents and familiar smells can trigger memories and moods and set the stage like nothing else can.
As I was preparing my Thanksgiving menu, I realized those comforting scents are part of what makes my Thanksgiving seem, well, right. No matter what else I cook, I always make corn casserole and apple pie. These two dishes are more than just tasty items for the table; they take me back in time and set the stage. From the minute I pluck the ingredients off the grocery shelf to the time I put them in the oven, these dishes act as sensory snapshots of my life. They remind me of holidays past, of people near and dear (and some long gone), of happy years and sad years, of funny stories and embarrassing moments, but mostly, they remind me of all I have to be thankful for.
If you’re nearing the end of your NANOWRIMO novel or are working on another project, don’t forget the power of scent triggers and how food can play a part in your story.
And if you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, here’s my favorite, simple, no-fail Corn Casserole recipe.
Connie’s Corn Casserole
1 stick oleo (that’s margarine, for those not from the Midwest), melted
1 box Jiffy corn bread mix
1 can creamed corn
1 can corn, drained
1 (8 oz) sour cream
Mix all ingredients together in a 2 quart casserole dish and bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Enjoy!
My prayer this Thanksgiving is that our hearts are filled with gratitude for God’s many blessings ~ and our homes filled with love, laughter, family and friends.
Do you have a favorite holiday memory-trigger recipe? I’d love to hear about it…
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!