Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Drifting aromas

It shouldn't surprise readers of 'Round the Chuckbox that I interact with residents and staff at work throughout the day. Access to the kitchen, located off the back entrance in the 110-year-old former boarding house, is open to clients and staff. Everyone walks past the kitchen several times each day.

In many respects, this job is the best in my 40-year career. Cooking for such a small group of residents lets me tailor meals to their likes and dislikes, often based on feedback that I receive from residents throughout the day.

Residents and staff frequently often react to the drifting smells. The bouquet of inviting aromas drift all though the house, even up into the second floor.

These aromas often bring unsolicited comments like this one from Monday afternoon:

"Your kitchen smells like my mother's house," exclaimed a counselor.

At the time, the sharp aroma of two-dozen dried guajillo chili peppers wafted through the house as I toasted them in a skillet. The aroma from roasting tomatoes, whole garlic cloves and jalapeno chili peppers for salsa added to the pleasant mix of Mexican flavors.

I'm sure residents and staff will continue to comment on what they see and smell in the kitchen. After all, it's hard to resist.

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