During brunch on Sunday, the bathroom had a smell that brought me back to the bathroom in my church growing up. Strange as that might be. It reminded me of the decor, the darkness of that dank basement where we had Sunday School and other such memories. It was not an uplifting place so the memory of the bathroom did not bring me to have a smile on my face. More a reminder of memories from childhood.
It amazes me how easily a smell can bring you back to a moment in time. You can run the play-by-play of events through your thoughts, reviewing what happened when that smell is brought to your senses. I have had it when smelling a specific food, an item of clothing in my closet, linens on a bed. At times the smell brings back wonderful memories, and other times it is a reminder of a past that might better be forgotten. Sometimes a smell of certain foods is nostalgia of childhood, and then when we are able to recreate those recipes, the taste is nothing like the smell to us. We have grown up, changed, and honed our taste buds.
At times a lotion or hair product might make me think of my grandma, a type of make-up my mom, and an aftershave my dad. Even if I have not seen them for 15-25 years the smells are ingrained in my thoughts and memories and nothing can take that away. Smells trigger memories, and we are quickly jettisoned back to a moment in time as we try to recollect why the smell reminds us of something. When we do remember, it is as though we were 10 or 12 or 20 again. A smile might cross our face, or a tear fall towards the ground.
Are there smells that trigger specific memories for you?
You know when you have the most amazing meal? It is memorable. They way it tastes, smells, and just hits the spot. Mmm. Sometimes a meal is so so, and other times they just suck. I am not going to tell you the below recipe is amazing. It was very good. These days though how long something takes to make outweighs how amazing something is, as our time is more and more precious. For it taking over 45 minutes, I think you can get more bang for your buck with something a bit different. Having shared all that, I will tell you — the best part is the Garlic Brown Butter Breadcrumbs. The topping made this recipe.
So if you have the time, try this recipe. What I would like to do is take some of the good parts and find a simple and quick way to make something similar. Do you have any ideas?
Fontina and Spinach Baked Eggs with Garlic Brown Butter Breadcrumbs [Adapted from How Sweet Eats]
3 oz fresh spinach
4 oz fontina cheese, freshly grated
4 large eggs
2 T heavy cream or half and half
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 T unsalted butter
1/2 minced garlic clove
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
chopped fresh herbs for topping
2 large pieces of cracked wheat sourdough (toasted)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9×9 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Place fresh spinach evenly in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle about 1/2 of the grated cheese over the spinach. Place the 4 eggs over top spaced evenly. Sprinkle the salt and pepper, then add the heavy cream — drizzled over the top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. Cook longer if you want the yolks cooked through.
While the dish is baking, add butter to a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly. Once it starts to brown, remove from heat and keep whisking for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and whisk some more. Add in the panko and fresh herbs and stir until panko is coated.
When the baked eggs are done, remove from the oven and cover with panko mixture. Serve immediately over buttered toast.