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Food for Thought: Aroma of Memories



Joined: 11/20/2014
Posts: 1
thomas_zohrabyan
Thomas Zohrabyan
18 November, 2014

Aroma of Memories

Like most other people, my grandmother's home is like a family-owned restaurant. As you would walk in from the living room door, the aroma of the many different spices and seasonings would hit your nose like a truck and almost instantly, you were mysteriously hungry as if you hadn't eaten in years.
I vividly remember as if it were yesterday; my family and extended family were gathered at my grandmother's house for dinner and all the older boys and men were outside in the patio, preparing meat to be barbequed and there was me, a tiny, little nine year-old boy trying to be like the big guys. I saw my dad skewering the beef kabobs and being a curious nine year-old, I really wanted to help. Of course, his response was, "No Tommy, you are too young and will hurt yourself. Go help Tatik (Armenian for "grandmother") inside." and that made me really upset, but I had no other choice.
I went back indoors to help with my grandmother with whatever she was making. At the time, I would have rather been making BBQ outside, but little did I know I was going to make something even better. "Wash your hands and peel those onions, please." said Grandma. "After that, slowly chop them and put them into that bowl over there.". After about thirty minutes of tedious cutting and peeling, my grandmother began the real work. Within ten minutes, the aroma of cooking onions mixed with fresh eggplants and a dash of cilantro hit me; it was as if I had entered the gates of heaven.
After about an hour of hard work, it payed off really well. The smell of Musamba pilaf (middle-eastern dish, basically fried eggplants smothered in fried onions topped off with boiled meat and rice) filled the entire house. Every man, woman and child came forth like zombies and oh boy, did it smell delicious! I finally dug into my food and I ate so much that I was almost sick, but in a good way.
Sadly, my grandmother is no longer with us today as she passed away quite some time ago, but the memory of the dish remains very special to me, as it reminds me of the woman my grandmother once was. Now every time my mother or aunt makes this dish, the smell reminds me of my sweet, loving grandmother and I picture that memory as if it were happening at this instance. This dish is very dear to me, not only for its taste but the sentimental value it has for bringing back such wonderful memories.
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