Smells of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving. Even the name of the holiday conjures up cozy memories. There are so many simple pleasures that make Thanksgiving into what it is - crisp weather, seeing loved ones, and cooking all day just to name a few. Personally, my favorite thing about Thanksgiving is bonding with family over delicious food - both cooking and eating it! We usually spend Thanksgiving in the kitchen from morning until dinner, catching up and laughing. If you have been following along with these blogs, you probably know by now that I love a good ambiance. Cooking with family all day is wonderful no matter what, but what really sets the Thanksgiving ambiance is the smell of all the delicious food being made. Imagine Thanksgiving without the smell of dinner being made wafting through your house all day - it would be a very different experience!
Turkey is the centerpiece of Thanksgiving for most families. The best thing about it is many families have their own unique turkey recipes. In my family, the turkey is what gets the most attention throughout the day. My mom and grandma work on it together, and it is incredible. Many unique ingredients come together to give it a flavor that is specific to my family. From the moment all the pieces come together to the moment it comes out of the oven, the scents of my family turkey can be detected from the furthest corners of the house. When it comes out of the oven, it’s even better! As you open the oven door, the warm, salty, fruity scent hits you full in the face and everyone knows it’s time to eat!
My personal favorite thing about Thanksgiving dinner is the homemade rolls my dad makes from scratch every year. They are warm, buttery, and flaky in the most perfect way. I enjoy them not only because of their taste, but also because of their soft, simple smell. Have you ever been to a bakery during a time when they’re actually making their bread? Well, imagine that scent, but softer and more buttery - that is the scent of my dad’s rolls. If sunshine had a smell, it would be these rolls! I bet your family has a Thanksgiving food item that makes you feel a similar way.
Nothing rounds out Thanksgiving dinner like a good, simple pumpkin pie. And, as I have talked about previously, pumpkin is the staple scent for autumn. While some of us start decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving, I personally prefer to wait until the day after. That way, I can enjoy as much fall as possible. The scent of a warm, rich pumpkin pie baking in the oven makes the perfect end to the cozy season of fall. In my family, the pie is usually the last thing to go in the oven on Thanksgiving day. While we are setting the table and preparing for family to come over, the smell of pumpkin pie always lingers in the air as it is being baked in the oven. This scent never fails to bring back simple memories that make me smile.
There are so many other scents that encompass Thanksgiving besides the ones I have named here - scents such as those of cranberry sauce, roasted pecans, and a warm fire. Why are these scents so special to us, though? I think it’s because they become engrained in us and bring back memories. The smell of turkey always reminds me of family, no matter what time of year it is. The smell of bread being baked reminds me of my dad (even though I am certain there are no rolls that compare to his). And the smell of pumpkin pie always brings me back to autumn, my favorite season. When all these scents come together on Thanksgiving Day, it creates an experience like no other. Imagine Thanksgiving without the smell of dinner cooking throughout the day. It wouldn’t be the same!
Thanksgiving holds a special place in my heart. Waking up to the smell of cooking will always get me excited to spend time with family. And that is what a scent memory is! Smelling turkey or pumpkin pie during another time of year always subconsciously reminds me of Thanksgiving. Imagine if we didn’t have a sense of smell. We wouldn’t be reminded of all the simple pleasures of Thanksgiving nearly as often. What is your favorite Thanksgiving smell? Let me know in the comments below, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

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