Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Memories

My Psych class today was all about memory and recall, specifically sensory recall. You know when you smell something, maybe chocolate chip cookies baking or a specific cologne, and it immediately brings all the details of a specific person or event back to you as clear as day?? I have a couple of those related to smell myself - for example, whenever I'm in the bakery section of a store and can smell the mix of flour, yeast and the plastic bags, it reminds me of my summers on our sailboat on Georgian Bay because we had to store our bread on the counter where it perfumed the small space. Another memory I have relates directly to the smell of menthol in Halls cough drops - the second it reaches my nose, I think of my old elementary school teacher (left in the photo) and the wonderful years I spent there.

Talking about the "goold old days" in class today gave me the idea to stop by the school this afternoon and catch up with the old staff there. Little did I know the impact my visit would have on my life today... while speaking to my "main" teacher, V, I learned that my old Home Ec teacher Michelle (on the right) had come back to the school after a three year absence and was teaching again! I searched her out, and we spent a good hour catching up and telling stories. Both our lives have changed dramatically since we last spoke, but like everything in life we're moving through everything and keeping our heads high. I even gave her my blog's address and promised to bring her a batch of my mom's famous apple squares next time I'm by.

I have all my old home ec recipe cards from Michelle, some scrawled in my 10-year-old printing, some painstakingly handwritten by V and photocopied a zillion times over. This is one of them: a basic bread recipe that (as far as I can remember) we shaped into animals and baked off while watching videos of the Nagano Olympic games (oh yes, back in '98!). That year was also my introduction to miso soup and Japanese numbers...

I owe a major part of my love for cooking to Michelle and her guidance, and I'm so glad I was able to see her again and reconnect. Like my Psych prof said to us today, "hug the ones you love".

Elementary School Sweet Yeast Bread
Makes 10 buns
1 packet rapid-rising yeast
2 tbsp sugar
16 oz all-purpose flour
8 oz whole wheat flour (my alteration...you can use all white)
12 fl. oz warm water (great if potato-boiling water is used!)
2 tsp melted, salted butter

  1. In a large bowl, mix all the dough ingredients together.
  2. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it for 10 minutes, adding flour or water if necessary. Cut the dough into 10 pieces, and make shapes out of it.
  3. Place the shapes on a greased baking sheet and cover the sheet with plastic wrap.
  4. Let rise for 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 425F.
  6. Brush the shapes with a beaten egg white and decorate with seeds, if desired.
  7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Serve warm, or freeze for later toasting.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 293.9
Total Fat: 1.6 g
Cholesterol: 1.8 mg
Sodium: 7.1 mg
Total Carbs: 61.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.1 g
Protein: 8.8 g

6 comments :

Bellini Valli said...

That's so cool that you wereable to visit your elemtary school teachers. I know all of mine would be retired but Erins teacher came to her highschool graduation.

Ricki said...

Such a great story! When I first moved to Toronto, I tracked down my old elementary school teacher and had a great chat on the phone. The biggest thrill for me was that she even remembered who I was! It's terrific that you still have such a good relationship with them!

Ricki said...

Such a great story! When I first moved to Toronto, I tracked down my old elementary school teacher and had a great chat on the phone. The biggest thrill for me was that she even remembered who I was! It's terrific that you still have such a good relationship with them!

DaviMack said...

Very cool. I'm sure that she was happy to know that she had such an impact upon you!

Maggie said...

How great that you got a chance to see such a meaningful teacher! There are a couple of science teachers that realy impacted my life that I need to search out.

I'm going to give your mom's apple squares a try soon. They sound fantastic!

Dana McCauley said...

Nice post! I think sensory connections to foods are very powerful and I think that's why I find so many of the molecular gastronomy experiments hard to relate to as an eater and a chef. I just don't have a reference point for half the stuff in the Alinea cookbook.