Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Friday, January 17, 2014


Why do some things we smell bring back such pleasant memories?

The other night I made spaghetti sauce and I used sausage instead of meatballs to flavor the sauce.  It was delicious.  It tasted just like the best sauce in the world, as far as I'm concerned.  That sauce was the sauce made by Aunt Rita.

Between Christmas and New Year's each year we would go to visit uncle Joe and Aunt Rita and stay for dinner.  The best dinner in the world that left me groggy from so much food.  And, I kept going back for more.  Rigatoni and sausage sauce, baked chicken breasts, anti-pasta, garlic bread, and some sort of dessert.  Since I'm not a dessert person, that part didn't stick with me.  But I'm sure it was my dad's favorite part of the dinner.

Being mostly Italian, there were great cooks in our family.  Aunt Annie's spaghetti didn't taste at all like Aunt Rita's.  My mom's spaghetti didn't taste like Aunt Rita's, and mom kept asking Aunt Rita for her sauce recipe, and Aunt Rita would give her hints from time to time, but she never gave her the full recipe.

I would hope that some of the smells of our home, as the children were growing up, and now here in the condo, would evoke happy memories as they get a whiff of a smell that brings back that happy memory.

To my Aunt Rita, thanks for making such a good meal for our families to enjoy at the happiest time of the year.  She is not with us any more, but I shall always remember that sauce.  Mmmmmm.


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