The smells of home make me feel comfortable and relaxed, knowing that I am safe between my four walls.
The sharp smell of frying onions is particularly special, taking me back to my childhood and my mother frying them for a chicken curry base. I would often beg to eat them just as they were, wrapped in a slice of white bread.
Every time I pass a burger bar, the smell always evokes memories of my childhood, and now in our house when we are making spaghetti sauce or some such. The smell always gives me a fuzzy feeling.
Onions are like life, layer upon layer of memories to get to the heart, which is the best bit, sweet.
That onion is deceiving though, for when you are peeling back the layers, or cutting through them it makes your eyes sting and the tears run, which however makes my husband and I laugh to see each other this way. It has so many properties. I try to avoid this bit, getting Gavin to do it, while I go with the stronger flavoured yet less troublesome garlic.
Once it is cut I put it in a frying pan with some oil and it begins to sizzle and sing, changing its form and colour, becoming translucent, and tasting sweeter. This is when the kitchen and even the whole house begins to reek with the warming smell of this demanding vegetable. I like it brown, almost burnt, when it looks nothing like its original shape and the sweet and sour and salty taste goes straight through your tongue to the bottom of your mouth. And the warmth goes through my body. All that work is worth it for this moment.