504 Main by Holly Lefevre: Stir-Fry My Home

3.31.2010

Stir-Fry My Home

I'm pretty sure I have never made my sordid past a secret here. Just in case you need a refresher,  I am not-so-domestic diva, turned full-on domestic diva. The kitchen and I have not always been BFF's! When I got married, it was an accomplishment to make a lasagna, and that was usually accompanied by "See you later honey...I have an appointment...we'll be having lasagna ALL week!" Poor hubby. Thankfully, things have changed.

We eat and enjoy foods that are very different from what I remember growing up {sorry Mom...I am outing us}. Other than BBQ's, I remember a lot of chip beef on toast with spinach, meatloaf, spaghetti, and lots and lots of burritos - all shape and sizes and kinds. We seriously loved our tortillas...my family was onto this wrap thing way before the rest of the world. We, however, did not partake in some of the more usual family meals, like casseroles...and rice as a side dish - oh no - rice was fancy. My Japanese friends ate rice all the time and I thought they were so cool!
When I met my hubby, he cooked for me. He loved to cook. One of the first meals he made me was a stir fry - in a real wok! Oh my! With rice! How exotic...how fancy! No wonder I married him. We actually ate stir-fry a lot - not necessarily always traditional stir-fry, but a stir-fry nonetheless.

We eventually got married...the stir-fry tradition continued...flourished. Whatever combination of flavors  hubby was using, their aroma danced in the air - in and outside of our house - soy sauce, teriyaki, ginger, chicken, onion, broccoli, celery - limitless options, all served over steaming rice. Thankfully my kids are good, adventurous eaters, and the art of the stir-fry lives on. The eat it up {literally}. If you ask my son what he wants to eat, just after cinnamon rolls {they are #1}, is stir-fry {it comes in at #2}.

So, while some people will tell you the smell of freshly baked cookies or banana bread remind them of home....how the delicious scent of these things take them back to a time when all was right and good, a time when we could guiltlessly eat cookies and carbs. I, in my ever so unusual way of looking at things, pick stir-fry as my delicious scent, my scent of home. A scent that was there when hubby and I were young and dating, and creating our place in the world. A scent that followed us into our married years, as we built a home and future together. Last Sunday, I left hubby and the kiddos at home and went out for some mommy time. As I pulled back into the driveway, I caught the scent right away. It enticed me, grabbed me, and welcomed me home, and there he was, at the stove, hubby whipping up a stir-fry.

This is our current fave variation of Welcome Home Stir-fry.
{non traditional, but we don't care} 
{I am going to do my best to offer my tutorials
and recipes in PDF format...we'll see what happens.}
What scent reminds you of growing up?
What scent reminds you of home now?
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43 comments :

  1. Wow. that is nice isn't it when husbands take the initiative like that? Very nice! Gosh, there are many smells that remind me of home. I love how smell congers up memories!

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  2. yeah...I'd think I'd fall in love too for want of a good stir fry!

    Have a great day!

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  3. Great story ;) I have pretty much always lived in the country and we currently live on a farm so the "smells" are probably quite different LOL

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  4. This post really dug into the memory bank for me. My favorite was popping in the door from school and smelling the pot roast in the slow cooker. mmmm! I knew we were in for a treat for dinner :)

    For the record, we never ate stir fry growing up and my hubby also cooked it once for me and I was hooked! It's now in primary rotation on my menu planning.

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  5. What a neat tradition and who would expect a stir-fry could bring up such great memories.

    In my house growing up it was Minute Rice. Ewwww!!

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  6. What a great story!
    The smell that takes me back...cake. My Mom would try her best to make a home made cake. It always tasted great, but was always of the sliding variety. You know, the top would slide off the bottom. To this day her sliding cakes are the centre piece of all family gatherings and the smell of home made goodness takes me back:)

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  7. I am lucky that my hubby is a great cook too! And isn't the wok the greatest thing ever??

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  8. Thanks for the idea ~ I haven't made stir fry in forever. When I was little my favorite was walking in and smelling homemade sugar cookies baking ~ the best part was the sugar sprinkled on top ~yum!

    Jo

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  9. Great story! I don't honestly remember the first dish my husband ever cooked for me, but he's pretty handy in the kitchen. Cooking a great meal together has become a standing weekend tradition. It's our "us" time.

    We're pretty fond of Asian flavors around here, too. I got rid of my wok because it was too big to fit anywhere that I could conveniently use it, but I still make stir fry and other Asian dishes in a skillet or (my fav) my dutch oven.

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  10. interesting b/c my husband makes a great Indian curry dish that he calls (Indian stew?! -- neither of us are Indian). It totally smells like home to me now.

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  11. So nice to have a husband that likes to cook :)

    I really don't have a smell that reminds me of home.. but that is because I hardly have any sense of smell... so I miss out on that part of the world.

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  12. Thank you so much for sharing! Your writing is excellent!

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  13. Well, I love stir fry! And today I hope that my house will smell like cake. Abby is going to be trying a new cake for Easter (she wanted to practice first - cute!). I just love the smells of home, and thanks for linking up today Holly!

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  14. Beautiful post and definitely a much different scent. But with a history like that, it's no wonder you chose it.
    Blessings,
    Kim

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  15. thanks for sharing that great story! i am a decent cook, but never seem to have enough time to go all out and make a whole meal! rice has always been tricky for me, so now i get rice bowls that i can steam in the microwave and add to a dish.

    like tammy, i'm a farmgirl (or was, anyway...grew up on a farm!), so some of the smells that remind me of home aren't the best - although, straw and hay smells aren't bad!

    it's crazy how smell conjures up such memories. just yesterday, my class instructor at the gym was wearing a cologne that was the same as an old boyfriend in high school that i hadn't thought about in forever. as soon as i got a whiff, though, it brought me back!

    oh, and homebaked goodness is always a good smell to me!

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  16. thanks for sharing that great story! i am a decent cook, but never seem to have enough time to go all out and make a whole meal! rice has always been tricky for me, so now i get rice bowls that i can steam in the microwave and add to a dish.

    like tammy, i'm a farmgirl (or was, anyway...grew up on a farm!), so some of the smells that remind me of home aren't the best - although, straw and hay smells aren't bad!

    it's crazy how smell conjures up such memories. just yesterday, my class instructor at the gym was wearing a cologne that was the same as an old boyfriend in high school that i hadn't thought about in forever. as soon as i got a whiff, though, it brought me back!

    oh, and homebaked goodness is always a good smell to me!

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  17. ooo,good questions. Pine sol is a huge memory, every Saturday my mom would clean the house change the sheets, have done all the laundry and I would go to bed in clean sheets, in a clean house with clean pajamas etc. etc. I love that memory (obviously have issues with cleanliness;) haha

    My other favorite scent: baked goods especially bread!

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  18. I love "Sorry Mom, I'm outing us" :) Really cute. Even thinking about stir fry just made me hungry!!! I don't think it necessarily matters what the smell was of food in your home growing up... it's just the memory. Sounds like your husband took great charge.

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  19. A killer wok is KILLER ;-) That's great- I can smell the goods from here ;-)

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  20. Stir-fry woks!! (get it, rocks?!)
    No really, I love stir-fry,,,lots of fresh veggies with sesame oil, chinese 5 spice, oyster sauce and soya sauce with all the veggies I can throw at it! A great quick, healthy, family friendly meal.
    Growing up for me, my fave smell was my moms homemade Bolognese sauce. What could be better than a giant bowl of carbs!!!
    p.s. I think it's great that your hubby cooks! We own a restaurant and my husband is a trained cook but he still rarely cooks at home!

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  21. Great Stir Fry recipe. My hubs loves rice and he would eat it with everything and in every way except Rice Pudding. According to him rice wasn't meant to be sweet....yeah right. When I met him he he put Salsa in everything he cooked.

    You might laugh, but pan frying schnitzels reminds me of growing up.

    I don't think I have a scent that reminds me of home now. I do so many things in the kitchen. I would hate to ask my boys.

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  22. For me, it is the scent of bread! As you know, I love baking bread. We would go out and play in the snow, and would return to the aroma of a fresh loaf straight out of the oven.

    My Mom made a lot of stir fry. I am yet to try, but I think this is just the motivation I needed! Going to check out the recipe now. Thanks Holly! Loves!

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  23. I LOVE the way my house smells when I make a stir-fry!!! (For a while, anyway. Soy sauce tends to linger.)

    One of my favorite "memory" smells, though...fried chicken. I'm not kidding. Mostly because that smell could come from my mom's kitchen or either of my grandmothers'...and any of the 3 would make it a good day indeed!

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  24. Having no sense of smell my answer would have to be...none. But I always remember my brothers turning their noses skyward and inhaling deeply whenever mom was making spaghetti. It was our favorite meal!

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  25. Having no sense of smell my answer would have to be...none. But I always remember my brothers turning their noses skyward and inhaling deeply whenever mom was making spaghetti. It was our favorite meal!

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  26. Holly,
    I'm a vegtable nut and love stir fry! I didn't grow up eatting as healthy as I do now, but I would never go back. Pass the rice bowl please!
    Cathy

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  27. I salivate at the smell of a good stir-fry!

    And I'm so *jealous* that your husband cooks- seriously jealous.

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  28. That is a wonderful story. I love that something so different reminds you of home. And now that I've read this, I actually want some stir fry...with rice!

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  29. now you got me in the mood for stir fry, so funny I have 4 favorite stir fry recipes, one which is my step son's favorite as it was what he ate at our first real dinner as a family
    I love stir fry with cashews do you use a wok, I do sometimes, and in my classroom

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  30. I don't think there is a scent that reminds me of home. I do however love stir-fry! I love how they can be switched up so easily.

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  31. My poor hubby is in that predicament... I'm afraid I've inherited my mother's cooking habits. But stir-fry is always a quick and yummy addition to the weekly line-up. Great post!

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  32. I wish my husband would cook! He'll bring something home every once in a while- that's his cooking.

    Growing up- the smell of freshly baked bread. My mom made EVERYTHING from scratch, so she was constantly baking bread, since we went through it so quickly.

    Now? Hmmmm....probably bananas. I think we go through 4 bunches a week.

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  33. Cookies for when I was growing up. And roasts. Now it's bread and...cookies! hahaha.

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  34. Ah! I love stir fry! I wish my husband knew how to cook - seriously cant cook anything!

    Popping over to see your stir fry recipe!

    http://accusotmedchaos.blogspot.com

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  35. Oh I love wok food (but living in China I must say I'm pretty fed up with rice LOL).

    I adore your blog dear Holly, it's so delightful!

    Cheers: Evi

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  36. This was really well-written; you have a gift.

    The scent that reminds me of home is baking bread; Mom used to make it (from frozen loaves) every Wednesday :)

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  37. You're on a roll, Holly. This post is awesome. I've gotta check out your recipe. I love stir-fry, too....especially if there's baby corn in it. and water chestnuts. MmMmmMMmMM!!!

    So sweet that you came home from mom's day out and he was cooking for you. I need to show my hubs this post!

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  38. Sauce simmering on the stovetop....both my growing up and current scent of home. Funny, though, the smell (and taste!) of the sauce my grandparents made was so distinctive--I've only come close to replicating it once or twice.

    I realized just how long I've been on blogging hiatus when I showed up here at your place! It's like being away at summer camp and returning home to find that mom moved all the furniture around while you were gone! I love the new look (that's probably not all that new...)

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  39. i'm here from new friend friday. we need to bust out our wok and try some stir fry. we got one as a wedding gift and have never used it (almost 2 yrs ago!). thanks for the encouragement.
    oddly enough, the scent of cigars remind me of my parents' home, because my daddy smokes them in the backyard. honeysuckle reminds me of our home now, because it is the scent i wore on our honeymoon, and bring out for romance on occasion.
    sorry for the super long comment.

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  40. Stir Fry, my fav! I am a new friend from FF. I can't wait to poke around and read more. Have a great weekend!

    http://sixcherriesontop.blogspot.com

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  41. My mom always made homemade breads, rolls, cinnamon rolls, etc. so the smell of baking bread always reminds me of home and her. I love to eat warm from the oven breads!

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  42. My husband's a better cook than me, and I'm glad for it. When I was a kid our home always smelled of bread baking and soup simmering. Now my home smells of Nestle chocolate chip cookies and scented candles.

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  43. My growing up scent - Spaghetti sauce. My current scent Bacon. Hubby loves bacon.

    Thanks for stopping by from Friday Follow. Enjoy your weekend! - Rita @ One 2 Try.

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