With my fridge devoid of anything good to eat, the smell of cooking potatoes wafts in through my open balcony door, taking me back to childhood and my mother’s cooking. Thousands of sacks of potatoes she must have done in her lifetime as she raised a dozen children. Now, decades later, in my high-rise building, from any one of hundreds of apartment units, someone is tantalizing me with this nostalgic aroma from my childhood. I want to know this family and what else they are having. Is she mashing them, baking them, scalloping them? Slicing them, boiling them, then drowning them in cream, like my mother used to do? Potato salad with bacon bits? Are they having roast beef with them? Chicken? I inhale deeply through my nose but I can’t tell for sure. Ah, she’s roasting the potatoes, or frying them, they’re getting a bit brown. No wait, more than brown. How can she have forgotten she’s cooking potatoes? How dare she burn the potatoes and remind me that the memories of my mother are not perfect?


Louisa Bauman


Louisa Bauman lives in Toronto, Canada, and enjoys the view of the city from her fifteenth-floor balcony. She is the author of two historical fiction novels, Sword of Peace and SisterFight Valiantly, plus a picture book, True Story of a Lamb. For more, visit her website louisambaumanauthor.com 


  1. Very interesting, and I love potatoes too. They're one of the best of a meal for me.

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