Saturday, July 23, 2011

Two strong women

Today I am grateful for these two women.

These two amazing women have been the influence for my great love of food.

My grandmother, Nana, was a good plain cook. One of thirteen children, she learnt to cater for a large family early in her life. She later went on to cook in hospitals, boarding houses and country hotels. She had to cook with what was at hand. She later settled down on her own farm, with her husband, and her three children. Her extended family were always close by. During my childhood, we spent every Sunday night having dinner at my Nana's cottage. The menu was the same every week, year after year. Our family wouldn't have had it any other way. We ate Nana's roast chicken with roasted potato, roasted pumpkin, peas, carrots and gravy. Dessert was always jelly, peaches and ice-cream.

From my Nana, I learnt the importance of serving food made with love. No matter how simple a meal may be, giving the gift of love on a plate is one of the greatest gifts that you can give.

My mother could not cook when she was first married. She taught herself to become an excellent and adventurous home cook with the guidance of the popular Woman's Weekly cookbooks. Menu's that were not often seen on country dinner tables were served by my mother at dinner parties. During the late 1970's, while other mothers were serving curried sausages and shepard's pie for dinner, mum cooked us moussaka. On the weekends we would have my grandparents for dinner and mum would serve up tortes and gateau's that would not look out of place in an Austrian coffee shop.

From my mother, I have learnt to try new flavours and learnt that I can cook anything that I put my mind to. I've also learnt to enjoy the process of entertaining. From planning a menu, setting a table, selecting the wine and choosing the music.

Combine these two lessons: create a great atmosphere, perhaps cook some food from another culture, make it with love, add good friends, great wine and fabulous conversation and you have all you really need in life. 

This is an old photo of my Nana and Mum. But one I have always loved. It was the one I always carried with me when I was far from home. My Nan is no longer with us, however she lives on in our hearts. I am missing her so much right now. And as for mum, she no longer has this hairstyle!Go over to 'maxabella loves' for more gratitude posts.

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Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear what's happening in your kitchen. If you've tried one of my recipes, I'd like to know what you thought? Do you have some advice to make it better? Did you find a mistake? Perhaps it is a new favourite in your home?

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