The cold weather is always the catalyst for me to get into the kitchen and cook up a storm.I find it very comforting to make healthy, vegetable laden soups, meals and of course bake(which in this house is normally banana cake, due to D and his refusal to eat a banana once it gets a single black spot on the skin. I abhor waste, so the excess is turned into cakes for here and also for Prue and her housemates).I have wonderful memories of winter days , spent in the kitchen at my grandparents’ home, watching as they created the most magnificent meals. My grandfather was just as good a cook as my grandmother and his French background influenced everything he made, including spectacular sauces, pastries and gateaux.
In those days, olive oil was not used by Australians for anything other than medicinal purposes and finding it anywhere other than a pharmacy was difficult. My grandparents normally purchased it in bulk when they visited one of the rare delicatessens frequented by migrants but I can remember vividly, one occasion when my grandmother sent me to the local grocer to buy it . I asked the proprietor for olive oil and his reply was” We don’t sell any of that wog stuff here love”! I was dumbstruck and hurried home feeling quite silly for even requesting it. I had never thought of it as anything other than oil. We had grown up being accustomed to it( from my grandparents)although strangely, my mother had adapted the conventional Anglo Saxon trait of using (wait for it) lard or dripping. My parents were big on dripping and so was everyone else for that matter!Mum had not inherited her parents’ passion for good food or their cooking prowess, in fact my siblings and I have often commented that it was a wonder any of us survived her cooking.LOL. I began cooking early and virtually did all the cooking at home by the time I was 10 or 12years of age. I loved it , especially preparing such large meals( there were 9 of us ) but til this day I am still inclined to prepare far too much and end up giving it away or freezing it for another time!
Much to my delight, Prue , who had never shown any real interest in preparing anything other than pasta based meals, announced yesterday, that she was going to make up a large quantity of fresh chicken soup and freeze it for the cold winter times ahead.Could she be discovering a hidden desire to cook? I hope so. 🙂