Thursday 19 March 2015

Food, glorious food!!

My family is into food. Always has been. 

Its not like any of as are obese or anything, its just that we revolve a lot around food! Its our social thing. I don't think 'Ive ever been to visit my mum and not eaten something. Or at least been offered something. Even though we have all moved out of home, my brother and sister still go there and raid the pantry and eat as they please. Mum still stocks the foods we all like and when she cooks she still makes enough for five people. I guess old habits are hard to break.  

When we were growing up we hardly ever ate out. Our treat was fish and chips and sometimes in the school holidays we might get Mcdonalds. Apart from that we ate at home. And mum cooked three meals a day. I never went hungry. 

You don't realise how lucky you are to grow up like that until you are an adult and have the knowledge that there are kids that grow up with nothing to eat. Or kids that live on take away and junk. And when you become a Mum yourself and have three little people who are always saying 'Im hungry' and you have to plan and prepare meals, snacks and do the grocery shopping. You are in charge of the nutrition and the health of your family. Its hard work sometimes! 

Some of my first memories of life involved food. Especially cake. I used to have sleepovers at my Nana's house a lot. We would get out the Womens Weekly cookbooks and find cake recipes to try. My nana would give me free range of her little cottage kitchen and I would make all sorts of cakes. Marble cakes, banana cakes, chocolate cakes. She always said 'as long as you clean up'... I was allowed to make what I wanted. She had a cellar that was her pantry and it was always loaded with supplies. 

When the cake was done and on the cooling rack my nana would cut a slither and give me a critique. 'well its a bit dry shanna, next time get it out of the oven a bit earlier' or 'yes this is lovely it would go nicely with some whipped cream'. 

My nana had a friend called Jean. She was a very big lady. And she was sad. She had a mean husband and she lived in a horrible run down cottage on the other side of town. We used to go and pick Jean up in my nanas light green corolla. Her passenger seat went back so far that I had to sit in the middle because my legs wouldn't fit on the floor behind her seat.  We would take Jean back to Nanas house and we would all play card games and eat the cakes I made. We would laugh and Jean's face would be happy.  After the cake was gone my nana would get out chocolate eclair lollies. And Jean always said she couldn't eat them because she had diabetes. But she would have one. Then another. Then another. Her lolly wrappers would pile up beside her teacup. She used to flatten each one with such care before stacking another wrapper on top. 

When it was dark we would get back in the corolla and drop Jean at her house. Her face would turn sad again as she heaved her heavy body out of the car and shuffled inside her run down dark home. 

Jean died when I was about ten. She got sick and went to hospital and then she was gone. Her nasty husband never even got her a head stone for her grave. My nana saved her money and got one for her.  My nana is a lovely person like that. 

As I said my family has always been big on food. As a result I have grown into an adult who is into food and my children are into it too. I make cakes and slices for their lunch boxes. And we have fruit salads after school and Jelly some weekends. Craig loves syrup dumplings and puddings...Hmmm glorious food!!

Craig did say once as he took a bite of his dessert that the only reason he married me was because I could cook (I hope he has a few other reasons!)

Camping is going to be interesting in the food department. Its going to be tough only having a BBQ and a thermo mix as our cooking utensils. I will have to become quite inventive with meals and snacks so we don't get bored and tempted to buy take away. 

Today I am packing up my kitchen in preparation to move into the camper which will be set up at mums next week. I feel a little sad as I put my saucepans and recipe books into a box. But I know that we will not starve while we travel! And I know in six months time I will open the boxes, unpack into a kitchen, wherever we are living, and say to the kids what type of cake do you want? and soon enough my home will be filled with the baking smell from my childhood and I will close my eyes and remember being in my nanas kitchen. 

Cake and memories. 

No comments:

Post a Comment