Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Cooking Brings Back Memories

I'm not a great cook, tho I do enjoy cooking.

I have to follow a recipe. I'm useless 'creating' something from nothing.

I don't cook like I used to, unless we are having a dinner party as G doesn't eat vegetables or salad.

I'll wait while you process that.




He eats everything else.

When I make lamb shanks or lamb shoulder casserole in the slow cooker (which I do often in winter), I still pop in all the vegetables - we just serve his thru a sieve to remove the vegies. He has a bowl of mash (he makes THE BEST mash) and meat'n'sauce. I get all the vegies :)

If we stir fry, which we can't do now we have an induction hob (which I don't like at all); we'd cook up the meat or chicken or prawns .... he'd set his serving aside and toss my vegies .... then regroup them in the wok for a few seconds and serve my bowl.

His plate is always the plainest.

When we're out it can be difficult for him to eat, but I figure he's a grown man, a father, holds a very senior position at work - man up!

All this means is our day-to-day cooking is simple and repetitive. I have oodles of lovely cookbooks which don't get used because there is ALWAYS a vegetable ingrediant of some sort in the recipe.

YES I KNOW I could cheat .... and I did once. And it backfired on me big time. So no more.

The sort of cooking I relish is that of recipes friends have shared with me.

I've just cooked MrsS chocolate roulade which I do every Christmas since she showed a group of us in MrsP's kitchen in Yokohama how. It's an easy cake to make, and delicious but what I love about it more than that is every year I get to relive that afternoon amongst friends in Yokohama.

We also cook MrsS pancakes for breakfast when we have guests.

I cook MrsP scones too often as they are quick'n'easy and delicious with cream and jam when guests pop over for a cuppa.

MrsA's artichoke dip is a winner every time I make it, tho the ingredients make a HUGE bowl, I don't make it often. I'm not that good a cook I can work out how to make a smaller batch.

Mum makes a scrumptious, thick lemon chicken which was originally lemon veal in a cookbooks many many years ago. We love it over mash, or with rice (and it's even better the next day once the sauce thickens naturally).

My SIL's rum balls are the best and I've yet to master the art of making them, but each Christmas I try (tho not this year. G doesn't like them, and as we've not been invited out I didn't even make them as gifts as I've done in previous years)

My cooking folder is full of friends salad ideas, dips, Japanese meals and more.

Funnily enough I have quite a few friends who are chefs, or cooking teachers, or worked in food. I just discovered MrsH who I met just before we both left Winchester (she for Istanbul) is a foodie with a blog. Check it out.

There were lots of cooking demonstrations of different cultures both in Dublin and Yokohama which were always fascinating - the tastes, colours, flavors. I did a few cooking lessons while living in Winchester and really enjoyed them, tho don't cook a lot from them as G won't eat what I learnt.

Monday Morning Cooking Club is purely based on this idea of cooking bringing back memories, and that most recipe's handed down come with their own story.

The Kugelhopf cake in the book reminds me of afternoon teas at my great aunts house in Sydney when I was a little girl.

French Palmier biscuits, remind me of lazy Sunday afternoons at friends of mum and dads, but their pool with the French community.

MrsR is cooking her traditional Christmas lunch the way she's always done it. She makes her own stuffing and asks the butcher to do whatever he does with the turkey WITH her stuffing. She doesn't cook it any other time of the year (much like me and the roulade) which makes it extra special.

I guess it's like chicken soup with matzo balls, you could have it any time, but you don't.

We all have food memories.

What are yours?

With friendship

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