Let's face it, cooking every-single-day can be a drag.
Finding something new and enticing that the whole family will enjoy can be hard work and we all end up with our 'favourites', the meals that 'everyone enjoys' rather than running a restaurant and offering everyone different things tho several friends admit to doing that. I take my hat off to them!
There are also those meals that Mum cooks.
No matter how old you are, or she is, Mum makes the best 'whatever' and that's all there is to it.
In our family, Mum and my aunts had their 'things' that they were famous for and it's only when they deem you mature enough to handle the responsibility do you get the recipe.
My late aunt knew she wasn't up to making her to-die-for matzo balls one year and invited me over to 'teach me'. I was shocked to learn her secret (which is still a secret). I felt so grown up that afternoon at her place. We shared something special and along with other stuff we did together, I'll treasure that afternoon a little bit more.
The girls at Monday Morning Cooking Club know all about this and have published TWO incredible cook books based on this premise. Mums cook with love and eventually pass on the recipes.
Mum is a good cook, but by no means a chef. She explained it to me when I was younger this way - her mum worked full time in the family business (they owned a fruit shop) and was so tired a the end of the day she had no patience to teach Mum how to cook; she was right handed and Mums a leftie (which meant grandma never taught her to sew either). Mum learnt to cook when she married Dad and needed to feed him every night, tho Grandma was close by with her wicker basket full of goodies (which I still remember!)
I'm a good cook, and have a limited repertoire of meals, plus loads of cook books which makes me look more adventurous than I am. It doesn't help that G doesn't eat vegetables or salad, and MissM doesn't eat a lot of veggies or salad stuff, nor red meat, or fish.
Guess that's why I love it when vegetarians stay with us.
When we lived in Sydney, I could always ring Mum and ask her to make a batch of chicken soup which she'd do lovingly even putting them into ms-havachat-sized-tupperware-for-freezingn containers as she knew G wouldn't eat it.
Mum still makes chicken soup for my SIL's family the same way plus numerous other meals. She's often telling me about cooking'n'taking over meals. I'm slightly jealous but know the joy Mums gets in the cooking/giving and how appreciative SIL is in the receiving/eating.
Since being 'away from home' I've had to learn to cook my favourite Mum-meals or go without until we go back to Sydney for visits.
It's been trial and error getting the flavours right, and sometimes impossible to get the ingredients, but I've done well as there's nothing written down to follow.
I have mastered Mums chicken soup; Mums lemon chicken; Grandma's cod'n'corn; Mums fried fish; Mums schnitzel; Aunty Anna's chicken liver pate (tho have found a local shop that makes it just as delicious and saves me the hassle); I can't buy Challah so I've learnt to make it c/MMMC as well as Kugelophf and chiffon cake.
We've mastered pavlova, scones, ANZAC biscuits and more.
Now I'm the mum and I can cook it's fulfilling but at times, it's also sad that Mum is so far away, and not as young as she used to be. MissM's in the kitchen with G and I all the time! He loves to cook, as does she, so it's a family affair which kinda makes up for it.
MissM's missing her Nana at the moment and asked me to try to make her chicken soup. The house smells amazing.
The funny thing is, she's worried it won't taste the same cos I don't know the secret ingredient ... I'm a mum, of course I know what it is and one day, she will too.
What family recipes do you love to cook?
Which ones will you hand down to your kids?