In a world of Pinterest boards, Cuisine magazines and Food TV it can be easy to forget the simple joy of whipping up a much loved family recipe from years of old. When you flick through the handwritten notebooks in mine, my mother’s and my grandmothers’ kitchens, you know that the dirtiest pages indicate the best recipes.
These recipes aren’t simply about food. They carry with them the treasured memories of standing on a stool to reach the mixing bowl, wearing a too-big apron, with sleeves rolled up to elbows. Or the final, modest but comforting lunch cooked for bymy grandmother in the farmhouse kitchen before she retired to a small unit in town. These dishes bring comfort and ease to my modern life: wrapped up in the love of the strong women in my family who nurtured me in their kitchens, fed me and warmed me, these are the recipes they shared with me which inspire me to carry on the tradition of feeding and nourishing those around me.
Nan’s Sticky Black Gingerbread: Handwritten and posted to me as a child
Sarah’s Quick Quiche: from my Aunt’s flatting days to mine, to my current life as a quick and wholesome lunchbox filler as I head back to work.
Cheese Souffle: The farmstyle lunch my grandmother always used to cook us when we visited her, with crusty edges and tomato sauce. The one she cooked when my husband and I made that final visit to the family farmhouse before helping to move her to town. Handwritten for the recipe book presented to me at my bridal kitchen tea.
Pru’s Mum’s Carrot Cake: Via my mum, and baked for every birthday in the last 10 years – works especially well Gluten Free. This one was hand written for Mum’s bridal kitchen tea, by her best friend Pru’s mother.
You won’t find these in a Dish or Delicious magazine. More likely, these are the recipes that appeared in Country Women’s Insitute notebooks up and down the country in years gone by. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. And don’t forget about the simple gift you can give by simply passing on one of your own treasured family recipes.
Enjoy! The Undomesticated Goddess.