06 March 2012

Childhood memories and winners

Thank you to those who joined in the jam and chutney competition last week. I had some great stories from people about what special treats they remembered from childhood.

I love this one from Anita:

My Dutch grandmother used to make these delicious croquettes. I took then for granted until I was on a Contiki tour and everyone tried them when we visited Amsterdam. They loved them and I was very proud to let everyone know that croquettes were something I regularly enjoyed. 

And this one, from Bree, reminded me of how as children we can just love the simple things:

My Grandmother used to make asparagus pies, just tinned asparagus in little ramekins with a bit of white sauce and cheese on top - a huge family fave which my mum still makes for me now, although sometimes we now do use 'real' asparagus!

I also received a few responses by email and I've asked the authors if they minded me publishing a few of the comments as they are such beautiful stories.

From Sonia:
My 4 siblings and I would fight tooth and nail over our Nana’s delectable Rice Pudding. I searched for 3 years for a double boiler to be able to make it exactly the way she did. Nana said you can’t make Rice Pudding without it. Double boilers were very popular way back when, but very hard to find in recent years.

And from LL:
My favourite childhood recipe was my Nan's 'Italian' spaghetti. This was no spaghetti bolognese made on mince, but instead a chunky salty quite dry meat sauce that she made from meaty bacon bones simmered with tomatoes and herbs on low heat all day before being tossed with piping hot spaghetti to serve!! Gob-smackingly good!!

Don't they just make you drool.

But I guess you would like to know the winners. And yes I did mean plural 'winners'. I was so overwhelmed by the beautiful comments -- and I'm so glad it wasn't based on the comment, otherwise I'd still be deciding -- I decided to pick two winners. They are:

My favourite childhood treat was my Mum’s apple pies – because she did not have the appliances of today to mix pastry, etc. I can still see her kneading her fabulous pastry by hand on our kitchen bench before adding her cooked apples (no canned ones here!) – they were the most delicious pies and I could never imitate them no matter how much I tried and that pastry just melted in our mouths. These pies were always served after the obligatory Sunday roast. I can still smell them cooking now!! Then again, there were her banana cakes . . . . .  must save that one for another competition!

My mum was a fabulous cook, but her speciality was early 80s cocktail party finger food. She threw 'do's for my dad's business associates almost every weekend, so on Mondays, my lunch was usually a mystery box of canap├ęs... Mini quiches (noice), frilly toothpicks skewered with coloured pickled onions, olives and cheese cubes (different) and on more than one occasion, a tin of smoked oysters accompanied by a tiny cocktail fork (unusual). My friends would gather round for the big reveal, but didn't usually want to swap (even mini quiches were a bit too foreign for our small town). But I loved it!

I hope you all enjoyed reading these as much as I did. I'll be sending our two wonderful and humorous winners their peach jam and pear chutney soon.

Until next post, happy cooking!

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