Since I was a little boy food has always been a big adventure for me. I have some fond and not so fond memories of food that have all played a part in who I am today. I suspect right now you could rekindle a memory when you were little that revolved around food, a family get together, maybe it was your birthday and your brother pushed your face into your cake, maybe it was the smell of roast beef wafting through the hallway at your mum’s house or maybe the sweet smell of Granny’s cherry pie that you just can’t seem to replicate.
Growing up for us kids was extremely tough. It was a constant struggle financially and emotionally. Our mother was an alcoholic, among other things. Nothing is ever perfect in this world and one thing I learned from an early age is how cruel the world can be and food became a comforting mechanism for me. For all my mothers’ faults the one thing I can never take away from her is how good of a cook she was – and probably still is (we haven’t spoken for many years). The small moments of happiness we had together usually centred around food, and even now I can still taste the crisp buttery pastry and sweet sticky lemon filling of her lemon meringue pie, I remember the soft melting roast leg of lamb that graced the table on some occasions, and the eggs mornay she used to make was delicious.
I think food and family goes hand in hand, not just for filling tums but for the instant memories it can create and the footprint that can be left by parents after they are long gone. My Nanny has been in hospital for nearly 5 weeks, nothing major but when I went to see her it suddenly hit me how fragile she is. When I was little she used to take me out blackberry picking, we used to walk up to my Uncle’s bakery on a Saturday and buy bread – and of course the obligatory apple doughnut for me, and she used to make the most amazing roast potatoes. I kid you not the poor woman has been hounded for years for the recipe, and she tells us how to do it but can anyone replicate it? Absolutely not. I know that when she is gone my memories will be full of food memories that can never be taken away.
I suppose what I am saying is get involved with food, If you haven’t already, get covered in flour and eggs, throw the shells at each other, let the kids lick the bowl while you lick the spoon, wear silly aprons and laugh at how wonky your cake turns out, feel fat after eating it with your loved ones, and create a memory that will last forever.
Oh I almost forgot the choc ice and chips? Well to cut a long story short I asked for it for dinner as a joke when I was little….and I got it…and yes I did eat it, it was delicious! :)
Adam Garrat blogs at www.thebritishmenu.com . Take a peek at all the amazing recipes he shares! Trust me, you won’t be sorry!