The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday 18 March 2018

The World Within our Walls. Food on the table.

We have been talking about the world we create at home, the world within our walls.    Our efforts to make our homes nice are all building up our nests!   The wise woman builds her home and there are so many ways to do this!

Mary sent me these gorgeous photos. 
Her husband took them in their garden. 
I thought they are so perfect! 

No matter how lovely we have things everyone needs warmth and nourishment!  Walking in the door to the smell of a meal cooking... nothing is better.  I love winter when it is cold outside and the family can walk in to the warm and to a hot meal.  We have all experienced the relief of a bowl of soup on a cold day.  A good meal at the end of a long working day.  Meal times together with the family.

Lots of our good memories are based around family together and meals.  When we were little Nan used to cook for us a lot.  She always had soup on.  She supplied cakes and biscuits, scones and slices.  For many years Nan cooked a big roast lunch for after Church on Sunday.  We would all gather, her kitchen table was huge!  It was wonderful.  That was the best table ever!

Now it is Mum who has a big table and we all gather around.  Mum's table seats fourteen but sometimes we have more family than that and then we set up a second table.  Roasts with lots of vegetables and sides followed with pudding or pavlova are the usual meals at this table.

If you think about your most wonderful family and food memories I bet the food wasn't fancy.  Many times we remember something delicious but it wasn't necessarily  anything spectacular,  it might have been something simple but we remember how it made us feel.  

Nan's meals were beautiful.  They were all kinds of roasted meats, gravy, roast veggies, mashed potatoes, scones and soups.  She was very good on sponges and cakes.

When I was little I loved when Mum made pancakes,  fried rice, open grilled cheese sandwiches...  tuna mornay.   I loved these!    I got cup cakes in my lunch box.

Mini's beautiful preserves from her kitchen. 

Other memories I have are not specific i.e. the memory is the house smelled of cooking.  Or there always being something to eat after school.   Mum always in the kitchen!

Cooking does not have to be fancy!  It needs to be wholesome.  

Mimi's packaged and ready to go baking. 

Today is the first really cooler day we have had.   Being Autumn I have jumped at the chance to make soup!  I love soup!   One of the biggest helps to me for many years is the slow cooker.  Last night I loaded up my biggest cooker with pumpkin, sweet potatoes and onion and I only had to flick the switch this morning and my soup is on.   
At the end I take out some pumpkin as I want to make scones.   Also maybe some for Scarlett.   Then the rest will be blended with chicken stock. I add turmeric to my soups for an extra blast of goodness.

Pies ready to add to my freezer have always been so handy to me.

My gluten free sour dough  starter now looks like perfectly normal starter so this morning I made half of it into the sponge to make bread.  That is looking really bubbly now so in a minute I can go and make dough.  That will be rising (well I hope!) during the day while I run errands etc.   So tonight I can bake a loaf and see how it turns out... hopefully this will be hot out of the oven just as the soup is ready.    Getting things started in the morning is just the biggest help.  

Beautiful baking from Maria's kitchen.
I know her Grandchildren already associate her with beautiful meals!

I started writing recipes into a cookbook,  cutting clipping and sticking them in when I was a teenager.  Since then I have filled many books with things I would like to try,  Nan's and Mum's recipes and pictures I think are inspiring.   When the girls were little I had one of those cook everything cookbooks.  It was the Nursing Mothers Cookbook and everything in it worked, was easy and had simple ingredients.   These old books are the best!  Another famous one is the CWA cookbook.   They were just recipes from members that worked.  They were not daunting.  Truly wonderful!

More baking from Maria.  Her Grandchildren now put in requests.

In the last few years I have become a better cook and tried things outside of my usual range.  I have learned more things from scratch too which I think is a good thing.  I am still trying to become a better cook and learn more.  Tomorrow I am going to see Hilde.  I almost always come home with a recipe to try from her.   

I try to make things easy.   It is easier to make loaf or slab cakes to feed a lot of people than cup cakes or biscuits.  I always use non stick baking paper for everything.  I double recipes and freeze things.   Left over casserole and stews become meat pies.  
I love that left overs can become a great meal with baking.  Some ham and sun dried tomato can become a big quiche.   All kinds of odds and ends can go on a pizza.  Fruit can be used up in  a crumble or muffins.   Baking is a great stretcher of ingredients and a good way to use things up.
These all can become the lunches that go off to work or to school.  
This all helps the home economy,  builds everyone up,  keeps you ahead with meals and spares in the freezer,  welcomes family home and to the table.  
When you are sick or over run you thaw something from the freezer and have a nourishing meal ready to go.
Cooking is building up your home.  It blesses people.  
Nana always said that an ounce of help is better than a pound of sympathy.  Her way to help was usually making someone a meal and delivering it.   So really your baking can be a ministry. 
You do not have to go to far off places to have a ministry.  It can be from your own home. 
Mother Teresa said "if you want to change the world go home and love your family."
Cooking for your family shows a lot of love. 💗

What are your food memories from when you were little?
How do you handle a busy life and still put good food on the table? 
All tips and recipes are most welcome.  This is an area we never stop learning. Sometimes a small tip makes the world of difference.  Many of us are noticing food prices increasing too.  Ways to stretch what we have and use things up are most helpful.  Maybe even a good subject for another post.

Have a great new week.  I will go start this dough....


  1. Oh Annabel...a lovely, lovely post. Food = love in our house as is the case for many of us. Baking figures in my earliest childhood memories and remains the single thread that anchors me to my heritage. Baking is not just 'baking'. It's preserving our lineage and our family history. I still try to replicate my Nannas German Apfelkuchen, and can never seem to make it taste like hers. I still make my Mothers Depression Era Fruit Cake and chocolate slice and pineapple slice and Frangipani Pie, and every bite comes with a flood of memories. Food, like scent, is a powerful thing. I've had meals, both simple and elaborate, that have stayed with me for a lifetime. Things like home made marmalade on fresh bread, jam drops, rock cakes, fruit cake, and even childhood favourites like hot dogs or mini frankfurts in a bowl with a side of tomato sauce can make me unbelievably content. In a world where just eating has become some sort of contest where we all try to outdo each other, it's comforting to come back to the kitchen habits of our parents and grandparents I think. Thankyou for a lovely start to the week, and thankyou for featuring my baking and my marmalade made from Mums recipes. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      Thank you for these lovely photos! They were just right for my post! Like you there are things Nan made that dont turn out the same for me. Also her recipes were "take some beef bones and some vegetables" etc
      And yes! The memories of how something smelled! Very powerful. And you cant describe scent really like someone asked me how do Quinces smell? But once you smell something you can recall it.
      Homely cooking is the best. It is sensible. It really is all we need. Also I am glad that your Mum's beautiful cooking lives on through you and I know you are passing this on also. With much love

  2. This is all so true! I've noticed that I love to read about family meals in books; I've been reading the Little House on the Prairie series to my kids, and in Farmer Boy, the food is incredible! The mother spends most of her day cooking and baking; the kids come inside on cold winter days for a snack and there are usually fresh donuts waiting for them! It sounds heavenly. I also write down big or special or memorable meals I serve in my journal and it's always helpful to look back and get menu ideas or it just brings an extra sharp memory to that day. Your post today inspires me to upgrade my kids' after school snacks. That really is the time of day they are hungriest!

    1. Dear Leigh,
      I just read The Long Winter... and really enjoyed it. The meals on the table got to be a bigger and bigger challenge for Ma as that went on. I have Farmer Boy but have not read that yet. I too love these books and find them so interesting. The family table and the meals were highlights.
      We were always starving after school I still remember. My kids were always hungry too. I often baked a cake to be ready at 3.30 which was home time. Or mixed up pancake batter so it was ready to start making when they got home. Or cookies. These things all would then also serve to go into the next days lunch box and spare slices went into the freezer etc so really everything served multiple purpose. same if we had pizza for dinner then there were squares of pizza in the lunch box the next day. Gingerbread men and cup cakes were popular. But so were many savoury things too. In winter I had soup and corn bread for after school sometimes. My friend who had five sons timed her bread maker to be ready at 3. Then the bread was cool enough to slice at 3.30 but still warm and this would slow down the boys for a bit! Oh. trays of sausage rolls were another and they were great for the lunches too.
      In a pinch we made fairy bread.... bread, butter and hundreds and thousands. Honesty this still is a hit even with bigger kids! With much love

  3. Hello Annabel and what a beautiful post :).

    I do remember lovely scones and yoghurt that my grandmother made and her pies were lovely too and from memory were steak and kidney ones :). She taught me to cook along side of her when I was young when she looked after us on school holidays. Apart from that I learnt what I know from scratch by reading, buying recipe books, on the internet or in home economics classes at school not having a good childhood with my natural parents.

    I do recommend the Lion House recipe books (their pie recipes are divine and easy to follow including making pastry), I can't believe it is food storage by Crystal Godfrey, The Schauer Australian cookery book, Day to Day Cookery book, Family circle cookbooks and more to learn from.

    The ways we save time in the kitchen are to wash, cut, blanch and freeze a lot of produce from our gardens in meal sized portions that we can take out and steam or include in dinners each night. We tend to do this if we have a glut or seasonal produce such as pumpkins, peas, beans, silver beet and spinach. We also use these fresh in season as well.

    With the bulk preparation of chopping and freezing we find that this saves a lot of time in the kitchen on meal preparation times.

    Have a great week everyone :) .


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, Thank you!
      I love pies! I just think a pie looks so nice. An all in one kind of meal too.
      You have great memories and it is wonderful how your Grandmother taught you cooking.
      I agree... then beyond what we learned we continue to learn and try new things etc.
      Thank you for the book suggestions I will look these up. Sometimes I need a trip to the library and a study up.
      I love your meal prep. I think we need a post on just this as I only really get so much done at times because I pre prepped, made ahead etc. Then it is just much easier so it is sensible. Also this seems to ensure everything is used and nothing is wasted.
      I hope your week is going well! Mine has been so busy, I didnt even post Wednesday. But Ill make up for it with tomorrow! With much love

  4. I loved the idea of the huge family Sunday dinners! Wish I had the energy to do that. I am interested in knowing how your gluten free sourdough bread turned out. Mimi's Baked with Love desserts look delicious and I love her tag she used. Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy,
      I think the family gatherings are more manageable if you prepare some things in the days leading up, set the table the day before.. things like that to spread it out. Keep it simple too i.e. a big roast feeds a lot of people and is easy to cook. Mum is late 70s now and she still smashes out meals for twenty or more! Also you could have kind of pot lucks where everyone brings something which would be lovely!
      I have the dough on the first rise now. By tonight I will know how it works! Of course if it isn't perfect Ill make a few changes and keep going for a bi yet. But it is looking ok. And I just though I could then have Naan Bread, fruit loaf, pizza base... oh my goodness! But I might be getting ahead of myself! Have a good week Nancy, with much love,

  5. The bird's nest pictures are wonderful! Thank you, Mary! Annabel, this is a wonderful post and I hope more will go back to the old ways of feeding the family instead of the drive thru or prepacked food. Many families do not even know what a good home cooked meal tastes like. I hope your bread turns out!

    One thing I really miss the most since all our kids are now 3, 5 and 11 hours away and on another continent is the table full of loved ones ready to eat. Our five year old grandson who is now living in Germany always said as soon as he came through our door, 'I'm hungry, Nana.' I miss that. We always had the big roast and vegetables on Sundays and hot bread always on the side and dessert to follow. The two of us never eat that on Sunday now. It makes us sad. Our children knew their friends could always eat at our house. We have had a lot of college kids eating and eating at our table over the years that our kids were in college. My Mom always said that if you were eating a meal and friends came to the door to set more places and there would always be enough and there always has been.

    My Mom baked bread and we always had homemade cookies and meals made from simple ingredients. Mom makes the most wonderful homemade angel food cake. There were always rows of homemade jams on the shelves to go on fresh bread. As you said we did not eat fancy food because we did not have a lot of money but it was always wonderfully delicious because it was made with love. Everyone loves to eat at my Mom's. In the family it is called eating Grammie food. I also have very fond memories of my grandmother's homemade noodles and chiffon cakes and anything my grandfather cooked on the grill. My grandparents lived well into their 90's and I think it is because they ate so well and did not resort to fast food and snack food instead of good meals. All the women in my family love to feed people. It's what we do! I have no idea what to do with people who don't eat this, that and the other thing these days because of food phobia. Sometimes I feel like all I do is think about food and what we are going to eat throughout the day but in order to eat well you must. Now that my husband is home everyday it is all three meals and I am enjoying feeding him well. I stock my freezer with meals and baked goods and always have fresh bread in the keeper on the counter. It just says home to us.

    1. Dear Lana, You are right about the cooked meal. One time I had a friend of Andys come to dinner. I did a full cooked meal but nothing fancy. He said it was better than Christmas dinner! It clearly was not a normal dinner to him.
      I hope you get to do many more big family dinners. It is hard when people are away for whatever reason. It is still hard.
      My Grandma lived well into 90s too. My Aunt lived to 104. She was still entertaining for afternoon tea at 100. They baked. As far as I can figure they mostly lived on eggs, veggies and meat. They ad real butter. Real cream. They all had sugar i.e. in tea. But they would never have had transfers, artificial anything.... it was wholesome. So this is my guide.
      Also there was gratitude for food on the table and I miss this today there is no gratitude. (or it is rare!)
      You have great and beautiful memories! With love,

  6. Another thought is that if you learn to make gravy from whatever drippings are in your meat pan, flour, salt, pepper and water you can make any meal so much nicer for almost nothing. Gravy packets and gravy in jars are terrible and expensive. I add a few inches of cold water water to my meat pan and then whisk in flour before heating and stirring until it is thickened and bubbly and then season with salt and pepper. I always make plenty and freeze the leftovers. This method makes silky smooth gravy and my uncle gets the credit for this. Gravy can be frozen and reheats well if you whisk it as it heats on the stove top. Adding some half and half to cold gravy as it reheats makes a delicious sauce for a pot pie.

    1. Hi Lana,

      Thanks for your tips about gravy-making; I admit I find this challenging, but have never added cold water before. I will try it!


  7. Wonderful post, as always, lovely Annabel. Now I want to go make a roast with veggies ;-) and some sourdough bread! You are so right about changing the world thru loving your family and making home heavenly And about aromas transporting us. Your Nan sounds wonderful, as does your Mum. I always want to strive a bit harder to make beauty when I've read your posts and seen what you and the other Bluebirds create. xxLovexx from San Diego

    1. Dear Mary,
      Thank you so much! The photos made this post! A roast with lots of veggies is very hard to beat. I can get multiple meals from one of these too usually!
      With love,

  8. My paternal grandmother made and sold cakes as a second source of income (my paternal grandfather was a type setter). When I would visit in the summer, I loved to watch her decorate her cakes! She would always give me cake scraps and leftover icing as a treat :)

    I also remember going out for brunch after church. Most places don't do brunch anymore :(

    I always, always, always make a Sunday dinner.

    I also try and make the small "holidays" fun. For example, last Tuesday for Pi Day, we had homemade pizza pies for dinner. Or, for cinco de mayo we'll have carnitas and tres leches cake. My kids are getting older (17almost18, 16, 13, 12), but they still enjoy this :)

    1. Dear Jenn,
      I love brunch! Brunch suits me best of all.
      Cake making would have been a great little side income!
      Jenn the making something of occasions and holidays is wonderful! Easter is close so this is a big one! This all adds to life a lot. I dont think it will matter how old the kids get they will still love this! Many thanks! Love

  9. My Momma was an excellent cook and baker. She could make anything taste good. I can remember coming home from school on a fall/winter day and opening the door to heavenly smells. it was always so comforting.
    I knew I was in my safe place.

    Even as an adult walking in her house on Sunday (family meals) or a holiday, it was the same way.
    Certain smells still take me back to those times. I sure do miss her.

    1. Dear Cheryl, You are blessed with good memories! Your Mum sounds wonderful. I hope you have many of her recipes! This all goes to show how these things impact our children and Grand children. Very heartwarming! With much love

  10. Your post brought back childhood memories of when all of us gathered at the table. Sunday's was meatloaf and mashed potatoes and we all loved it. We hate a lot of soups too. Annabel, Would you share your gluten free sourdough starter and bread recipe. I have a dear friend that has to have gluten free and he miss bread the most. Thank you for all your wonderful posts. Paula in Kansas

  11. Your post brought back childhood memories of when all of us gathered at the table. Sunday's was meatloaf and mashed potatoes and we all loved it. We hate a lot of soups too. Annabel, Would you share your gluten free sourdough starter and bread recipe. I have a dear friend that has to have gluten free and he miss bread the most. Thank you for all your wonderful posts. Paula in Kansas

    1. Dear Paula, Meatloaf and mashed potatoes is another classic I love!
      I am working on the sour dough... today I managed a pretty good raisin bread from gf sourdough... so I am getting there. It has been an experiment to see if it works. I will post more as soon as I feel it is good enough to be helpful. There are a lot of wonderful gf breads available even at Aldi etc and they are good! But usually a fair bit more expensive than regular. I will post recipes as I can. But yes you basically can convert sour dough over to gf and it works! With love

  12. What a fantastic post Annabel! Food is so many things besides nourishment. It is memories, comfort, medicine and gifts among other things. My one grandmother didn't bake, but I loved her cooking! It was all simple foods like the egg dumplings because she didn't like to make noodles and buckwheat pancakes with either an elder flower or Queen Annes lace and during garden season there was always a never-ending bowl of cucumber salad on the counter and she could slice those cucumbers paper thin! My other grandmother cooked and baked both, but getting to eat her cooking was rare because she was always on the go. To me food is a blessing to make the most of and not waste. I use alot of veggies when I cook so if they are not canned or frozen I will cut all of the fresh ones with the exception of potatoes and onions and some get stored with a wet clothes and some with a dry one if I'm not going to use them within a day or so that way when I do use them part of the chopping is done and I can pull meals together quicker. If mashed potatoes are on the meal plan I cut them ahead of time and keep in a bowl of water in the fridge it saves me time there too. Cheese from chunks is cut into cubes or slices and any veggie peelings put into the freezer for broth making. Lol ok I'll shut up now! Haha! I hope everyone has a wonderful start of the week! Xoxo Vicky

    1. Dear Vicky,
      Meal prep is a big help to getting cooking done. Setting things up ready to go. Also I like preparing ahead some things so it all comes together more easily!
      You know this would be a good subject... how to manage, organise and plan... My thing is to do double or triple or more and then another night is done, a freezer meal is done too. This helps me so much! With love

  13. Morning Annabel,
    I have not comentted in the last couple of weeks as I have been going through some personal difficulties. I have however been reading along and learning. You have peaked my interest with the essential oils. As some what of a sceptic I have never considered them for myself. How do I know if ther really work and are not just company self-promotion? Well Annabel I think you and the other bluebirds have given me the answer to that. I trust your experiences and combined knowledge and know I won't be wasting my time or money. Many thanks to you all.
    Some of my favourite food memories are from my nana. She died at the age of 91 and I feel so blessed to have had 34yrs with her in my life. Thats 13yrs ago now and I miss her everyday. I used to love her shortbread and steamed puddings, and her dark rich gravy with the Sunday roast. She was an amazing lady who lost her husband at the age of 51. She was a very social person and each month a group of friends would go out for lunch together "the grub club" they called themselves. Apparently she loved a good joke, some of them shocked us, who new. She lives on in my heart and memories everyday and I was blessed to call her my nan.
    Have a good week everyone and thankyou so much for all the sharing and knowledge.


    1. Dear Manda,
      I hope everything is ok with you. I am sorry you are having a hard time.
      Your Nan sounds so much like mine. My Nana B lived to 94 and was a widow for over thirty years and didnt re marry. She also was a social butterfly. She was a very happy person. And I feel the same I had both my Nans until my mid/later thirties and they helped me with the girls when they were young so my girls remember them so well.
      Yes with the essential oils Im not selling anything and most of the ladies here using them are not either. Glenda is a fully qualified herbalist, naturopath and dietician. Pick what it is you feel you need help with the most. In fact if you have a question feel free to post it as Glenda or Lana will probably help you. I am busy learning but the things I have wanted help with (i.e. sleep, sore throats, fighting germs and bugs...) have all responded amazingly to the oils. Yesterday I had a small upset and I used Clary Calm. And it really does calm and soothe. But I worried I would smell funny as I was going out. Anyway during the day I was sitting with someone and she said you smell soo good! What is that? She kept going on about how good I smelled lol so now I will just wear this Clary Sage and not worry about it!
      I hope things go well for you this week Manda, With love

    2. Haha Annabel when you said you were afraid you would smell funny it reminded me of an episode of the little rascals and one of them had some kind of home remedy put on them and the other kids and the dog Petie kept plugging their nose. Xoxo vicky

  14. Such fond memories your post has brought to mind. :) I lived with my grandparents until I was about 7 years old. Every Sunday Gram would make a pot roast with mashed potatoes, gravy and a veggie, usually carrots, peas or corn. At Christmas she made Mrs. Roster's cookies. Now Mrs. Roster was Grams very best friend. She died during the months Mom was pregnant with me. The cookie was a cake like sugar cookie, so very good! Once in a blue moon I will make them, but Gram made them best!

    Jeff's grandma, we called her Busha (such a sweet little polish woman) would make me Angel pie for my birthday every year. Such lovely memories.
    Thank you for reminding me of these precious woman in my life!

    1. Dear Kathryn, Thank you for telling us about your Gram and her best friend. Pot roast is a great meal. The cookies sound beautiful too.
      I do not know of Angel Pie so I will look that up and see if it is Polish/traditional. It sounds very special!
      These are wonderful memories to have! With love,

  15. My Mum will tell you she is no cook, and she isnt. We always had enough plain good food on the table. My Father eats the same thing everyday and for him spaghetti bolognase is stepping outside his comfort zone. Mum always has chicken and mushrooms out when I stay over. She always gets me to make my chicken and mushroom pasta bake. Dad will eat this but complains non stop.
    Mum made delicious fruit cakes and Christmas puddings. I still remember these with fondness. The cakes were only for special occasions. Her Mum made amazing CHristmas cakes. We had this cake, made by my Grandmother, for our Wedding cake. It was wonderful.
    Bluey has always been our cook. He learnt from his Mother who made the lightest sponge cake I have ever eaten. He has taught me a lot over the years. He has also taught both our son and daughter to cook. Our son is the main cook in his household and our daughter will often put a meal together here.
    When the kids were little they would have Birthday sleep overs. We lived 50km out of town so it meant that the guests could catch the school bus home and then the parents could come and collect the next day. If we didnt do it this way many would not be allowed to come. Katie would always ask her Father for BFC, Bluey Fried Chicken, to be served. An order was put in to me for chocolate cheesecake or banana cake for her Birthday cake.
    Bluey was the cook for the kids high school solar car challenge team. FOr weeks after this event we had young people ringing up to speak to Bluey. I would hear him giving detailed recipe descriptions over the phone. Our son still rings and asks his Dad if his is unsure about an ingredient of what the process might be.
    Thank you for this post Annabel. It reminded me of some things that should not be forgotten or overlooked.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      The cakes sound beautiful and how special to have your Grandmothers cake as a wedding cake. What a compliment to her also.
      I love that Bluey is a great cook and has taught both the kids and by the sounds of it encouraged others along. This is so nice. I hope Bluey has the recipes written down too as I think this all is a treasure to keep.
      I had my day with Hilde today. She has let me come home with a family cookbook, hand written, started in 1898. Hilde has used most of the recipes and still uses them. Then also her Mums recipes. I think I will do a post about recipes passed down... the handwriting alone is glorious! With love

  16. Besides my mom, I was closest to her mother, Grandma Maxine. Grandma wasn't an amazing cook, but she was famous for her apricot pineapple jam. She had this apricot tree that grew right outside her kitchen window. So she would can tons of her jam.
    The tree was also a good source of switches that she would use to keep my brother and I in line when we stayed with her. ;) She was only 5'2" but when she was mad, lookout!
    When she did host a family meal, she served: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans...always.
    Now when I can, I use her cooking pots and paring knife. It just seems like the circle is complete.

    Thanks for this post.

    1. Dear Leslie, haha! I am less than five foot 2. Lucy is five foot exactly. Getting to five foot was an ambition at one stage. My Great Grandmother Annie Suzannah was four foot ten I think and had 13 children. My Nan was the youngest of them.
      The jam sounds lovely. Both my Nans made a lot of jam too!
      How lovely you have the cooking pans and knife. That is beautiful! With love

  17. I have so many wonderful memories that I recall when I see certain foods. My dad always made us pancakes every Sunday and now we do the same for our family. My husband, being Italian grew up making sauce and meatballs with his mom when he was young. Now he does it with our own kids.
    Every Christmas my family would make donuts and I do it now with everyone. It doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to bring happiness to those you love.

    1. Pancakes is another one! It must have been pre the Nan making the roast years... Mum did pancakes on a big grill after Church. She did the little ones, pikelets? My brother could eat over 20 it was some kind of family record. lol
      I would LOVE to do this family cook up of tomato sauce etc. I have known families who do this annually. Wonderful!
      I love the donuts! What a great tradition. Family traditions are important and so heartwarming. I love this thank you! xxx

  18. Thankyou Annabel! I was reading along and thought gosh those loaves look familiar haha and then my butterscotch aka caramel slice confirmed that they are my baking.
    I love food and the memories that go with it , and Im more known in my family and with friends for baking , and old fashioned simple meals and lunches.
    My mum's been gone for 29 years and yet I still hear comments about her wonderful baking. She was a gracious and welcoming hostess no matter what age the visitor . And served everyone sweet delights on fine china.
    Im very lucky to have two of mum's younger sister's still around , that I visit at least monthly.
    Meringues were and still are everyone's favourite , but I make mine half the size of mum's and a different recipe as I dont know her recipe . She went too soon , and dad had them and that is another story.
    Tonight I revamped a freezer meal that hubby wasnt keen on and added this and that , and our eldest son who is staying , asked all about it in detail (just like when he was a little boy, he is a father himself now) and said it was very tasty and he enjoyed it, phew I thought :-) He was reminiscing about the food tricks Ive fooled him with over the years like zucchini in choclate cake , beetroot in choclate and carrot cake and a few others .And choclate milkshake that had banana and other things he would say he didint like but he loved that shake .
    Your pies always look yummy and Mimi's jam and baked with love packages do too.
    Mary's husband took winner photos of the dear wee birds and nests , so sweet.
    I loved reading about your family and other bluebirds family histories related to food sharing memories.
    With love, Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria, this is funny, when something looks familiar then you realise. Yesterday at Hilde's she showed me an old recipe. I was reading it thinking the handwriting looked familiar. Then I realised it was mine from about 20 years ago. It was tidier then haha!
      Your Mums baking must have been wonderful! That is amazing that it is still spoken of. How wonderful.
      I think meringues are so pretty. That is something I dont make so maybe I will have a go. I am ok at pav so I guess it should work out ok.
      Food tricks! I am experienced with those and now they are getting a re run! I love yours... they were good ones! And they worked by the sounds of it!
      Thank you for sharing some of your memories! With love,

    2. Annabel, Ive used several recipes over the years for Pavlova's and meringues , like Delia Smith's which is very simple with basically suagr and egg whites.
      But the recipe Ive used the most is an economical one that was in a Magazine called lLittele Treasures , or somethign like that . It was a recipe from Alison Holst a most loved NZ cook, whose recipes I still use . This recipe has more ingredients (and are surprising) but form two egg whites one can get about 80 small merigues and kids love them . I most often have served them piled in a pretty dish and the cream seperate , as a few people dont like or can't have cream .
      IM happy to share the recipe if any want it.
      Love Maria xxx

  19. Now, don't laugh. One of my favorite memories is my mother stating "If you can read, you can cook. Therefore it is more important to learn to read than it is to cook." She told us we might never be a chef, but we also wouldn't starve - nor would our families. Of course, my mother was a librarian, so it stands to reason that she would think reading was important.

    I was raised on a fruit orchard. One of my favorite things my Mom made was a peach and blackberry cobbler. I still make it at least once each year, even though I have to buy the fruit.

    1. Dear Nancy, I agree with your Mother! That is what a recipe is... the written instructions on how to make something. Even if we have to stick to simple recipes if we can read and are willing, we can cook!
      A fruit orchard! My Nan and Pa had a wonderful orchard. Some of the trees were over 100 years old. I loved it so much. Thank you for sharing this! With love


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