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....