Friday, July 22, 2011

Grateful #18 – What are you thankful for today?

I would, you know; I'm just that kinda girl. Image from here.

Anyone that knows us, knows that Kim and I are food lovin’ gals. We talk about food a lot, bake weekly, try out and share new recipes, dream about banoffie pies, mellow pear filled tarts, and heart-starting curries. Our beautiful extended family are foodies too, thank goodness! – and they share our love of delicious things, and talk, bake and swap recipes just as enthusiastically.
And have you noticed? There’s a joy that comes with cooking and sharing food with people you love – it wraps the whole experience up in warmth and togetherness.
So because food plays such an important part of our lives, this week I’m very grateful for:

A full fridge. Pretty simple, I know; but how lucky are we to always have a full fridge, stuffed with lots of fresh food? It’s something I take for granted a lot – being able to buy what I need, to feed my children, to cook whatever I like for my family – but it’s given me a reason to pause this week and appreciate the fact that we have everything we need. So very grateful.

Family recipes. We have a small collection of recipes, handwritten by my Grandma, who was the most amazing cook. I can still remember the curry-spice smell of her small kitchen, the way that she would hum made-up songs while cooking, and the instinctive way that she added ingredients to her cooking. She cooked with love and with a generous heart.
Kim and I decoded* her recipes a couple of years ago and incorporated them into a family recipe book, along with nearly one hundred of the best-loved and most delicious recipes from all the girls (and some of the cooking lads) in our family. It’s a lovely treasury – filled with deliciously good and patiently tried and tested recipes, some passed down over generations, others picked up along the way and turned into family favourites. Because I cook from this recipe book a lot, it reminds me often of what a legacy cooking can sometimes be; flavours and tastes transcending time and country, recipes followed to the letter decades before, now passed down to a new generation of family cooks, eager to taste the life that their great aunts and grandparents lived before. Our recipe book is an eclectic mix of traditional Indian and modern day everything; and this week I’m trying out my Aunty Jean’s lamb garam masala, because I’m craving a wee bit of spice in my life.

The loveliness of eating good food with loved friends. I made an Italian beef ragu and invited some of our dear friends around during the week to try it out. Admittedly, it wasn’t the best dish I’d ever made, and could have done with another couple of hours in the slow cooker, but the company was lovely, wine glasses and bottles littered the table (on a school night!), the beef tender, and saucy plates were mopped up with good garlicky bread. The kids stayed up until they were delirious with sleeplessness, and we laughed, chatted and ate in front of a roaring fire. I love the way that food draws people together, don’t you?

What are you thankful for this week?


Ps. Grateful’s are being hosted this week by the lovely Beth at BabyMac – you should join in too! Link your list to her Grateful post here, or write your Grateful list in the comments section below.

* If you’ve got recipes that have been passed down to you, you may know what I mean. Spidery handwriting, abbreviations, measurements like, ‘a dash,’ or ‘a vis’ and sometimes no measurements at all, trusting that the reader will know by heart how much to add in.


Anonymous said...

What lovely gratefuls and ones I can identify with. I am from a huge family of people who love food and sharing meals together :)

Naturally Carol said...

A full fridge is definitely something to be grateful for, so many families don't have that, even in this country!

Sannah said...

The thought of banoffie pie gets me VERY excited!! It sounds so lovely to be eating good food with loved friends - on a School night!! Wow! We never do things on school nights, but I think I should try and change that. Might make the week more fun!

Niki Hudson said...

Beautiful thoughts! I so agree - to me, food is love, sustenence, spirituality, etc. A full fridge, the creative process of cooking, sharing a meal with friends and loved ones...things to be grateful for indeed!

ally said...

what a beautiful grateful post
my grandma's recipe book is one of my treasures.
I love the idea of a family cook book too