This all started with a small notebook emblazoned with Australiana motifs and emblems.
The book is nondescript on the outside. But on the inside are recipes documented by my late Nana Jean in her youth. Circa the 1930s, although my dad tells me it could have been written any time between 1930 and 1950. In other words, any time between Phar Lap’s prime and Don Bradman’s retirement.
The recipes have been meticulously handwritten with pen and ink. The detail is beautiful. It breaks my heart to think of all Jean’s effort and expertise lost, never to be read or shared or remembered.
This blog is partially an attempt to rediscover these artful recipes. It is also hopefully an avenue of improving my (admittedly limited) culinary skills. But if I’m to be completely honest, underlying these reasons is a desire to connect with the simple act of providing food for others. With legions of recipes only a few clicks away on the internet and with fast food or frozen meals readily accessible, I am part of a generation that often sees eating as a quick and inelegant affair. Resurrecting class at the dinner table would not be a bad thing at all.
It is an exciting journey through these pages. I’m tentative. But it is thrilling.
Many of us are lucky enough to inherit a ‘blood right’ of food memories. What dish would be your first to share?
Me? It’s time to pour a cup of tea and muse over some 80 year old recipes to answer that very question.