Else where

Else where

 When she hung up her apron I made a pre-emptive strike at the red box containing the recipes she has been writing throughout her life.
My mother was an adventurous cook and she had a magpie’s eye for good recipes. She was forever purloining recipes she thought worth trying out from magazines or newspapers.

We may believe that our generation (whichever that may be) was the first to have discovered global culinary exploration travels, but this is complete nonsense. Looking through Mother’s recipes under B, I find Beetroot Soup (Armenian) followed by Biscuit Tortoni (frozen), Bent Biscuits followed by, best of all, Bloody Mary which includes a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters. Now, there may be any number of you who add Angostura bitters to their Bloody Marys as a matter of course, but I don’t think I was ever aware that this is what my mother did, but as soon as I read it, I knew that it made complete gastronomic sense.

I can tell by her handwriting that some of these recipes must date back 50 years or even further. She always claims that the food at her grandmother’s house was among the best she ever ate. One or two must have been added in the last few years.
I have just noticed that, with characteristic thrift, at the back of the recipe box are all the books with recipes she either re-transcribed or discarded, still leaving one side of the page clear and ready to be filled up with fresh inspirations, an open invitation for me to carry on her orderly practice.
My mother wasn’t the only one of her generation to collect recipes assiduously. There must be many more out there. What culinary wisdom has come down to you from previous generations?

Word of Mouth blog

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