Hand-me-down recipes from previous generations are a wonderful heirloom. I love it when we get to Christmas time and I can open my old, tattered, food stained, hand written recipe book, and start cooking food from my Nana or Aunty.
Both my Nana’s loved to cook; unfortunately neither of them are with us now. My Aunty loves to cook too and although my Mum cooks, just so she and dad don’t starve, I must have got the love of cooking gene from my Nana’s and Aunty. (I missed out on the gardening gene they all have!)
These two are a couple of my favourites, but there are so many more.
Nana Heaslip was famous for her Trifle and ‘Lemon Drink’ which is no more than the juices of fresh lemons and sugar dissolved in hot water, then cold water added. It’s the most refreshing drink on a hot day and I always try and keep a few jugfuls in the fridge.
My mum and dad, brother, sister-in-law and their two kids are coming for Christmas this year. It’s going to be a great time to drag out some of these old recipes and see if my brother remembers any of them – when we were growing up he was always going back for seconds of Nana H’s trifle… I’ve never made that before!
I hope by recreating some of these old recipes that we’ll have a lot of those: ‘Oh, do you remember?’ type conversations. Food seems to create those types of memories. Certainly for me, it drags up recollections of times around the table, laughing and merriment. My papa at the head of the table, holding court, my cousins hair pulling and teasing, or gathered around the piano and guitars singing. All the ladies of the family, busy in the kitchen, laughing and enjoying everyone’s company.
Do you family have hand-me-down recipes that bring up memories?