THeRe'S An AnGeL On My ShOuLdEr...

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Memories in a Dish 

Isn't it strange how we often associate certain foods with the ones we love, and that we only really enjoy them when that person makes them?

We recently made a surprise visit to Queensland to visit my M-I-L. After she recovered from the shock of us turning up on her doorstep unannounced, she prepared one of her signature dishes, Bread & Butter Pudding. It was delicious! Although it's easy to prepare (even the culinary challenged like me can make it), i will not make a Bread & Butter Pudding until such time as my M-I-L can no longer do so, or if I'm requested.

I think it's important to maintain those links, the associations of favourite dishes to the ones we love. With regard to my own Mum, it's lamingtons. i generally will not eat a lamington if not made by my own Mum. They are simply the best in the world, why eat anyone else's?

I ate a sponge kiss the other day, bought on special at the local Coles. It reminded me of my Grandma (Dad's Mum). She didn't entertain often, but when she did, she would make trumpet shaped sponge kisses dusted with icing sugar and served with cups of tea in fine china cups.

My Nanna had several signature dishes. Jelly & Spanish cream (a type of set custard), gingerbread, Lily Pilly Jam (delicious - tastes like Plum), Boiled eggs with soldiers served on the plate with the daffodil and violets, strawberries picked from the garden drowned in cream & sugar, Roast lamb so tender it fell off the bone.... Nobody can make these things just like Nanna..

Actually Nanna, made sure nobody could make these things just like her. Being very possessive of her 'signature dishes', when passing on recipes to Mum, would alter them, ever so slightly, so that they would never be the same, or as nice as when she made them. Mum is still trying to perfect the gingerbread recipe. Nanna was a funny one at times....

I'm not really sure if I have a signature dish. If i do, it's probably Lasagne, or a potato bake. Hardly anything terribly inspiring. I shall have to develop some more......

Do you have a signature dish? What are the signature dishes made by the ones you love?
Do you think it's important to maintain that exclusivity of the dish to the person? Or am I just a sentimental old sap?




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