Tuesday, November 16

Come have a cuppa with.... MY MUM! Not to be missed!

How could I pass up an opportunity to photograph my parents' kitchen and have a chat with my MUM right?  I refer to her a lot and other members of my family who have heavily influenced my love of food and produce.

My Mummy in her (always clean) kitchen!

How do you have your coffee or tea?
Strong coffee, skim milk and one sugar. Coffee has to be good quality though.
The two must-haves to avoid dehydration headache in Cairns - the water cooler and the coffee machine!

What you love about your kitchen?
My double oven and walk in pantry

What would you change about your kitchen if you could?
I would take down the wall to the playroom and open in right up. Would also install folding glass doors instead of windows, so it overlooks the garden and pool and opens up the room.

This butchers block has been a centrepiece to my family home for the past 25 years  - Dad picked it up from a local butcher I think for free or close to it, and restored it to it's natural beauty - it's about 200kg though!!  The pots and pans overhanging them have been a constant feature, great idea huh?
Who do you cook for at your house and how often?
It mostly my husband and I these days, but I still cook like I have my three daughters at home, so there's always plenty of leftovers to freeze. This is handy when my husband is away. Sometimes I don't cook for 2 weeks at a time and live on leftovers!

Would you consider yourself more of a cook or a baker?
If you asked me that question 10 years ago, I would have said baker. I love to bake and there were always a lot of people around to bake for. These days I'm a bit of an all-rounder cook. My girls however have taken up the baking challenge with gusto and are very good at it. I'm pretty sure this comes from my dad. He would whip up a plate of pumpkin scones or an apple pie at a minutes notice.

This is a new addition to the kitchen - and I'm coveting it!

Most desired kitchen appliance?
I would love to finish off my Kitchenaid collection with the ice cream maker and eventually the Food Processor (all in black of course).

Most used or loved gadget you own?
My Oscar. We start every day with a fresh vegetable and fruit juice. It's easy to operate and clean and makes the best frozen fruit ices for the children. It's the one really healthy thing I do every day.

Who taught you to cook?
I don't think anyone taught me to cook. I have very early recollections of my grandmother baking and my dad was always cooking something. I have a very clear memory of my mum letting me make mud cup cakes in her best patty pans on a very hot day in the burbs and they actually baked on the concrete path and we turned them out. I don't know whether she was teaching me cooking or science that day cause we also fried an egg on the same path. I would have been 3 or 4. I was however heavily influenced by my neighbour Mrs Budgy (an Italian lady with no English) and she taught me how to make everything Italian from scratch from tomato sauce to treading the grapes for wine, bread and salami. This is probably when I began to be fascinated with food and especially Italian food.

Any kitchen disasters you can report?
Many. Isn't that how you learn? The worst is probably putting salt in a cake instead of sugar and parisian essence in another instead of vanilla.

Your signature or most requested dish?
It has to be lasagne. And I make a vegetable one now too that is a bit healthier with lots of baked root vegs. Always a hit!

This is a fabulous litebox that is above the oven - it's like a night-light to eat a midnight snack!  Mum picked it up at a salvage yard for five dollars!!! (frugality is in the blood!)

Your favourite quick fix mix meal?
Pasta - always pasta and the BIG  salad.

Favourite cookbook?
I have so many and love them, but my favourite would have to be THE COMMONSENSE COOKBOOK that my sister bought for me in 1979. She inscribed it with "Happy Birthday to a Great Cook". Each page has either food spilt on it or scribbles and drawings by my girls. Very sentimental but some great old basic recipes too.
I recognize some (OK all) of those ;)

Something you just cannot bear to eat or cook?
Rabbit. Just don't like the idea of a bunny becoming food, plus all the horror stories about mixey that come with it. Never liked Brussels sprouts until recently either until I learnt how to make them properly with cauliflower, oil, garlic and black pepper.

If you could have anyone come and cook in your kitchen (alive or dead) who would it be and why?
 Once I would have said Martha Stewart (just love her) but she's just too bossy for me. Have to say my Nana Tillie and my Mum. I do miss hanging in the kitchen with my Mum. We had so many good times there over a glass of wine and a boiling pot or two. My Nana Tillie died very young in the scheme of things and I missed out on learning all of her tricks. Just love sharing with other women in general, but passing memories and recipes down though the family is the ultimate for me.

*sniff* Just as my Mum misses time with her Mum (my Nan) I miss spending time in the kitchen with her!  I think reading this many things about what, how and why I cook make sense... right?   I found it quite amusing that her appliance covet list is identical to mine (except I want metallic pearl...!)

Do you have a food relationship with your Mum/grandparents?
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9 lovely comments:

Jane Wightman on November 16, 2010 at 6:39 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Wonderful post Liss! Am very lucky to still have my Mum - two bouts of cancer weren't going to stop her!!- and we spend time together every day just about.
Loved the shot of the cookbooks - son bought me BAKE last year for Mother's Day and it has been a source of some wonderful baked treats - including Mum's birthday cake last week, the Celebration Fruit Cake. She loved it ;-)

Word of advice on the KA Ice cream maker. I had one of similar type, where you freeze the bowl, and living in Brisbane, it just never worked well enough. The bowl starts defrosting the second it's out of the freezer!! Donated it to my daughter and bought a Sunbeam Galleteria which has it's own motor/cooling cycle and it's brilliant!

Thanks for sharing a cuppa with your Mum,

Corrie on November 16, 2010 at 7:07 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

awwww what a beautiful post liss! you look a lot like her in the face!

I love that! my mum was an amazing cook growing up but I think she got tired of it once we all left home so now she's just a huge fan of eating out at very nice restaurants but I have some of her old cookbooks and love them, love her name and notes written in them!

that is a post to treasure! thanks for sharing

BabyMac on November 16, 2010 at 7:23 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

GREAT post - how lovely to meet your Mum. My Mum has taught me EVERYTHING I know about food - I started to learn when I was about 4 or 5 I think. I used to help her with her catering business in the 80's. She is amazing! Hope to do the same for my gals. Thanks again!

Christie on November 16, 2010 at 7:56 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Aww thanks for sharing your Ma with us! I hope you had a wonderful time up their recently. My Nana who was a great cook, kept her secrets to herself unfortunately!

PinkPatentMaryJanes on November 16, 2010 at 8:13 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful mum with us. Tell her the KitchenAid Ice Cream maker's worth saving for!

seanalucy on November 16, 2010 at 12:15 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

What a lovely post, Liss, it's a treat to read about you and your mum. I miss my mum too, she's in Scotland so reading this has made me all emotional. Sudden urge to eat shortbread.

Off to Google oscar juicer...

Belinda on November 16, 2010 at 12:16 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

My favourite post!
What a gorgeous mum you have!! XXXX

Jaime [SWHHW] on November 16, 2010 at 6:42 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

what a great post! i love your mum's kitchen - I'm so jealous!
funnily, that's not what I pictured her to look like.

Alison on November 16, 2010 at 7:13 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I'm really enjoying having a cuppa with you and your guests...lovely to meet your mum. What a great kitchen, so organised and I'm in love with that big butchers block! I miss my mum and I miss her cooking, especially the baking...think I'll give her a call and see if she'll have a cuppa and a piece of cake with me now.


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