The other day when twittering away some time in the back of a taxi I stumbled on the most delightful post by Emily Fleischaker. In this blog for Bon Appetit she works through her thoughts on ‘what her mother taught her about food’. See here
It’s just lovely, in a mellow cup of tea and some time on the couch with a lap rug kind of way.
And it made me start thinking about my mum.
Like Emily’s she’s not much up for fuss and bother. And I’m pretty sure she finds her daughter’s fixation with food somewhat befuddling. And don’t even get her started about Twitter. If she knew I was writing about her on here, I’m pretty sure there’d be an arched brow or two pointed in my direction.
But apart from that slight divergence there are lots of things that make us carbon imprints of each other; a love of midday sessions at the movies, brown eyes and overly gummy smiles, a shared distaste for loud noise and a curious habit of patting people on the back when we give them a hug.
The food memories that stand out are simple ones. Reaching up on tippy toes and peering over the kitchen bench while she mixed muesli. Waking up on Saturday mornings to the smell of plunger coffee and baguettes with boysenberry jam, to be shared while reading the paper. Learning how to build the bechamel that gilds her lasagne, while sipping wine beside her. Picking at the same salad of prosciutto, rocket and buffalo mozzarella at Jackies after collecting my wedding dress.
Over the years she’s taught me to never underestimate the restorative power of a toasted sandwich with ham and cheese. That half a glass of wine with lunch can make a bad day better. And that lots of the time it’s not what you cook, but the company you keep while doing it that counts.
My favourite memory is a recent one. Me and mum making bolognaise on a Monday night at my place. Us and some carbohydrates. A little bit of cheese and some green. Some quiet time. And half a glass of white wine.
My mum’s bolognaise
It’s a ragu with carrot, celery, brown onion, tins of tomato, browned pork and beef mince, tinned tomatoes, speck and some white wine.
It’s fresh oregano and a slug of milk to round out the edges at the end.
It’s the simple things that are so often the best.
Thanks for helping me remember that Mum. Happy mother’s day.