The memories of food..

Food is very emotive.  Maybe our feelings cause us to eat too much, or not enough.  Not having enough is distressing (I’ve been there); having too much is overwhelming (I’ve been there too).  One thing for sure is; the memories food can conjure up for us can leave us sad, happy, scared, or full of love! 

Maybe a particular food will bring a memory of a time and place, a person, fond or otherwise. 

I couldn’t face eating cornflakes ever again – after a spell of having them and only them to eat – not through choice, I hasten to add.  My poor mum tried to sweeten them up with a blob of jam.  We had no milk, at the time it was awful, but the memory is fond – we laugh now, and the joke remains about cornflakes and jam.

My mum’s first, and failed, attempts at baking bread – and having to eat it – because there could be no waste and the subsequent relief at my parents being able to afford for her to do a day course on bread making..

My favourite cake remains to be an almond tart – made for me at Christmas by mum, as I was the only one that didn’t like mince pies.  I’ve adapted it now – and will be sharing the recipe this month, so keep an eye out (www.stuffmychops.co.uk).  I now like mince pies too by the way!  My mum, however, to my relief, continues to make a batch of almond tarts for me at Christmas.

What memories do you have?  What was your favourite dish as a child?  Have you tried to recreate it?  I’d love to hear about your favourite things – why not upload the recipes and share them with us.  

I hope to create fond memories for my children and friends, whether they are laughing about my culinary disaster, or trying to create something I used to make, I hope it puts a smile on their face.

Itch itch itch

During this spell of hay-fever and suffering as I am, it got me thinking about allergies and life choices…

I have a very mild dairy allergy. It’s ok, I can control it. So long as I don’t ave too much dairy each day. If I had a cheese sandwich every day, I’d get eczema. It would continue to get worse and spread until I stopped. So, cleverly, I don’t have a cheese sandwich everyday…. I drink black coffee. I don’t really eat cereal. So by default it fits around my diet pretty well without too much hassle. I’m lucky, very lucky.

I have friends and relatives not so lucky. Their allergies are severe and life affecting. They carry antihistamines or other mechanisms to control sudden overloads of their allergies.

I sympathise enormously, for various reasons, and where I can, I will always endeavour to give my guest(s) not just something that will do, but something tasty they will enjoy.

Vegetarians and vegans are sorted. I can always come up with something. Also, having tried both diets over a period of time, I am all too aware of the common pitfalls of a particular ingredient some would assume to be “safe”.

I haven’t given enough time to gluten free. I will. In the next couple of months. I’d like to try both sweet and savoury things I like, to see what I can achieve.

I’d love to know what you have made or been inspired by, for and on behalf of a sufferer or finding your own way around your own allergies or diet choices.

At first it can be hard, I’ve seen the look of horror in people’s eyes when I’ve said I have a vegan coming to dinner, but once you’ve opened that door, and your eyes to a world of difference and change, with a little effort, the results can be amazing.