There is nothing quite like a good visit with family and friends at Christmas time. Even if it does involve a trip from one side of the world to the other (and a considerable amount of jet lag to boot). It does wonders for the soul, not to mention the sun deprived levels of vitamin D. Now back in wintery Munich and with the trip home a far from distant memory…what with all the gorgeous photos we took while home, who wouldn't want to take a wander through them on a regular basis…I'm sitting back and enjoying a few of my Christmas gifts. The ones that are occupying most of my time at the moment are the 2 recipe books that I received from two of my sisters, Robyn and Chris.
Robyn gave me the Donna Hay collection of recipes called Seasons..I am a big Donna Hay fan and love her simple to follow recipes and delightful collection of photos that go with them. Chris gave me a book that has me hooked at the moment. Not that I have actually cooked anything from it as yet, but just reading the opening story about the author's mum then looking at each and every recipe and remembering some of them and similar ones from my own childhood is an absolute treat!
The book is called And the Love is Free. It's written by Jules Clancy who is a country chick like me, in fact she grew up just down the road from me in Gunning. It's a collection of recipes from her childhood …. hearty and simple meals, good country fare….my favourite sort! You'll find everything from lamb chops with BBQ sauce, braised beef, sausages with mash…my mind has taken a wander back down the dusty path to my childhood once more! Some of the recipes are such a giggle…'pan fried brussels sprouts'…has me remembering many nights when I was not allowed to leave the dinner table until I had finished them! Ugh! Now, in small doses, I quite like brussel sprouts, especially if they are cooked with bacon…yum!
Then there are the desserts…cheesecake, apple crumble, custards….mmmmmm, yummy! Not only are the recipes a delight, I also love the photos. Simple and elegant, no fancy-schmancy stuff and only natural light used..the result is something special. Well done Jules Clancy! AND thank you to my sister Chris for her thoughtful gift…LOVE IT.
I think one of the reasons I like this book so much is that I have had a similar idea kicking around in my head for the last few years. And a few years back, knowing that time was not on our side (and when is it ever??), I even asked my mum if she would write down a few of her favourite recipes for us (the kids) to have as something to love and cherish for ever. I suggested she could give me a list of them and I would even put a little recipe collection together for us, her daughters. But, well you know, life just gets in the way sometimes and she had a lot of other things on her mind at that stage. And I guess so did I. Now, I think, the time has passed when mum could gather a collection of recipes together for us, so I have decided to take this idea of mine one step further and do it myself and to actually make it happen! Yes, look out sisters, you know what is ahead of you, don't you…relentless questioning, phone calls at all hours and emails from me on what your favourites where when we were growing up! And you know what you will be getting for Christmas this year don't you! Well, what is a girl suppose to do with all this time on her hands?
Mum was a bit of a dessert Queen, so I think many of the recipes will be desserts…my mouth is salivating at the thought of trying them all and photographing them….lemon meringue pudding, lemon delicious, cheesecake, baked custards, apple and rhubarb crumble just to name but a few…ahhhh, the joy of it all…..
….to be continued! (not that it will be a professionally published book, just one I'll whip up for us girls!)
Oh, I've been sidetracked! Not being able to kick my jet lag and while up at 5 am this morning, I discovered that Jules Clancy also has a great blog stonesoup - definitely worth checking out. I love her whole minimalistic and pared back approach to cooking and for that matter, to life. I think I need to adopt this approach too. I could make it my new, new years resolution!
Messages of Love...
OH YES! Lamingtons!
The kids and I are looking forward to making these for Australia Day on the 26th. Yay, can't wait!