Inspired to cook by our mums

As we begin to celebrate the life of Nancy Sanders (Wendy’s Mum) and look at how she influenced all her children as well as the rest of us, it’s a happy coincidence that today America celebrates Mother’s Day.

Food brings us together

Nancy was a wonderful mother who was legendary for her Sunday Roast and rightly so – they were fantastic. Not merely for the countless types of vegetable she put out, but for the atmosphere she generated at the table. Her roasts gathered people together in a way which nothing else could.

This got me thinking about how mothers – or mother figures – and food are such a powerful force in our lives. It’s probably fair to say that if it wasn’t for Wendy’s mums’ dinners, there probably wouldn’t have been a Bartlett Mitchell. Wendy’s love of great food was inspired by Nancy’s cooking.

Warm memories- as delicious as the food itself

I thought I’d share 3 of my earliest food memories and ask you to tell me about your memories of food and family.

My first one was of our farmhouse table at home. I can see it now, a Saturday afternoon (baking day) and the kitchen table covered in breads, cakes and pies, sweet and savoury, ready for the week. Any of you with Irish roots will know of seedy cake, lethal to children but adored by the older generation! This baking was consumed during the week and never made it to the end of the week as I recall.

My second food memory was almost a religious ceremony; Scragg making! I can picture to this day the making of this neck end of lamb stew. It started with boiling the neck on a Friday. It was left to stand overnight and the following day the fat was removed from the top of the pot and my Gran, mother and aunt would diligently pick the meat off the bones before turning this 2 day stew into a deliciously sweet lamb dish topped with dumplings.

The final memory is a funny one. My Dad, after Sunday Mass, would go to the pub for a pint before lunch along with some of the other family menfolk. My memory is of hearing giggling outside the kitchen door and his flat cap being thrown into the kitchen. If my mum was cross with his time keeping, his hat would go flying back out!!

What this proves is that food leaves an indelible mark in our memories and on our lives.

What about you? What are your first motherhood and food memories?

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My earliest food memories are of my mum’s baking; coconut pyramid cakes were my favourite.

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