For the weekend coffee share this week I thought I would share a picture of our magic black box and my long standing project.
Ten plus years since her passing and she is affectionately known as Grannie. Not the box, the lady who gifted this to us. Often spoken about as we go about our lives. We wonder what she would think of us now, and how she would have enriched our lives if she were still here. My wife’s mother and the first of our parents to go. Sorely missed for many spoken reasons and many unspoken. A bond between mother and daughter that had it’s moments. Mostly though something that was rich and full of love. A piece of music or a mother daughter scene in a film will take my wife right back to the sorrow and longing of hoping for another conversation or a moment together.
I’m not sure she saw herself as a cook, but in my eyes definitely so. Coming from a humble background with a missionary for a father who took his family and his teachings to China. Circumstance and timing led to the family being interned as prisoners of war. My thinking is that from these beginnings my mother in-law grew to appreciate simple food and simple cooking as a way of life.
She left us a black box, full of recipes, index cards that had grown over time. Not sure many go back past the 80’s, and some might not even have been used at all. Just a recipe passed on from a friend at the church, these are the ones in the hand writing my wife doesn’t recognise. The scrawl of Grannie very distinct on hers and at times very un-readable! Some of the cards have my wife’s writing on, a period of her life when calligraphy was the rage. These are the ones that bring her memories back as a child and has also made with our boys.
My hope when we first received the box was that it would hold the secrets to an alchemy that had been passed on from generation to generation. That the hidden texts would be revealed to the person who believed in the sacred box, only the worthy would truly become a great cook.
Having now scanned the great works using my printer I plan to work through them. Deciphering the sacred text without a Rosetta stone, typing them up, tweaking as I go, modernising the measurements and the ingredients. An interpretation for the way we cook and food shop as a family now.
…..it’s a work in progress, with more to follow
The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.
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