Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Recipes from Nanny and Aunty Barbara

Ooh, another step in the recipe book project. Last night we went up to Mum's, and she had a parcel there waiting for me - Aunty Barbara had sent over Nanny's recipe book. Nanny was my mother's mother, who died before I was born. She was reputed to be an excellent cook, especially with pastries/cakes. The book is not particularly full of recipes, but has some of Nanny's recipes (in her handwriting) and some of Aunty Barbara's recipes too. Then there are some loose ones which we are still trying to figure out the handwriting on.

Aunty Barbara rang while I was there and when I told her the parcel had been recieved, Mum said 'We don't recognise the handwriting on some of those recipes. I recognise Mum's and yours, but some of them we can't work out.' And Aunty Barbara replied 'Well, some of them are from her friends. The Quick Date Cake recipe was given to her by a friend. That's the one she always had to make in a ring tin, because it collapsed in the middle. But we used to say 'No, we like the bit in the middle where it's collapsed!' Because it could be quite heavy with all the dates in it, and it dried out if you overcooked it at all, but the middle where it had collapsed was nice and moist. It was lovely.' While Mum was talking to her (she had her on speaker-phone) I was hurriedly scribbling notes. People don't realise that comments like that are exactly what I want for this recipe book. Small notes that make the recipes come alive for the reader. It's not a recipe for Quick Date Cake, it's a little slice of family - a reminder for Mum, Aunty Barbara and Aunty Dorothy of those memories, and a way of passing that chuckle, that smile, on to the next generation.

I've left the book and recipes up at Mum's house and will go through them on Saturday. I'll scan them, and make notes if Mum has anything to share about any of them, and hopefully ring Aunty Barbara and get some more notes from whatever she says too. Yay for more recipes in the book! She included a letter in the book with some memories of her parents cooking which is awesome.

I'm still waiting for recipes from my cousins Dean and Dianne who have both said they'll contribute. I have more than enough recipes to finish the book, but I want everyone to have an opportunity to contribute. It'd be nice to everyone's name in there, at least everyone who wanted to be included. It means it takes longer to finish, and it'll cost a bit more to publish but it'll be a better, more satisfying project - for me if no one else. :)

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