Mrs Price’s Welshcakes

I did not go into the school today to do the art session, and I feel bad about it, like I have skived off. I have been taking some anti-biotic tablets and they make me feel quite woozy in the mornings. I finish them today, so hopefully next week I will be back in there. Yesterday after school I deputised for a friend of mine at the same school who couldn’t make the Healthy Cooking session, which involves the children learning to do some cooking alongside a parent. It was great. We made Greek style meatballs, using halal lamb with fresh parsley and a tomato based sauce. The children loved the process of the cooking more than the final product!

It was sad that only two families took part, usually three attend. It is free and starts at the end of school. Saleena and Shakeel were really buzzing having made the food. It is a great way to meet other parents and work with school staff.

I really enjoy cooking. The kitchen in this flat is just a bit of a passage. In my former home I had a huge kitchen with a large table, almost any cooking was possible. I got to learn to cook when I was first in art school at the age of 16. I would often get home around 8pm, so the family meal was over, sometimes my mother would leave me something but I got into a habit of cooking for myself which I preferred. I had to leave the house around 7.15am, so again it was getting breakfast or do without! It was good discipline and when I left to go to college in Cardiff I was not a student who lived on rubbish.

Today I will be making a chicken and aubergine curry, fairly hot, one of the joys of having my bowel removed ten years ago is that I have been able to eat hot and spicy food, quite odd really, the things that are a problem are salads as in the main they are uncooked food! I often use my mothers’ handwritten cookbook. She started it in 1932 when she was 10, it is full of recipes from other members of the family and friends – Aunty Bertha’s Christmas Cake (1947) – Mrs Price’s Welshcakes (1960) – so is more than just a list but a history with meanings. When I was working I had a ‘dream’ of getting a whole lot of people together for a few days at somewhere that had cooking facilities, and cooking each other their food, telling the stories behind them, then creating a book from it. I suppose it could still happen, I never found the right funding, I think they felt it may be too much fun!

The cookbook is interesting because my father was a lifelong vegetarian (he would be 106 now) and in the days when vegetarianism was ‘unusual’ the products we now have weren’t available in the shops. So my mother collected and created recipes suitable for him, which if I remember we enjoyed as well. The book is hand written so has a personal quality that my copied collection of recipes on my pc doesn’t have. Things have to be adapted. It is interesting how much sugar that was used, our tastes have changed, maybe when sweet things were much less available and snack eating not the norm people wanted a sweeter taste. I’m sure there is a social history of cooking that would tell me.

Maybe I need to start looking into some funding again for that project.

Today’s photograph is at the bottom of the local park looking north-west taken at 11am, there is a strong very cold wind creating interesting cloud patterns and plenty of cold winter sun.

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