Showing posts with label The Family Table. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Family Table. Show all posts

Friday, 8 November 2013

The Family Table { Our first harvest }

The vegetable garden, has yielded it's first harvest. Yellow cherry tomatoes. They have been slowly ripening over the last week, and today I decided, they were yellow enough. Ripe enough to eat.
I planned to make a salad with them for our dinner tonight. To celebrate our first taste of home grown vegetable.

But my eldest daughter had other plans. Quietly eating, next to all of them, while they sat in the small blue bowl I'd left them in. Well, they were for eating I suppose. And who could blame her. Once I tried one, I completely understood. These were the most sweetest tasting tomatoes that I'd tasted in a long time. I'd forgotten what a "real" homegrown tomato tasted like.

It's a rare thing, for my children to spontaneously eat vegetables like this. Perhaps the novelty of watching them grow for weeks and picking them together, made them all that more enticing to eat.
Whatever the reason, I'm pleased to see her eating them with such joy.

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Family Table { The Recipe Journal }

"Family ties are precious threads, 
no matter where we roam. 
They draw us close to those we love, 
and pull our hearts toward home."

My recipe journal. A handwritten walk down memory lane of food shared. The best of the best recipes, that I've eaten throughout my life. It was something I started after seeing my Mum's own recipe journal, on one of her trips to visit us. The sort of sentimental possession that travels only in your hand luggage. Too precious for a suitcase. Too irreplaceable if lost.

Flipping through the pages, I always feel nostalgic. Dinners remembered. Moments shared from a younger more simple time. Recipes that I associate with their "true" owners. That are shared seldomly, and only with a select few. My recipe journal, is a testament, to the large, extended family that I was lucky to grow up with. Of strong characters who lived, and still live, long fulfilling lives. Passing down stories. Recipes. Of people still present. And of people who have passed on, but who's presence is still felt in conversation.

Food, and the sharing of food, has always been a large part of my family. It has shaped my memories in more ways then I realised. It makes me sentimental for certain people, who made a recipe their own, in such a way, that nobody can ever quite make it as well. For those afternoons, of endless cups of coffees around Nanna and Grandads table with chocolate cake.

Voices speak to me through their individually, distinctive handwriting. And confirm, that this recipe was theirs, to be shared and enjoyed by others.

Eating around our family table, now that we are together as a family every night, feels more important to me now than ever before. So many of my family memories, from my childhood, involve sitting down together, sharing food, talking. It is something, that I also want to pass on to my children.

Don't get me wrong. My daughters are two and a half years, and fourteen months old. Dinner time is often a rowdy, noisy, messy affair. Consisting of a little gentle coaxing for my eldest, who is often full after 1 or 2 mouthfuls, as only a toddler could be. And sadly, on those days where everybody has reached breaking point by dinner time, and toddler and adult tantrums loom, we might just be watching Peppa Pig while eating too. Whatever works, right? But the aims there. To create that family feel. To create our own family traditions and ways of doing things. There's no gourmet fair cooked daily here. Just good home cooked, mostly healthy meals, with lots of flavour, that aim to feed and please all 4 of us. Without fuss, in a minimum amount of time.

At our table, there is one recipe, that everybody loves. That the girls both eat seconds of (a rare occurrence). My recipe, that I'm now known for in our house. And it has even made Mum's recipe journal. Worthy of putting my name in front of. Hope it's as popular in your home.

Carla's Oven-baked Tuna Risotto
875ml chicken stock
10g butter
2 tspns olive oil
1 medium brown onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
425g can tuna in oil, drained gently
1 cup frozen peas
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbspns lemon juice
Preheat oven to 180C, or 160C fan forced.
Bring stock to boil in medium sized saucepan. Meanwhile, melt butter with olive oil in large saucepan, cook onion and garlic, stirring, until onion softens. Add rice, stir to coat in onion mixture. Stir in hot stock and tuna.
Place risotto mixture in a large shallow baking dish, cover with foil. Bake in oven, 15 min, stirring halfway through cooking time. Uncover, bake another 20 minutes. Stir in peas, top with tomatoes, bake uncovered, about 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from oven, stir in lemon juice.

A family table series. That I aim to blog about regularly. Sharing thoughts,occasional recipes and memories, of all that occurs and has occured around our family table.

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