Monday, 18 July 2011

Memories of a childhood summer

My father as a child in 1906. So thats where i got my culinary influence?

Another July, another year older.I feel nostalgic for my culinary childhood.
From an early age, although my mother never ruled sugar out of our diets, when we asked for sweets or chocolate, she would dangle a raw carrot in front of us instead. My adolescence of culinary adventure blossomed even further with two and a half acres of garden, orchard and vegetable beds to explore. For the most part the vegetable garden was my fathers domain.It consisted mostly of summer cropping. Rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, lettuce, plums, carrots, runner beans and potatoes all were his pride and joy. Jerusalem artichokes he grew in quantity and sold to the local green grocer. I remember having my very first vine ripened tomato, from his modest little greenhouse.He pressed it to my nose, leaving an indelible impression on me of what real freshness was about.This was a time when seasons still dictated what we ate.A tomato still warm from the sun gave one a fragrant indication that it was the height of summer, and the citrusy aroma of tangerine, satsuma and clementine peel told us it was Christmas.
A great game was to climb the greengage tree or one of the plum trees in the orchard and pass down to my father below some fruit, ripe  varieties of Little River or  Victoria plums. Playing hide and seek amid the tall stems of the jerusalem artichoke plot, looking forward to the piping hot gratin of the same that my mother would serve up before bedtime. Hot sunny July afternoons scrabbling under the strawberry and raspberry nets  eating the luscious fresh fruit as I gathered punnets for our supper. My favourite stop on the way back down the garden path was the gooseberry bush.And back indoors I would find my mother making her home-made cream to pour over the plentiful strawberries.Alas time for bed."Don´t pull that face or the wind will change and you will be stuck with it for the rest of your life", my mother would say. It must be something about growing up and the strong winds in East Lothian, Scotland. So that explains what happened to Subo!!! Sigh, why did I ever want to grow up?

1 comment:

  1. "Don't pull that face . . ." Perhaps it's a Scottish thing, 'cos my mother used to say the same thing (and she was from Greenock)!

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