I have fond memories when I was younger,growing up with the influence of my Nonno and Nonna (Italian grandparents) on their farm in the bush.Keeping the Italian family tradition going. Gathering for Sunday lunch after church enjoying the pleasurable foods of fresh produce from the farm and that special meal my Nonna would prepare for her large extended family.
Times we would get together to make Italian sausages down in the shed…after of course my Nonno had studied the movement of the moon if it was the right time to slay that fattened pig or not.The recipe no one really knows it,it was a secret just what spices and quantities to use but us grandchildren always shared the work of tying the strings around the sausages…and then taking them to the drying shed….I remember the perfume of the cheese my Nonna had made several months before and waiting for it to be ready to eat with that crusty homemade bread.
The making of ricotta and eating the curds, boiling hot from the swinging cauldren.The roasted chickens,slow cooked duck in sugo (tomatoes) roasted turkey and geese….served with polenta (cornmeal) and a never-ending stream of fresh vegetables. The herb garden where of course there were the basics of rosemary,basil and oregano and garlic fresh for any good italian recipe.Not forgetting the home-made pasta and gnocchi.The Italian biscuits and cakes with her Sicilian manner.
My memories also of my Nanna come to mind of her Sunday afternoon tea treat of hot scones with melting butter and strawberry jam.Her Christmas pudding with us kids trying to find the hidden sixpence (without breaking our teeth) and creamy custard or her “famous” Christmas fruit cake…(thanks to an Aunty) they’re still made today. Corned beef and yorkshire puddings.Apple crumble and that crusty apple pie with vanilla ice-cream.
The message here is that from a young age I was surrounded by home making cooks. Never left anything on my plate and always tried anything and everything…..as i still do today.