Daily Archives: August 30, 2009

What is 180°C in gas?

When my Elly was a young lady I tried to teach her how to cook.

Alas the subject was only of interest if there was something in it for her.

In the final few weeks before heading for freedom University I tried encouraging her to assist or at least watch me prepare meals. No mother wants her nestling’s to starve when they leave the safety of the coop. Elly would have none of it, she was far happier with her nose stuck in a book.

Naturally I worried; but then two quotes came to mind. The first was grumbled from the head of our dining table when we were all small.“Hunger is good sauce! was a favourite of my fathers if any of us dared to turn up our noses at anything that mammy cooked. It was often followed by “If you don’t eat it for your dinner, you will have it for your tea!” Dinner in those days was our mid-day meal. The other quote certainly never came from daddy, since he never set foot in the kitchen. It was from the young lady that married my youngest uncle. When asked if she liked or was able to cook, she chirped in quickly with “Anyone who can read can cook!”

With these thoughts fighting with each other in my brain I dumped packed my daughter off to College. Within a couple of weeks the calls started…

  • “Mammy, how do you make…?”
  • “What oven temperature do I need to use for…?”
  • “What is 180°C in gas?”

Hunger was certainly good sauce, she soon learned to cook and occasionally the recipes were coming back across the Irish Sea from Scotland to me.

Now she is a very good adventurous and experimental cook. I shared her Tomato,  & Peanut soups, as well as her Banana Loaf with you already.

During a recent visit, I made the most of Elly & George’s healthy strong arms to stock up on dry goods to keep me going while running in the new ‘shock absorber’ and the associated ban on driving. I also wanted some fresh fruit and veg. In the vegetable aisle, Elly did her usual, “We will have one of these each and one of those” and so it went until we had a very colourful collection. She had a new recipe for me to try and would cook it before she went home.

Do you know what I discovered… She doesn’t cook like me, she cooks like her Nana. HER NANA! My mother, never used a weighing scales and the recipes were in her head, ELLY IS NOW DOING THAT!

I did ask her for the proper recipe and if you are curious come back in the morning for the surprise.