a culinary history: one year on

Last year, on what would have been my nana's 100th birthday, the 22nd of January 2015, I started my Spice Mama journey.  I wanted to do something to honour her memory, and I couldn't think of anything more appropriate than bringing back to life some of the recipes she lovingly collected over the 98 years she was alive.

Zena was the original foodie, she loved to eat and she ran her kitchens with military precision.  She inherited her mother Olive's own hand written recipe books, and began writing her own when she got married.  In these books, which I now treasure, are recipes for so many old Goan recipes... chicken curries, meat curries, seafood and sweets.

When she remembered her own childhood, she spoke of the large kitchen where the women of the house cooked, gossiped, ate and raised their children; where masala sausages hung and huge pots of curry and pickles were always on the stove.

In her own kitchen in Colaba, fresh masala was always ground in the morning, dry masala was made and stored from freshly roasted spices, coconuts were freshly ground and ingredients were bought from the fisherwomen and other traders that would come to door with their wares every day.

To honour the wisdom of grandmothers everywhere, I am delighted to curate the new Family Recipes feed for The FeedFeed and discover a world of lovely memories and stories about traditional family cooking.

All of the beautiful family recipes on this feed have this in common: real ingredients, fresh seasonal produce, traditional techniques; made from scratch, and with much love. 

No matter our culture or food tradition, love for the food of our childhood unites us. Food nourishes in so many ways, it speaks to our deepest emotions, makes us recall our memories with sharp clarity – the smell of apples and cinnamon, the taste of pie, the sight of our grandmother kneading dough with wrinkled hands. 

Such is the amazing power of food and the ritual of cooking and eating to comfort us, to evoke love, nostalgia, to bridge time and distance, to tell the story of our past and to keep it alive for our future.