Once again it’s time for the weekly Sunday Brunch with ZA Maxfield! This week, we have one awesome friend joining us! Please welcome Alex Beecroft!
This week’s question is: “Describe your mother’s cooking.“
***BIG NEWS*** From now on, instead of the ebooks we’ve been awarding as prizes, I’ll be giving out a $5.00 Amazon gift card so readers can use it for the ebook (or other Amazon purchase) of their choice. All you have to do is comment below for your chance to win!
Last week’s winner is Gigi! Congrats! You should be receiving an email from me shortly.
Let’s hear from Alex!
My mum’s cooking could best be described as ‘pedestrian’. She boiled vegetables, heated up fish fingers in the oven and deep fat fried chips despite being marginally terrified of the chip pan with all that boiling oil.
I remember my favourite dinner was two slices of bread with gravy poured over the top of them, heavily salted. We ate beef for Christmas, and that was a trial because the oven wasn’t hot enough, so it went on at about 7am and cooked ’til 4pm. I never felt I was missing anything when I became a vegetarian.
But it was by no means a state of unrelieved misery. She didn’t enjoy cooking main meals, and who can blame her? I certainly inherited that trait and will go straight for the noodles and sauce out of a jar if left to my own devices. I inherited too a feeling that Yorkshire pudding is at its best when it has failed to rise. None of this airy, crispy, namby pamby stuff, a good Yorkshire pudding ought to be a solid mass of baked dough, like a less fluffy pancake. By the time you’ve drenched it in gravy and swallowed it all, you ought to feel like you’ve chewed through a mattress. It’s good, filling stuff that puts hairs on your chest.
As I say, she just couldn’t find it in her heart to care about savoury food. I know where she was coming from there too. Because when she was allowed to bake, everything changed. Her short crust pastry melted in the mouth, her flapjack – the humble British flapjack – was gooey and chewy and crisp on the outside, oozing sweet, buttery syrup. I have the recipe for it at home and coincidentally it is the only thing I make that flies off the plate, for which people come back for more and find there isn’t any.
I imagine she would have made a great contestant for the Great British Bake Off, though she did live through World War II so canned peaches were still considered a luxury in our house. I don’t think she would have gained many points for innovation and use of weird ingredients, but her specialty was making plain things that still make you want to cheer. The best thing in life is Tardy Cake – which is the ends of the pastry dough, spread with butter, sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon and sultanas, folded over and baked until golden brown. As the only child in the house, I got that all to myself, and so I think, as I’m sure everyone thinks, that their mum’s cooking was the best in the world.
Buy Links for The Reulctant Bezerker: Dreamspinner Press
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Thank you to Alex Beecroft for joining us this week!