Wednesday, August 13, 2014

food haunting & memories

making the food of someone that has departed your life is always complicated.
it brings many memories & emotions & yet.... for whatever the reason, there are days that just seem like the right day to be doing it.

my father had a partner for several years, he built up this whole new relationship & then realised he wasn't happy. his partner was happy, and she was lovely. her son wasn't so happy. he just wanted to be with his dad, not some man who didn't want to have to spend time with him.

anyway, in between the somewhat excitement of a tween setting up a new house and family situation, after loosing my family, where i got to choose the paint for my bedroom wall (the only time i've ever been able to do that ever, given the long-running rental share-house accommodation i've ended up living in ever since...) the colour i chose was  deep purple, so it kinda looked like a witchy den. but far more pristine. the only good thing about that relationship not lasting is that i soon would've come to regret the slightly oppressive colour palate i'd chosen.

when we weren't painting the walls, theresa would make pancakes with me. large round ones with slices of apple or peach laid out like the spokes of a wheel on one side of the pancake. these were delicious. and probably my best memories of that time & those people. the making of the apfelpfannkuchen. by mid-late 1991, my father had ended that relationship and i didn't really see theresa or her son alex ever again.

i must have photos of these weekend pancake mornings somewhere, badly stored, in less than desirable archival conditions.

ive been thinking a lot about this lately, the signature of those no longer a part of your life. whether by death, or heart break or otherwise... a 'signature' on so many levels.

at christmas time, christian used to make christmas cookies from his mother's recipe. he would bake a few batches and i'd try to see if i could subsist on these alone. some days, i did pretty darn fine.

we would improvise, using a vodka bottle as a rolling pin, probably not the right kind of jam, given we were doing in sydney and down the coast at a place near tilba. i'm sure that the german marmelades would have been far better for these kinds of biscuits, but i loved them all the same. they were something so special. to him, to me, to us.

then we'd cut them out with star cookie cutters, stick a layer of marmalade in between them with the tops having an extra smaller star cut out for the sticky-ness to poke thru. i never did get to make these in the winter in berlin with christian, nor make them with his mum. so many regrets. always.

as for my greek grandmother, while the thought of her synonymous is with the smell of onion or leek, frying in olive oil, the dish that she made was the mediterranean baked potato dish that seemed to be warm & tangy; tasting of lemon & tomatoes. i learnt to cook many other things with her, but that is sone thing that really stands out: an almost wabisabi flavour.

again, photos are in the 'archives'. (those dodgy archives)

a previous partner's mother made some pretty awesome meals for her kids (to which i just added myself to the cohort). the best & favourite of these was french onion soup, accompanied by the little toasty bits with melted cheese, then dunked in the soup, if i remember...

my dad wasn't the greatest cook, but he taught me the pleasures of fried cheese over a campfire and cooked tomatoes on buttery toast for breakfast on a cold dark winter morning. those two foods - tho not elaborate - will always remind me of him.

i'm wondering what my signature dish will ever be. risotto with asparagus & blanched almonds? buckets of fried halloumi at parties (not that i get to go to many of these any more as my friends are too distant/i'm too remote), or the winter full of veggie soups i regularly cooked up on a friday nite for the prez flatties. i miss those times there. i miss them & i wanna go back....

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