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  • My Mother, in her day, was amazing.

    She has been very sick. She is, for the moment, amazingly better. I am so very proud of her.

    I am trying, very hard, to ensure that I recall all of the good memories that I can of her, from my childhood.

    To write it all down.

    In her day, my Mum was everything I aspire to be.

    She ran a home with love, and cooked for a family of seven.

    She was, in her day, an exceptional and classically trained cook.

    She was so ahead of her time. She was audacious and clever and inventive. All on a very tight budget.

    A restraining economy which I know frustrated her, but became a driver behind her culinary imagination.

    When I look back, and recall her, in her day, I am so very proud. All of her friends, and mine, were in awe of her food. It was sensational. She had an enviable reputation of being able to cook amazing dishes with such abundance and flavour. People clamoured to stay for weekends, just to be fed by my Mum.

    My father would ring her with just an hours notice, to tell her he was bringing influential clients home for dinner. She would slide into corporate entertaining mode on a picnic budget, and she did it with calmness, grace and an even temper that now, now I have a family of my own, simply astounds me.

    From the glamour of the 1970's dinner party to the hum drum of packed lunches, she was forever inventive and resourceful. She had a love of food and an innate sense of how to create gourmet and sustenance alike, from scratch.

    I have no doubt that she called upon her Australian roots. I found a recipe card the other day, for a cookie like slice, and it is so similar to what I now know to be a "hedgehog slice". It was produced near weekly in our kitchen back in her day, back in the mid seventies. Quickly, as she did a million other jobs, to ensure no waste, to ensure a little delicious for us. It was the fodder of all afternoon teas at the home my youth.

    It calls for all the broken bits of plain (boring) biscuits that get left and uneaten in the bottom of a biscuit tin. Plus golden syrup and cocoa and butter. Re-styled to become something quite treaty and indulgent.

    I made it with my children, yesterday. I rang my Mum and told her. In her evening, she was only a little vague - just tired. But she is better and so I shall take every good moment that I can.

    And in her day, she will be glad, I hope.
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