/ Preserving the love, non-trad trifle & local kudos...
MY HEART QUICKENED when my husband bought me the January issue of Cuisine. I settled in to pore over the contents (after first admiring the beautiful, vibrant red cover!) The tomato recipes (186:62) look divine and I will definitely be trying them out with the tomato bounty from our garden. The pork shoulder recipe (186:30) appealed too as a change from the usual summer fare. As always, I was not disappointed in what your magazine had to offer, and will be referring to it many times over summer (and beyond!) However, when I turned to the last page and read Kelli Brett’s “A Recipe for Life” (186:162), I felt a lump in my throat, as I could empathise with her relationship and experience with her mother in her latter days. My mother too was a beautiful cook who trained as a Cordon Bleu chef just before World War II. Sadly, she never took her skills any further as she married my father (an RAF pilot) and he and their three children (including me) were the ones who benefited from her wonderful cooking. Through my growing-up years, she taught me so much by example and letting me help in the preparation and cooking of meals. Consequently, I love to cook and so do my two daughters, and we spend many happy times discussing food. Sadly, my poor mum also succumbed to dementia in the final years of her life and no longer had any interest in food or family. It’s a few years now since she died, and at last I am able to remember the happier times. I have some of her recipe books, including one or two she used during her training, which I treasure. I can still hear her say, “Clean up as you go along, Shelagh!” when I get in a muddle in the kitchen! So I completely understand how thrilled Kelli must have been when she eventually received her mum’s old recipe books. Yes, indeed, “hand down your recipes and preserve the love”. Shelagh Glynan, Katikati
Editor’s note: I treasure this feedback, Shelagh. That last page was a hard one to write.
I WONDER if it is maturity or male menopause, but this year I just don’t want a trifle made with lurid red jelly, supermarket sponge and custard, topped with hundreds and thousands ever again. Our family has actually reached middlepause, when the young are too young to bring children, and the old gratefully shut that door a while back. A break from ye olde trifle is, however, a serious breach of tradition. An angel gave me bottled apricots poached in riesling in the same week I saw your cover recipe (Fiona Smith’s apricot doughnut trifle with rosemary praline, 185:78). I saw the spirit of Christmas future. It was meant to be! Colin Tavui, via email
YOUR MAGAZINES are always a visual feast and I was delighted to open the November issue to hunt for inspiration and ideas. I am usually left salivating and have to race off to the kitchen to see what I can create. I was thrilled to see mention of a number of Taranaki people including Ben Shewry, who grew up on a farm on the wild west coast in the Naki. Is it ironic that he is hailed as Australia’s best chef despite not being Australian? As someone who has both Australian and New Zealand descent and who has lived equal portions of time in both countries, I can lightheartedly say that all the best Australians are Kiwis! That includes people like Russell Crowe and the Finn brothers. The list is long. It was then great to turn the page and find more on some of our local providers getting noticed, including Ryan Gut from Kaitake Farms, Green Meadows Beef and Juno Gin (185:100). I love how you are drawing from what is happening across the whole country and even little old Taranaki gets a mention.
Jeff Poole, via email
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