Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dishing up the memories...

The majority of my kitchen is new and improved. Even so some of the things in my kitchen hold a certain memory for me, and so I continue to use them.  Every time I use my old, well loved, glass pudding bowl I feel as if my mom and my Ouma are there cooking with me. I know I could pop down to Sur La Table and get a brand new pudding bowl in an instant, but it wouldn't be the same. I would rather cook with my memories and know that I have my Ouma standing behind one shoulder, helping me along. 

Today I realized that sentimentality can play a big part in the way we cook. I am in the process of moving, and packing up my seemingly endless kitchen into boxes. As I pack, I do a mental checklist and am trying to get rid of anything that I don't need. A seemingly easy thing to do, I mean who needs a water jug made of scrap metal and looks like it belongs in a tool shed? Well apparently I do, because I could not for the life of me force myself to get rid of it. You see that immensely ugly water jug was made by my Oupa and used lovingly by my Ouma for as long as I can remember. That silly little thing got me thinking about my crazy cooking habits, and made me wonder if anyone else out there finds it hard to part with well loved kitchen odds and ends. (Please tell me I am not the only one)

I grew up in a very traditional (food-wise) family. We had a roast every single Sunday lunch, and the menu only varied depending on what meat we could get at the butcher. This roast was always (and I mean always) cooked in the same cast iron pot. This massive black pot; that weighed about as much as a small child, was awkward, had a cracked lid, took up the entire stove top, still sits in a storage unit somewhere. It seems that inability to get rid of old, awkward kitchen gadgets is hereditary because my mom was the one to put it in storage last year.

My Wonderful Ouma at her stove 
cooking a sunday roast.