appetency; ap·pe·ten·cy; Noun: 1. A longing or desire. 2. A natural tendency of affinity. Synonyms: lust, craving, desire
kingdom; king·dom; Noun: 1. A country, state of territory ruled by a king or queen. 2. A realm associated with or regarded as being under the control of a particular person or thing.
Whilst I have to thank Google for the definitions, and a good friend for the encouragement to (finally!) start this blog (I admit, its a food blog amidst an ever-growing ocean of other food blogs – some that are truly awesome to behold), I think if I were to truly sit down and think about the real inspiration behind it, the real force majeure that instilled in me a love of food – and also in cookery – then it would be two people: my mother and my grandmother.
My grandmother, born and raised in a small rural village in the south-west of England between the two World Wars, was a true lover of confection. Pastries, cakes, biscuits, sugared goodies and crystallised joys all came out of her oven on a regular basis. One thing she revelled in producing were little Viennese biscuits (either piped fingers or whirls) and macaroons, as well as solid fruit cakes. (There was also, on occasion, piccalilli – but we won’t dwell on that.)
This mantle of good home-cooking was passed on to her daughter. Once she’d married, my mum had a bit of an uphill struggle on her hands with my dad, who had been raised on a limited (although very well turned out) meals produced by his mother, who thought that things such as curry and pasta were evils and potential traps for the unwary. Luckily for me she gave him very little option in that arena (the saying “either eat it or do without” was oft-repeated in our house) and consequently I was brought up on an ever-changing menu of English, French, Italian and Eastern recipes.
I was – luckily – always encouraged (as were all my siblings) to take an interest in food, right from choosing (or growing – but more on growing for the dinner table in later posts) the best ingredients to the methods used to turn them into something more than simply nourishing. It’d be a cliché of sorts to put something about “nourishing the soul as well as the belly” and undoubtedly better writers than I have expressed it more succinctly. Presentation, whilst important, always took a bit of a back seat to the taste and balance of the meal (another future topic – balancing a menu …).
Some of my mother’s recipes are still prevalent in my kitchen today, but perhaps not as many as there should be. Similarly, its been a very long time indeed since I last raided the holy of holies – my grandmother’s recipe index. So this blog will, in all honesty, be a mixture of the old and the new, comforting favourites and new-found loves. As all cookery should be.