A recent surveyed revealed that more than half of us value family recipes as highly as we do material family heirlooms.
The survey, based on 1,000 respondents in the UK and carried out by allaboutyou.com, found 58 per cent of people value family recipes as much as material heirlooms, a further 17 per cent value them more.
On pondering this I thought family recipes are a part of our history, whether your mother whipped up delightful and elaborate cakes of her own devising, or if you were given strange concoctions with no name that became a family favourite, food stays in our memories.
My mum was very much of the latter category of strange concoctions. She wonders why I became so interested in cooking as she wasn’t exactly a passionate chef herself. That’s not to say she didn’t care and that we didn’t eat well – we did because she had a wonderful vegetable patch. She was also careful to make sure she passed on basic cooking skills to me and we spent most weekend whipping up copious batches of chocolate chip fairy cakes for my dad’s and two brother’s lunch boxes.
One of our strange family favourite recipes I remember well was a very curious ‘shepherds pie’. I put it in speech marks as it is questionably a shepherds pie. In fact I believe it came from my mum’s mum and she called it a goulash – it is really neither. It was ground up lamb from yesterdays roast (yes sounding like a shepherds pie at the moment) mixed with a can of plum tomatoes, chopped up, a can of baked beans and then topped with mashed potato and baked. We loved it as children, but its not really the height of gastronomy. The rest of the meals I remember from my childhood follow a similar tact, they were strange versions of original recipes such as a curry made with curry powder, mango chutney and stock, canned mushrooms, leftover chicken and raisins?!!
So I guess I hanker after some wonderful family heirloom recipes to call my own, I suppose I’ll have to create my own to pass onto my children. I’d love to here what your family heirloom recipes are, whether they are delicious or rather odd like mine.