Friday, November 23, 2012


Way back in the nineties, in what seems like another life, I bought a crepe pan. It was a little set, from my beloved Habitat, in its then incarnation on the Green, with that nice cafe restaurant upstairs that  did wonderful brunchy meals with bread muffins. Mmmmm.

The crepe set contained an iron crepe pan, a spreader, and a simple little thin edged wooden spatula for flipping them over. I've lost the spreader but you can do without it. It makes really really great crepes. I'm glad I bought it, I think it was only about £12 or something like that. Some might say 'it's far from crepe pans you were rared' but this isn't true in my case. I was rared way better than I live now!

I work with a delightful woman whose mother didn't cook. They had Smash and fish fingers and Findus Crispy Pancakes, and a tin of mushroom soup poured over rice was risotto. She says she was startled to watch Nigella years later and learn that there was much more to it than that. She makes me feel guilty.

On pancake day, we had pancakes, cooked straight on the Aga burner, and ALSO crepes, with various toppings. I didn't eat the mussels... fish averse even then... but all the rest.

I think about the food my mother made a lot, now that I don't seem able to cook nicely anymore - or get my kids to eat healthy things. I ate avocado, artichoke, salad with every meal, peppers, bean sprouts and soya sauce, all with relish. She made corned beef and cabbage, spare ribs from scratch, roast pork, roast chicken and baked potatoes, fried chicken, pork steak... spaghetti bolognaise, grilled cheese sandwiches. Guacamole, fried potatoes, omelettes. Cheesecakes and blackberry custard pies. So many real, proper dinners. I didn't eat the stew, fish or steak and kidney pie, I admit. I also remember dinner being cooked in a panic every night before my father got home, but I can understand that now, they were pretty involved dinners. I can't cook more than two things at once without freaking out myself, these days.

Food tasted so good in those days. Fresh and delicious. Yes, we were so lucky. 


Ms. Moon said...

I used to make crepes! I went through a phase. They were delicious.
I think the best food is the simplest. I honestly do. You can have, as a goal, to do one good, simple thing every day in your kitchen. Or a few times a week, at least. And if the children don't eat it- hey! at least you did your job! And what's wrong with feeding yourself good food?

Jo said...

Nothing! And yet, for some reason, it has become this major, draining challenge :/

laughykate said...

Yum....I too have a mother who is a weapon in the kitchen. I remember coming home from varsity one holidays to find she was going through an ice cream phase. There were eight different flavours to try from!

Jo said...

Sigh. My mother made icecream commercially for a while. It was so good. I loved it so much and I don't have her recipes :(