February 16, 2011

It's been very, very quiet

MangoJulep has been quiet for a while...the last post was the 1st of June last year. So much has happened since then, and I just haven't had time to blog about my cooking adventures.

I have some retrospective posts about my birthday and about cooking adventures...which I will post after this one but put the date that they were supposed to be posted on.

Things have been quiet on the Julep front because in July last year, my Gran died. I have talked about her kitchen on this blog and how she taught me to make junket, she probably even features in some of the retrospective posts.

But what I haven't captured is how much I loved her, and how much her loss has changed the world, my world. I don't know if I can say it in words, but I will put something here just to mark it, and tell everyone who reads what an amazing woman she was.

My Gran was one of the most important people in my life. If I am like anybody in my family, I am like her, she is where I come from and if I could be half as fun and vibrant and lovely as she was, well I am doing very well.

We didn't get to spend a great deal of time together, because we lived in different cities, but the time we had was special and something I will remember for the rest of my life. My cooking and love of food comes from her and indirectly from her mother.

She was always at home. You could arrive at her house unannounced and she would be there with some cake or biscuits and a cup of tea. It didn't matter how bad things got, Gran always had a cup of tea and a piece of cake. Anything could be conquered then.

She was proud...no matter what. It didn't matter if you came first in the race or last in the race...she bragged about my brother and I to all of her friends...and she had loads of friends. For someone who couldn't drive, she managed to make enough friends that it was standing room only when we all said goodbye.

She always said hello. Which is probably why she had a load of friends. Anyone she saw she would say hello to and have a chat. When she was at reception at the hospital to be admitted for tests she was chatting up a storm with people, talking about where she was from and asking about them.

She loved with her whole heart. She loved animals and plants and gardens and family. They were the things that mattered. To see her cry was heartbreaking, because when she did cry, she had dam good reason. Her garden was beautiful. Old and cottagey. An injustice towards animals was not tolerated. A plant had to be white or variegated. Variegation was highly prized. Her family had a story...and she knew it and remembered it, down to the very last detail.

She cooked the most delicious food. It was simple and comforting. She always she that she could never cook as well as her mum...I don't know...all I know was that whenever she cooked for me I loved what was on the plate. Slow cooked roast. Her take on spaghetti bolognaise. Shortbread biscuits. Porridge. Sausages and gravy. Steak and three veg. Pink meat. Mayonaisse. Milo. Always adding "a little bit of sunshine".

She was funny. Just the most wicked sense of humour that would pop up at any moment and have you laughing till you cried. Never foul, just witty and relevant. She would always finish with a laughing snort that just made you laugh harder.

She was dignified and graceful. She had standards and was a real lady. She would get dressed to go to town and it would be her best dress, shoes and makeup. Going to town was exciting. She never swore, drank or smoked...but had some of the best times you could imagine.

She was sweet and kind. She loved to be hugged and loved to get postcards from wherever you were. She got excited about the simplest of things like having takeaway pizza. She always had warm milk on her breakfast. She would give you anything you asked for in her house, even if you had only known her 5 minutes.

She had a faith in god and in life that was unshakable.

I was going to post a picture of her here, but I think I might leave her image anonymous. For someone who in her 80 years had never once eaten KFC, I don't think she needs to be on the Internet either.

I love you big, real big. I won't just remember the food. I will remember you.

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