When anyone asks me how long I’ve been interested in cooking, I’m instantly transported back to early years of childhood. In my mind, it’s as clear as if it were just yesterday, back in that big farm house kitchen, greasing and flouring cake pans for my Mom. I can still hear her sweet voice, instructing me (in half Polish, half English) “be sure to get the corners dearest, so our cake will come out“.
Mom was such a great teacher, gentle, patient and with a kindness, that to this day – I still find unparalleled.
It’s funny what can trigger a memory, and can blow your mind – especially when it’s something you hadn’t thought of in years! Take for instance, my recent flash back to cod liver oil. Yes. I grew up in that time. Something, somewhere brought back the memory of Mom stuffing this down our throats – in the name of good health, of course. I admit, that was a very long time ago and yes, it was the day when, as kids living on a farm, we walked to school – no matter what the weather.
While it wasn’t quite the “uphill both ways saga”…. I’ve since mapped it and it was almost 1.5 kilometers, one way. In all weather. That was a big deal for my little 6 year old legs – and off to school for the first time, with ‘the big kids’.
So back to the cod liver oil…. only in winter, thank goodness. That stuff had a smell like….. NO OTHER!! And nothing you can imagine, if your gag reflex does not have intimate knowledge of it!
Something else that takes me back to exactly that time – oatmeal. Yes, a big pot of it, bubbling away on the stove, the morning ritual for daily sustenance. Don’t forget those were simpler days…. farm days. There were no microwaves or instant…. well… anything. This was the old fashioned, stick to your ribs, walk to school in snowy, cold winter weather and get a good start food!
I still eat oatmeal. Love it, in fact ♥ And yes, I still cook it, in a pot on the stove. Part comfort, part ritual, part healthy eating, all totaling good health & good memories.. Not necessarily of the trek to/from school, but how our Mom showed us love and caring, in the small things.
To this day and probably as long as I live, each and every time I prep cake pans I have those memories of the farm house kitchen, and I’m a little girl again, with my Mom.
|The Farm House, north of Inverary, ON. 1970s|