Many years ago I used to spend Saturday mornings cooking with my friend "Aunt Enid." I'm not sure how we got started, but every Saturday Aunt Enid's fire-engine red jeep would pull up outside our gate and wait for me to hop inside.
We were living in Uganda at the time and there were a handful of expatriates in our town from various countries. Aunt Enid hailed from the UK. Thus, the plan was for her to teach me some of the basics of British cooking.
I had great fun! I learned the basics of soup-making, pastry, food preparation and some classic British dishes. Our mornings always ended with cups of tea and a biscuit. Aunt Enid's influence was very timely and looking back now I see how wonderful it was to get out beyond the bounds of my own family's repertoire and learn new things. I also think how privileged I was that an older woman would take the time out of her schedule to invest in a young girl.
Here I am, standing in the heart of downtown Kampala, the capital of Uganda.
Aunt Enid and Uncle Keith now live in Wales. We've kept in touch over the years and even managed to meet up again when we lived in Scotland. Today I decided to phone them up and see how they were.
It's always fun to catch up on each others' news: hear what the grandchildren are up to, tell what my children are up to, find out any health concerns, hear about any exciting holidays. And it is always fun to tell Aunt Enid just what I've been up to in the kitchen (I had to mention the puff pastry!)
Enid and Keith spent some of their time in Dubai before living in Uganda. Recently I sold a tea cozy from my Etsy sight and noted that it was headed to Dubai! A fun bit of trivia, and it got Uncle Keith talking about a trip back to Dubai several years ago.
As the phonecall ended, I told them that I was off to spend a good portion of the day in the kitchen -- cooking of course. I've got a bunch of new recipes which I've collected in my "Fall Folder" and a list of things to prepare for tomorrow's lunch (company's coming).
There is a big bowl of apple slices covered in flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice, just waiting for me to throw them into Rustic Apple Tarts. A small bowl of defrosted cherries are waiting to be turned into cherry-pomegranate chutney, and a loaf of sour-dough bread is thawing prior to its reincarnation as Sour Dough Sweet Potato Stuffing. How I wish I had my camera so I could take pictures.
I hope you all have a good weekend!