Mx Faker you make goooooood Cookies!

Anyone else not inherit any recipes? Grow up with a culinary and historical void where other people had comfort food and family histories?

I remember growing up and seeing family recipes everywhere; all my friends families had them! From polish cabbage rolls and Acadian met pies to Tartatin and Tea Biscuits! Recipes passed down from generation to generation.

They’re all over pop culture. Every sitcom or romcom had them so why didn’t my family have any?

I always felt really ripped off and disconnected from the womxn who came before me. My mom baked occasionally, but working full time and having 6 kids didn’t leave much leisure time. On top of being time poor her mother had died when she was very young and therefor she never had a chance to be handed down family knowledge.The memories I have of baking with my mom mostly involve reading recipes of ta bag of chocolate chips, porridge oats, or jar of peanut butter.

My auntie, my dads sister, baked almost constantly! She was amazing at it, but being a plus sized womxn in a family of fat-shamers there was always a tinge of sadness when we’d bake together. I think having been raised by a feeder incapable of showing genuine affection(my paternal grandmother is mean af) really took it’s tole. Complicated emotions and family trauma aside(lol not really you can’t escape them)… the vast majority of her recipes came from cookbooks… many of which with titles like ‘Eat, Drink, and be Skinny’. Family are wild like that, inheritiing generation trauma and having it layered like a fudge cake between new traumas! It’s no wonder I have a warped relationship with food, my body, and self image.

I remember being told about how great a baker my great Grandmother was, but where those recipes ended up I never knew.

The only source of anything resembling ‘family recipes’ in my life is a now greatly contested cookbook from the 1920’s. I say greatly contested because after my parents divorce the both claimed it belonged to them. My father claims it belonged to the aforementioned great grandmother, and my mother claims it belonged to her mother. I don’t believe either of them to be honest and I don’t really care who it belonged to as long as I can be sure I’ll be the one to inherit it… fingers crossed.

Last year I had my brother photograph a few of the recipes and email them to me. Molasses cookies and gingerbread to be specific. I think I’m the only one in the family ever to have used the book. It lives on a back shelf and gathers dust and that breaks my heart a little. I’ve made maybe a dozen recipes I’ve found in it’s 500+ pages which is barely scratching the surface. Having been written in the 1920’s much of them need updating or substitutions as they can be a bit dated and heavy on the LARD.

Contested Cookbooks aside I never really felt like I had inherited recipes. There’s no box of tattered slips of paper, with flowery hand writing from matriarchs past, stained with butter and egg, that I can finger through in times of need. I ‘d say I’m pinning for a romantic ideal… but I’ve seen them! They exist! In the kitchen cupboards of friends and chosen family, guarded and cared for and catalogued meticulously for generations to come.

It’s is just another way in which I feel unconnected to my past. I’ve always felt as if no one before me existed, not really, they were all just made up, there’s no proof they existed… even in my childhood these existential thoughts plagued me. Would I be forgotten or erased because of lack of care? Would no one guard my memory or care for what I left behind? I was a melancholy child for sure. We all live in a simulation anyway so whatever. Long live the matrix.

I don’t plan to have children, not biological ones anyway, but regardless I want to leave a collection of recipes behind. Foods I’ve poured love and time into to taste test and to master. I don’t want my tomb stone to read; Made Great Cookies… but I want it to be known that I did, in fact, make great cookies. So having picked up a pack of Nestle* chocolate chips from the isle of ‘American Specialty Food'(having thrown my better judgment and moral convictions aside for a taste of nostalgia) I got to baking.

I decided to try out a recipe from TASTY that did not disappoint. The recipe will need a few small tweeks, a bit more salt I think, and it might just go into the recipe log I’ve started to keep for future generations…

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What’s your ideal chocolate chip cookie? Is it chewy and gooey or crispy and crunchy? Milk or dark chocolate chip?

Where did you get the recipe? Family? Friends? A cookbook? The internet? Did you make it up?

Best served with milk or coffee?

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Since I’ve been trying to cut out as much dairy as possible from my diet I enjoyed my cookies with coconut milk and I’ve got to say it was a perfect pairing!

*Nestle is a thoroughly evil company from stealing water to forced labour and much much more. I go out of my way to ensure I’m not giving them money or supporting them, but this time I caved, just once, because we can’t all be perfect all the time.

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Kombucha much?

Maybe you’re like me and you’re a bit late in the game coming to the newly gentrified foods. First it was Quinoa then kale now kombucha! Seems companies can’t get enough of lesser known(to us white folks) foods to popularise and produce on a massive scale!

Because I’ve been struggling with my gut(thanks to a load of previously undiagnosed allergies) I’ve spent a load of time trying to find things to help. Probiotics came up time and time again in my searches, and while most of the products out there seem pretty dubious(again it seems like corporations jumping on a trend) I have found one or two that seemed legit! You won’t be surprised when I say I wanted to keep it OLD SCHOOL. Vintage is really a way of life and FERMENTED FOODS take that to a whole new level!

I am always suspicious of trends because if we’re being honest they’re usually all hype and no substance. This was my worry when it came to probiotics so in finding foods to add to my diet I have far more faith in traditional fermented foods than I would say … a probiotic yogurt!

After discovering (lets stop using that word white folks, it has this violent implications, finding out about something that has existed for ages is not a discovery and calling that gives yourself way to much credit and erases the people who DID discover/invent/create/originated it… just think of Columbus)Kimchi a few years ago when we visited Korea I knew I had one tasty food to fall back on… but I wanted more!

When it comes to food I am so greedy, I want to taste and try everything!

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Photo by me.

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I’m real late on this smoothie bowl trend. I blame pinterest. Seeing something over and over and over and over… I find it so off putting.

Smoothie;

  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 1/2 cup frozen mago
  • 4 tbsp oats
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 2 tbsp diced drie date

Toppings;

  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1 tbsp each pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, and raisins
  • drizzle of honey and sprinkle of chia seeds

 

Eating our way through Italy,

img_5598Milan has some amazing food, it has always been one of the  most afluent cities in the country and it’s food colour reflects this with rich dishes.

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Trattoria da Abele Temparanza

I’d been to Milan once before in November. Because my partner was working, and the cold, there was little al fresca dinning. This trip however we took full advantage of the weather and dinned out doors very often.

My absolute favorite dinning experience in Milan is Trattoria da Abele Temparanza. We’d found int on our last trip and it was so good we’d placed our booking, for the night after we arrived,  months before shortly after booking our plan tickets! Their menu is delicious and seasonal home cooked meals you’d expect to be cooked by someones Italian grandma; you can feel the love and see attention to details, and taste the quality in everything they serve.

Although we only spent 3 days and 2 nights in Milan we ate a lot of food! Especially at the wedding of my friend Laura we were there to attend. After a beautiful intimate ceremony in the garden of a castle, we were served cocktails and large buffet of snacks and appetisers, a three course dinner with wine, a candy buffet, wedding cake along with a chocolate fountain and entire dessert buffet full of cakes, pastry, fruit, and cheeses.

 

 

After the wedding we headed to Rome by train to celebrate our own 4th Wedding Anniversary(June 6th).

Rome for tme was all about he Ice Cream and Gelato. My three recommendations if you’re an ice cream fiend like myself are as follows;

 

 

Giolitti, was founded in1890 is the oldest ice cream parlour in Rome. They’re well known for their huge selection of ice cream and gelato flavours. The inside of this place is just beautiful with it’s old fashioned marble counters espresso machines, and glass cases filled with tradtional pastries, worth a visit even if you don’t like ice cream. Della Palma has more of a kitsch retro vibe. Selling a wide range of candy and confections they offer 150+ flavours of gelato, ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbert, and WHIPPED ice cream to chose from. I had Tiramisu WHIPPED ice cream and a scoop of Peanut Brittle with Marshmallow Ripple. Finally Frigidarium, a smaller selection compared to the previous two recommendations but what’s on offer is absolutely amazing. I had a scoop of both their raspberry and peach gelato and they were to die for.

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Trattoria al Moro

Highlights were our ‘Anniversary Dinner’ at Trattoria Al Moro; ‘a high-end, 1920s wood-paneled, romantic restaurant with a classic Roman menu & a large wine list’.

I can highly recommend this spot, we chose to dine outside, which was a little loud as it’s right on busy pedestrian street, but there’s thick greenery surrounding the dining area which provides privacy.  We had the most adorable old waiter who was very attentive and gave great recommendations from the menu and wine list.

Trattoria Al Morro is just around the corner from the Trevi Fountain, so besides the glowing reviews online we picked it so we could visit the fountain just before sundown and after dark. The fountain was so crowded I failed to really appreciate it’s beauty on the night, we visited again the next day and it was a little less crowded but still pretty maggoty with tourists so we didn’t stick around very long. I didn’t even get a picture, it was just so crowded.

I had some of the most brilliant pizza of my life from Pinsa ‘Mpo. The restaurant is very small with only a handful of small tables outside and a bar along the back wall with a dozen stools, we stopped by in the early evening during a quieter moment and managed to get a tiny table for two on the pavement outside.

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Pinsa ‘Mpo

We did keep it simple when it came to food this trip, but that is one of the best things about Italian food. 

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Passaguai

 

The other great food find was Passaguai. Which I think we found thanks to the trusty Guardian(they’re a trash publication but they actually do really good food guides for Europeans cities that haven’t let me down yet so…). The Roman equivalent of a posh hipster cafe, located in a slightly damp basement it was pretty refreshing to sit in the cool atmosphere after the heat and crowds of the city. The service wasn’t great but the food was.

 

All in all it as a brilliant trip for food. Italy may not be my favourite place in the world but when given the chance to visit I’ll go purely for the food!

All in all it as a brilliant trip for food. Italy may not be my favourite place in the world but when given the chance to visit I’ll go purely for the food!