I am feeling a lot better. We had 2 lovely warm days, & yesterday was downright summery, climbing to 31 degrees, & making us begin to think about summer clothes.
I had a letter from my Dear Niece, with news of family. Also, sadly the passing of their lovely cat, Paddy.
Paddy was very old, & had been with my niece from the beginning of her marriage, & the eventual arrival of her 2 daughters. Paddy cat was really so much a part of the family. She took turns sleeping with the girls as they grew up.
Paddy had 6 toes instead of the usual 5, & she was a very dignified darling. In the end her 'father' had to take her to the vet's to be put to sleep. She had begun to just fall over, & had fallen of the couch. The vet was quite amazed at her age, & she had moved many times with her family. She was born a country cat, but became a city cat, while just a kitten.
My niece said 'Daddy' brought her home in the cage, so the girls could say their goodbyes. The younger daughter asked if she could take Paddy to school for Show & Tell. My niece said she could just imagine the teacher's horror!
She was made a very elegant coffin, & laid to rest in their, hopefully, peranant garden. RIP Paddy.
Recently I was looking for recipe ideas among my old battered books, one, given to me when I first got married, by my mother. It is a Collins recipe book, they were common in New Zealand. First aid tips. Pages of alternative measurements. Sections for various dishes. Meats, Savouries, Desserts etc.
The book is somewhat splattered in parts. New Husband learning to cook Afghans. Children learning to cook various dishes. Hurried Meggie splatters, making hasty teas.
There are wonderful memories of friends & family. Usually when I wrote a recipe in the book, I also named the person who gave me the recipe. Hence I have 'Sue's Sponge' 'Bob's Chicken Casserole', that sort of thing. Some recipes I have no memory of ever making! How extraordinary. Plus we found our tastes changed over the years & things I once made often, are little thought of now.
One old favourite is Golden Sausages. Gom still loves them, but I am not keen anymore- they give me indigestion. Our Daughter still loves them, though. I was given the recipe by a neighbour, when our children were small. We still keep in touch, & she still makes the recipe now & then too, for her grandchildren.
When I was a newlywed, there were plenty of cooking shows on TV. It seemed to be a 'Thing' of the era, in the 60s & 70s.
There was Alison Holst, who was a sensible 'downhome' cooking Mum, & her recipes were usually family friendly. She had an easy manner, & was very popular. I still have quite a few recipe leaflets, featuring her recipes.
Then there was Graham Kerr, who was more flamboyant, & he tried much more daring recipes. New Zealand was beginning to open up to more varied cuisine. Graham was such a success, and his lighthearted humour was very popular. He did move on from NZ, & became a star with his series "The Galloping Gourmet".
I am not sure where, in the timeline of it all, there came upon the TV scene anther cook, Des Britten. He was an amusing flamboyant cook, who owned a restaurant. He really shook up the nations taste buds, & organised a nationwide cooking competition, with people entering various sections, from all over the country. I have a copy of his cookbook to this day, & though I rarely use it, I still enjoy looking through the recipes & reading his tips, he usually added at the end of each recipe.
I do believe Des 'got God' & became a minister of some religion.
I sometimes watch another exKiwi, cooking show host, Iain Hewitson, who is on TV here in Australia. He sometimes mentions Des, & being a contemporary of his. I don't remember Iain cooking on TV in NZ.
Another really flamboyant & highly humourous couple, was Hudson & Halls. I was surprised to find a documentary about the couple has been made for NZTV.
They were a male gay couple who were very entertaining. I was surprised to learn they are both now dead.
I know that not everybody enjoys watching cooking shows, nor even likes to cook. It is something I really enjoy, when I am in the mood, but now I also love to dine out when I get the chance. So nice not to have to do the dishes or think of the plan!
Bryan Adams, Summer of '69.