When Vanessa told me that she was thinking of writing a cookery book I couldn’t think of anyone better for the job. Her kitchen is a just a treasure trove of interesting finds and at any time - you should see her cupboards stashed with goodies! - If you pop round you will always find some luscious dish that will invariably spoil your dinner (and you know a taste can never just be a taste…)
From as early as I can remember our family life has been centered around food; the huge veg patch in my parent’s garden, delicious Sunday roast dinners, fabulous homemade cakes, full English breakfasts with chutney and homemade bread, 5 course meals in the south of France every holiday, and mum’s amazing Italian cooking! I used to take great pride in being renown at school for having a such an amazing mum who was legendry for her cakes… well … she was a top chef at Keele University before she had us!
So mum has passed her Italian culinary genius, her passion and perhaps a little of her temper amongst other thing, on to Vanessa, Justin (our brother) and myself. Meal times are always interesting with three strong opinions about how the food could be improved (as if needed it!)
Mum’s influence has manifested itself in different ways; My brother with his dab hand at roast dinners and seriously crunchy pickled onions, me, well, my husband can testify, that I can whip up a good meal from nothing & as the founder of a chutney company that was supplying the major supermarkets I love developing new texture and flavors.…. and Vanessa – pretty much fantastic at anything edible! Vanessa, like mum can watch a cookery program/ read a recipe/ see something in a shop window and then go and recreate something three times better at home.Watching her create the recipe book has been as much an education for us! It has been entertaining, at times frustrating and the blog has provided the opportunity for everyone else to peer inside this project too. What wonderful reading! I helped her to thrash out ideas in the early stages and now it’s almost he end. It’s the hard (and I guess boring) bit that is the editing/ re-testing / re-writing and tidying up of the recipes that she’s doing now. The fact that Vanessa is now about to cross the finish line with a hardback, full colour and frankly gorgeous book is a testament to her tenacity and determination and bloody hard work. I am, and I’m sure I can speak for my family, immensely proud of my big sister. And this is only just the beginning ........