The summer of 1968, the air was thick and it was sweltering hot. My mother Sarina was in the kitchen in the house I grew up in, the north central suburb of Campbellfield.
Her cheeks where red like tomatoes, and her face hot like fire, but she was radiating like an angel, with her smile that took me into her heart, who knows what she was going through working 3 jobs, tackling home, children, and racism?
It was a time that many would have left and gone back, but still she stayed and saw her beloved parents 20 years later, in those days they didn't have Skype, Facebook, Google or iPhone, just the postoffice letter.
She was making my favourite meal, come to think of it? It became everyones favourite. Do you have a favourite meal your mum, auntie or grandma made?
It was cannelloni I always got to taste test! Ha!
I don't think many people would be making cannelloni in the scorching heat today!
This was her way of saying `Ti voglio bene amore mia,' she showed me love through food, she showed me discipline through food. These women where my teachers, a way of love through food
still today 51 years later I remember her.
I honour her ways, and she is very sacred to my heart. She assisted in creating this human to be who I am. She moulded me in her ways, and as I have grown today as a nonna myself, I understand her better.
Each year I look back and realise the questions I used to ask myself and slowly find the answers.
Food is about family it is about community and about love.
Food is more than we think it shows us our history, with each recipe, it reveals us the influence with our ingredients.
But most of all it comforts us in times of need.
It is the fundamental foundations of family.
How many lessons did I learn on that stool, I could have closed myself to them, but I didn't I allowed the lesson to enter, and reveal itself to me.
My questions to myself are, will I continue as my mamma did?
Do we have the stamina to cook at blazing heats like she did?
How will we survive without the comfort that cultural food gives us?
So many fast food chains and so many people getting sick..
On that kitchen stool I learnt life's lessons they where and still are the best.
I learned that life is a circle.
I learned the preciousness of each moment that life brings to you.
I learned that family is numero uno.
I learned love.
I learned to give.
Lets bring back to our own table the food of our culture to share with our children and grandchildren to give them a memory that will continue throughout the generations to come.
See you in my cucina...