A very hungry Cornish woman!

 Hello Dear Reader,

You must really think that I don’t do anything but cook. I’ve recently caught up with (on the BBC – Hungry Frenchman) Raymond Blanc’s tour round France, savouring regional dishes and meeting not only famous chefs, but renowned mothers, including his own, who love to cook. In the recent episode he met Les mere de Lyon – the mothers of Lyon, who have a fantastic reputation as food producers. He met famous women who made wine, made sausages, who made cheese and of course women who cook. I owe my love of food from my own, no nonsense mother of Cornwall. If you opened our fridge, you wouldn’t be surprised to see a bowl of mussels collected from the beach, or a pig’s head, trotters, whole fish caught by my dad. If you opened our kitchen cupboards you would  find pickles, preserves, bottled fruit. If you opened our shed, you would find drying squash, nets filled with onions, apples wrapped in news paper and laid out, not touching on shelves, plaited shallots and hessian sacks of spuds being kept in the dark. Any milk that ‘turned’ was made into cottage cheese and stale bread was made into a pudding. I owe her a lot.

Thanks to my mum, I will eat anything. I’m not fussy. I’m also not afraid of cook books, new kitchen equipment or learning how to make something, or cook something with a BBC or You Tube tutorial. I have a love of the home made, therefore I have a love of making it or cooking it myself. I like to open my cupboards, or my fridge, or the cake tin, or bread bin and have ‘something in’.

 Today, my ‘something in’ was a boiled gammon joint, which I then cooled and sliced myself. I’ve had my Kenwood slicer for years. I bought it from Argos (sadly, the cheapest place for anything!) It’s a doddle to use and it’s a much cheaper alternative, and in my opinion – better!. than shop bought ham.

 I then cover it in foil, put it safely in the fridge and it’s there for sandwiches, lunches or to have with a few boiled potatoes for supper. My gammon joint cost £3.78 from Tesco and I have just under a kilo. Sliced ham, in packets of off the deli counter costs around £12 a kilo! It’s delicious and cheaper.

What food heritage do you owe to your mum or a significant person? What did you find in your fridge or larder as a child? What do you have in yours which is a testimony to your upbringing?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xx


20 thoughts on “A very hungry Cornish woman!

  1. When I was little I was given some sort of flat fish to eat. There was a hole where the eye had been. That blasted fish gave me nightmares for years, I was always wondering where the eye was! Couldn't eat fish after that, too scared.

    But apart from that I do appreciate proper homemade jam. My aunt used to serve it in one of those little china jam pots with their own spoons. The tradition carries on with me.

    Linda xx


  2. We always had tons of fresh fruit (whatever was in season). I still love it to this day. Always feels like a special treat.

    I have a slicer that is identical to yours. I got it in Goodwill when visiting my Mom for $3.58!! (It's labeled Oster, but looks exactly the same.) I had been wanting one very badly, and was patient. It works like brand new!


  3. The gammon looks lovely, and I would have eaten it six months ago! But now I'm a veggie convert! *polishes the halo* ! lol
    I just love all vegetables and that's thanks to my mum & dad always having an allotment.
    Now I grow my own veg too & hopefully, my children will will continue the lifestyle – though my eldest, who's now 19, has always had a Brussel sprout issue! 😉


  4. A Spong mincer, and a pressure cooker are two 'trad' bits of kitchen kit I wouldn't be without.
    I have never eaten tripe, mainly because my Mum said it was awful.

    your meat looks great

    And yes, I had noticed your blogs have been VERY foodie lately!!

    blessings xx


  5. The Gammon looks wonderful, very moist and tender and lots of lovely stock for soup. I couldn't be without my slicer they are a great investment.

    I had a great teacher in my mum too, although I do remember coming home from school one day to find her on the kitchen floor butchering half a pig!! then the head and other “bits” simmering on the cooker for making brawn and potted meat. I consider myself not a fussy eater but to this day I haven't eaten potted meat. Everytime I serve it to a customer at work I think about my mum and the pig!

    We had Spag Bol tonight from the huge vat I made yesterday in the slow cooker, another fab investment.

    Karen x


  6. Sadly, I got from my parents the inability to eat large meals or to want to 'feel full'. I could not eat fish as a child, keeping it in my mouth, then when my Mum got cross and told me to just eat it, slapped me on the back and it was all in my mouth, couldn't swallow it. She never made me eat it again. I don't eat it now.

    I also didn't like meat, which is still the case. I became very strict vegetarian in the 1960s and now would only eat meat if someone had gone to the trouble of cooking me something.

    Like Crystal Mooncat, I love making home made jam (and bread).


  7. Ham shank was a popular dish, boiled in a big jam pan then the lentil soup.
    That's still a favourite of mine whenever I can get a decent ham shank.

    Cumberland sausage and black pudding, both made by the local butcher.
    I still like the Cumberland sausage made by the local butcher, but sadly the black pudding is now not made locally, something to do with EU regulations, and the supermarket stuff just isn't the same.

    Home-baked teacakes were always available, big ones called biskies locally.
    I don't do these, but like my own baked bread, even if it is from a bread-maker.

    Wild rabbit was a common dish, not so common now.

    Seafood since we live near the sea, line-caught fish, shore mussels, winkles, whelks off the boats, locally known as buckies, the occasional crab from the shore and even rarer lobster.

    Bramble jelly my mother made, I spent many hours picking them, purple fingers were common in August and September.


  8. My friend lived on a farm, and her mother always had a huge American fridge – even in the 1970's. There was always a cows tongue pressing in a bucket with weights on in the bottom of the fridge and also a full bucket of cream! Your ham looks gorgeous. xx


  9. Thanks to Mum, I have the ability to be resourceful with anything I've got in the cupboards. Mum famously always cooked from cookbooks but never had all the ingredients and would always substitute with whatever she had.


  10. my mum knew how to stretch a meal, no matter who poppd in the meal would always go round, even though we had very little, we always had home cooked meals, no ready meals, one thing I always associate with my mum is her cheese and onion pie – yum


  11. lots of frozen veg… excess or veg that wasn't going to be eaten before it got soft or mouldy – this all went into soup which was then frozen. I do the same.
    My dad loved beef dripping so when we did have beef you could guarantee that there woudl be a tub of dripping in the fridge waiting to be spread on taost for supper on Sunday, monday….. And she made a great marble cake and Stovies 0 sausage meat, potatoes and oinion sliced and boiled with gravy ( peasant stovies of course)


  12. We always had lots of fish, most families had someone on the trawlers and often we'd find a parcel of fish on the doorstep, left by my fisherman uncle. My dad made the best fishcakes I've ever tasted, I love fish but unfortunately my husband is allergic to it!! Sods law. My dad had an allotment, so we always had fresh veg too.
    Love gammon and as you say, so much cheaper to cook and slice. Much better than that wet slimy stuff the supermarkets sell.
    I like to have a good stock of basics.


  13. It's great to be frugal and make/grow/adapt your own food. My grandmother was my inspiration – she taught her little dog to catch rabbits for the pot, grew all her own veg and fruit, kept chickens etc. But, I have to say, I will never again eat an andouille sausage – sorry Raymond Blanc, but I prefer my meat without eyelids – including the lashes – and a tripe based product just doesn't rock my boat. People ate tripe because it was cheap – even farmers ate it because they could sell the choicest cuts of the cow etc. Tripe is fit only for dogs and cats – if you can get them to eat it! Love your foodie blogs by the way…


  14. Growing up on a farm you learn not to be sentimental about what you are eating. Mum could wring a chicken's neck and skin a rabbit without blinking and we would eat all she put in front of us. The only thing I can't eat is custard because we had it with every pudding even icecream.


  15. We were quite poor so my mum used anything she could. My dad would catch rabbits but when I saw a skinned one floating in the sink I refused to eat it (I was 6). A pudding she made that I loved was to make some custard then pour it over a cut up swiss roll. Then she would bake it in the oven. Lovely. She also used to freeze orange juice in ice cube trays with a stick (literally) in them. Great.


  16. My mother was a very plain cook, everything was fried or baked. My Father insisted that all meat be cooked very well done and in my opinion that removed any flavor the meat might have had. I'm not complaining, my mother worked outside the home—-she was a Cook. I can't imagine cooking all day and then coming home to have to cook again. As for my Father, he paid for the food so it was only right that it should be cooked to his specifications.
    My inspiration for cooking was my Spanish Mother-in-law, she could make a meal out of nothing and many of the meals I cook today are from her recipes.


  17. Home made jam, pickled cucumbers and beets. Soup, frozen goodies and lunches already to go. There were 6 kids in our family and mom was very thrifty, as was both grammas. I learned lots of tricks that helped to raise my family.


  18. My heritage is never to be at a loss for bread. My family never made yeast bread but there was always soda or wheaten bread, either made into farls or bannocks and of course, potato farls and scones. Farls were always cooked on the stove top on a griddle so that the oven did not need to be heated up.

    A treat as a child was a slice of fresh wheaten bread with home made marmalade. Just the thought of it is making my mouth water : )


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