Well I do and I have for as long as I can remember. In particular, at around the age of three, I recall mixing and mixing a sickly sweet cake mixture. With my fat little arms, stiff from stirring the gloop with a wooden spoon and a little trace of cake moustache around my mouth I was more than pleased with my efforts. What heaven! And lo and behold an hour or so later, I was invited back in to the kitchen to see the finished creation – a perfectly rectangular, iced chocolate cake.
The penny did not drop immediately, that there had been no chocolate involved in my sticky mixture but after all I was only little and everything was possible. I have no idea when ,but my mother did finally confess that she had binned the cement cake mixture and bought the chocolate cake from the milkman. It was a time when milkmen still delivered and offered little extras too (nothing to be read into this please- orange juice, potatoes and the odd chocolate cake!!). Nevertheless, to tiny me it was magic.
My journey with cooking continued although I am not sure quite why. Perhaps I should explain that my father was English and my mother still is (93) very Italian. I believe that my father was very excited at the prospect of having an Italian wife who would be able to prepare him wonderful meals but alas he married a woman from Italian aristocracy who didn’t even know how to boil an egg. Apparently she ‘fessed up on their wedding night but nonetheless, I was born nine months later…
So food in our household was interesting but often erratic. My mother did learn to cook although her heart was never really in it, yet it introduced European cuisine to us in the 60’s – a little ahead of it’s time. Lasagne, vitello tonnato, risotto, scallopine alla milanese….what wonders alongside fish fingers and sausages. When my father cooked it was traditional British fare – roasts – wonderful beef on the bone* – lovely and rare, leg of lamb ( I always used to be given that wonderful sweet bits at the end- “smakerels”). But who made the best Yorkshire pudding to go with the beef – my mother! Perhaps they were a perfect match…. to be continued cos I am tired and might just waffle…bear with if you want too
* yorkshire pudding will have to feature at some point!