Good morning, all. It is a porridge kind of day. Grey. Cold. Damp. Porridge is needed.
Isn't it amazing how we associate food with moods, or weather, or emotions? A hot cross bun day. A salad kind of day. A stick the crock pot on day. A butternut soup kind of day.
Actually, more to the point, it is wonderful how we can recall memories simply by smelling or tasting something. Shell fish - crayfish (lobster), prawns, always whizz me straight back to a back on the west coast of the Cape, where I spent many days diving with friends for crayfish. South African crayfish are huge, like lobsters. We caught them, kept them in rock pools, then cooked them in seawater. And ate them on the beach. I can smell them. Taste them. Feel the sun on my back and the sand between my toes.
I was thinking about Brandy Tart yesterday. Cape Brandy Tart is a regional recipe and absolutely wonderful, especially on a cold dark wet night. Sticky. Served with cream or hot custard. Maybe I should make a couple. They freeze well, and the brandy is still out from Christmas and the cake baking. I made it for a charity supper event one year here in the village - you provide a dish and copies of the recipe which are sold to raise more money, and it proved to be a roaring hit. Especially with the men!
Then I remember the pecan pies. The carrot cakes. Stuttafords food hall. The Old Cape Farm Stall, with the fresh vegetables and the home made cakes and biscuits. And breads. And jams. My friend Cheryl gave me some Cape Gooseberry jam for Christmas. (Physalis, here.) My absolute favourite, which she brought all the way from Cape Town.
Memories are made like this, you see. One thing triggers another, and you find your thoughts wandering down old familiar pathways, through the trees, up the mountain and you pass and bookmark stuff as you go to return to at a later time. If you remember how and where. My grammar skills seem to have gone awol in the forest, people. Whatever. I am quite sure you know what I mean to say.
This morning, I checked Instagram, (I am linds56) and saw a photo posted by a friend. This friend is a man I have known for 35 of his 38 years. He and my older son grew up together, and his mother is one of my dear friends. Obviously, he is no longer the little barefoot kiddie I first met, back in 1981, with cheeky grin and long blonde hair. He is the one in the middle of this photo below, by the way. I had to get my Andrew to go through his photos and email me the copy.
I say "my" Andrew, because there were many Andrews and he was another one, but he became known as VC. I still think of him as Andrew, though, because I am a mother. We do that kind of thing.
Anyway.... aren't they cute? 1983. Babies. Andrew, Andrew and Nigel. They had already had 2 years of pre-primary together by the time they headed to "Big" school. I feel old, all of a sudden.
(We are taking the long path here, people, round the woods and over the hills, and through the river.,....)
So, as I said up there at the beginning, I saw a photo VC had posted. It was of his 2 sons this morning, on the first day of school. One to start Big School, and one to start pre-primary. (That one was barefoot, with long blonde hair too - just like his father at the same age.) The older one in the identical uniform his father wore in this photo, except for the socks and shoes. You only start school when you are 6 in SA. Not like here where you go at 4. (Do not get me started. It is crazy.)
And so I was transported in an instant, back to 1983. I could see this photo in my mind. And I knew I had to find it and post it too, on Instagram. And tag the other Andrew.
32 years ago. I am sitting here shaking my head in disbelief. 32 years ago. Oy.
Memories. They make the head want to explode at times.
In a good way.
I need to go and make something warm. Now where did I put the Cape Brandy Tart recipe.......