Family Food Fare and Favourites
Join me as I dig through my memories, and recipes, to rediscover my family’s food “back in the day” and how those food habits have changed over the decades to today’s diverse and multi-cultural cuisines. This is my theme for the 2021 A to Z challenge.
Saturday was mum’s baking day and she took to it with zest. Her grandfather was a pastry chef and confectioner, and even had his own chocolate factory! Is it any wonder we have an obsession with sweet treats. Mum’s cakes and biccies frequently included the zest of oranges or lemons (rarely limes, if at all). There’s nothing quite like the fragrance of freshly grated citrus fruit, even if it can be a pain to scrape from the grater.
It was a recipe I found in mum’s collection last year that set me down this path for the 2021 A2Z Challenge. It’s called Zenith Cake and I have tripped over the recipe card many times this month but somehow didn’t scan it. Of course, now can’t find it anywhere! I think this month’s blogging has passed its zenith and it’s time to stop and send up some ZZZZs.
Zucchini was an obvious food for this topic, but I don’t think we even knew it existed when I was a child.
Zucchini is now found frequently on our menus. For Christmas 2016 my recipe clippings show we prepared a Zucchini and Sweet Potato Salad with Spinach and Tomatoes, a recipe that’s had regular outings since then.
And there was the Zucchini pie/Scarpaccia (above) we cooked for our daughter and her partner when we met them in Chianti in 2000. It felt so exotic, and companionable, to be sharing a meal and wine in our “own” villa near Siena.
Or the story of eldest daughter cooking zucchini fritters from Master 3 or 4, another gourmand in training. After the taste test his response was: “It’s not my favourite, Aunty L…”
I do believe that back in my early married life I experimented with Zabaglione before deciding it was too much trouble…or perhaps too temperamental.
NEW FOOD FARE
Za’atar is a new ingredient that’s joined our culinary repertoire with the introduction of Middle Eastern cooking. It adds a delicious flavour[i].
When feeling a bit stumped by foods, or looking for recipes I may have forgotten, I’ve explored some websites and was amazed to discover this one which I just had to share with you. It’s called ZigZag fruit (Melodorum leichhardtii) and the websites say it is an Aussie native plant which “has a very pleasing spicy orange-sherbet flavour, and is used in making sauces for gourmet dishes but also to make liqueur”[ii]. News to me, and, I’m thinking, quite likely to you as well. I don’t think we even encountered it at the Daintree’s Cape Trib Farm’s exotic fruit tasting.
Back in 2013 we visited a Zanzibar spice farm and saw a whole range of spices in their natural habitat. We had great fun but the family gourmand was much better at knowing which spice it was, having already visited once. I call that cheating 😉
Another discovery I’ve made is a drink called Zurra which is a white wine version of Sangria. I found this recipe in a Vogue Entertaining and Travel and because it’s so delicious I clipped it to share here.
I don’t know about you, but after a month of posts I’m zonked, and thinking a glass of zurra would go down well!
Is zucchini a favourite vegetable in your house now? Was it when you were young?
Had you ever heard of ZigZag fruit or Zurra?
Have you made your own Za’atar?
Are you zonked from the A2Z challenge? This is my 950th post on this blog so you can be pretty sure I’m zonked entirely.