Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Simmering Memories

Not long ago I inherited my mothers beautifully handwritten cookbooks.  At the time I promised to make photocopies for other members of the family.  Now I have decided, instead, to create this blog.  I hope it will be easily accessible and a long lasting record of this wonderful family treasure.

The first few times I looked through Mum’s recipe books I felt excited to have all those recipes and then the memories started to pour into my mind.  The books started to be more than just food recipes.

There is a big collection of recipes; some Mum cooked many times, others I have never seen. There are also ideas from magazines or notable cook books, some recipes given to her by friends and family members and most are hand written, not always by Mum.

There are names, footnotes, sticky notes, tea stains, side notes and scraps of paper with recipes and meal ideas tucked in between pages.  These create so many memories of meals prepared in the big country style kitchen and shared in the large high ceiling dining room of our family home in Hunters Hill, a leafy suburb in Sydney, Australia.

I remember many but not all of the people behind the names and I hope that in this blog we will be able to piece together who they were, find the friends, and contributors, share memories and stir up a cooking creation that is a tribute to our Mum and Nonna, Janet Macnaught and all those who were influencers to our kitchen memories and meals. 

This is interactive, and I am looking for feedback and corrections, which I am sure will come streaming in from my family and I have 3 sons, a step daughter and a step son, I also have 4 sisters and 4 brothers all with spouses and we together produced 27 grandchildren and about a dozen great grandchildren, not to mention the growing number of step grandchildren (I’m not sure who is keeping the count these days).

In a desire to share the recipes in a format that is easily accessible I have set up this blog: "Simmering Memories" join me!


  1. I look forward to thursday's post xx

  2. What a wonderful idea Jane! Looking forward to reading more and trying my hand at the recipes you post. Maybe another idea could be for everyone to post photos of their finished products or at least attempts at Nonna's cook book wonders - that way we can "virtually" share in the meals together, embracing our world-wide and growing family! Thoughts?! Jess xx

  3. Thx Jess, yes I am keen to hear about trials and tribulations, you can email me any pics and I'll collate and publish from time to time. Of course my main focus will be to get all the recipes up onto the blog, and I'll work on an index as the volume increases! Hope you like the Chicken Raymond, we had it tonight, I haven't cooked it for years, it was new to my crew and they were very enthusiastic!

  4. This is fantastic!!
    What a great way for us to access Nonna's culinary delights and a lovely tribute to a wonderful woman and great cook!
    I can't wait to share some of these with my own family.
    Thanks Jano

  5. Welcome to the blog Kate! Enjoy X

  6. Ha ha!! Nice one Jess...with my past history of MANY a culinary disaster ( don't say anything Jane )... be certain that if and when I EVER post a photo of MY efforts...it will probably be after MANY previous attempts!!! This is going to be soooo cool!! xoxo