"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

memories, my harvest and a recipe....

yesterday I went to my Wisdom Tree circle...after a lovely connecting & protection meditation we sat in silence answering some questions in our journal. One of those questions was 'where do I come from'.. I have done this exercise a few times and each time I am amazed at the memories that come up.. floating through my mind as if it were a moment ago...yesterday I was whisked back to my grandma's kitchen & grandpa's vegetable garden...I saw pumpkins on a tin roof, ripening in the autumn sun, to be cooked with the Sunday roast, where we all sat around a big cedar table....
I come from.... a brown bread sandwich wrapped up in the recycled wax bread wrapper.

I come from (recycled) brown paper bags & string kept in the box under the sink. I come from tasting a lettuce leaf, freshly picked from the vegie garden by grandfathers strong brown hands... I come from Grandma's old fuel stove, a simmering pot of soup always on the hob, fresh scones and a pot of tea... I come from lace curtains moving gently in the breeze,a big brass bed and a crocheted woollen rug. I come from sixpences in a Christmas pudding....

those memories made me realize once again that my grandparents were recyclers.. but not for the reason that we do.. more for necessity. Those brown bread sandwiches I ate when I was a little girl were the bane of my life.. everyone knew that only the poor kids had brown bread..the rich people ate that lovely white bread... I grew up in an affluent community however my parents struggled, we were from the poor section. brown bread was cheaper and mum wrapped my sandwich in the recycled bread wrappers which was another embarrassment to my little girl self. I cringed whenever I opened my lunch box... a brown bread sandwich, home made slice or cake and fruit... the rich kids had packet biscuits - I felt self conscious of the way my life was.. these days the more brown the bread the more accepted it is.. and to recycle.. well we all do what we can to help reduce waste... how times have changed. Mum made ice-cream, lemon cordial & damper to save money...oh the memories flowed quickly.. Now, I know that I was the rich one. I was lucky to have fresh fruit and home made slice... no chemicals for me back then.. yes, I was rich.

and my pumpkins sitting on my verandah right now, evoke memories of my grandpa's harvest... pumpkins, on the tin roof, ripening in the sun... my pumpkin vine this year was self sown.. it produced two large pumpkins and another hopefully in a month... I plan to make pumpkin soup and freeze it so that I have something on hand for those nights that I need a quick dinner...
tonight, I am making Pumpkin & rosemary risotto for dinner.
1kg chopped pumpkin
1/4 cup olive oil (i use organic butter)
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tblsp. rosemary leaves
4 cups chicken stock
150g baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cream

combine pumpkin and half the oil a a baking dish and cook in a moderate oven 40 mins or until pumpkin is tender
heat remaining oil in a large pan, add the rice, stir for 2 mins, coating the rice in the oil. add garlic and rosemary & cook, stirring until fragrant. add the stock, in batches, stirring constantly over low heat until each addition of stock is absorbed before adding the next. stir in cooked pumpkin, spinach, cheese and cream. stir over heat until hot.

I love this quote: "Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." ~ Mother Teresa


Tori said...

Thank you for sharing those lovely memories with us! Hearing stories of other people's childhood is always so fun for me. It helps me remember my own a little better.

Your childhood was rich with love and obviously delicious home made food. I hope you'll keep telling interesting memories.

PS- I love that quote, too.

Wendy said...

Ummmm - that pumpkin dish sounds heavenly!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories from childhood. My mother gave us brown bread sandwiches because she liked brown bread. I'm glad I was brought up on good food too. You really were rich.

Pam said...

I enjoyed this Robyn. My mother worked through sheer economic temptation. Dad's wage was small and good stenographers were in demand. Therefore, in my early school years, we could afford the things you were talking about, but we were what they class now as "time poor". My best friend's life was the reverse - her mother had time to knit jumpers, make preserves etc.However my friend was the only one in the class with a home-made school uniform and hand-knitted school jumper. She hated it. Times change. In the 70's my mother was trying to do everything - whole foods,homeopathic family health,organic gardening, preserves, macrame (remember?) and sewing, while bringing us up and working full time, not unusual in later years.Things seem to have panned out a bit now, with many choosing part-time work.I still get a kick out of the 1970's House and Garden and Better Homes magazines...but before that "home-made" anything was definitely the poorer option.Same with flooring though. My mother-in-law recently refused to highlight recently revealed beautiful wooden floorboards in her kitchen, and chose to recover the floor with lino ( I could weep). "Reminds me" she said "of the early days when people couldn't afford to cover their floorboards." Hope you are enjoying this beautiful Autumn weather, with ripening pumpkins and the smell of wood smoke.Thanks for an interesting post about your family and early years. xxx

Sorrow said...

I have a few months to wait before i can try that yummy recipe.
I love Mother theresa quotes, :)

Billie Jane said...

I just love the contrast between me here thinking about sowing seeds and planting seedlings and there you are harvesting the pumpkin! I KNOW that there is a simple scientific explanation but I just cant get over how great this is. I love the world and I love being in it! Thank you for a brilliant recipe too!!

Genie Sea said...

Your post made me feel so warm and happy reading it. You come from a family of visionaries.

It's crazy to think that class is determined by how unhealthily you eat and how you carry your food. We are a crazy lot aren't we?

Angela said...

What a beautiful post. I love the feelings your memories evoke in me. And those pumpkins are gorgeous and the recipe is going in my file for this fall. I really love what you're doing with your blog.

Searching For My Willoughby said...

What warm, wonderful memories. I won't have any pumpkins for about 6 mos., but I still have frozen pumpkin from last year. Your recipe sounds delicious.

Serena said...

Your post was so warm and cosy. How times change....I am glad that we are now getting back to the old ways of living a more health-conscious and organic lifestyle.

Thanks for the yummy recipe!

Have a great weekend away with your Harley group.

Sheila said...

My upbringing sounds like yours Robyn. We were the lucky ones.
I've never eaten pumpkin as a vegie, I must try it.
How much less garbage there would be to worry about if we lived as our parents and g/parents did.
Have a Happy Easter and enjoy the bike ride..

Kathryn Knoll said...

I love to wrap myself in the deliciousness of your beautiful descriptions and yummy memories. I see a little book with these posts! Thank you for nurturing us all with your faithful reflections.