SCONES AND ANCESTRAL MEMORIES

I had a container of buttermilk in the fridge which means “scones” in our household.  I think scones are an excellent and quick baking item that always brings pleasure at the tea table in these times when there is so much  over priced, pre-prepared foods and bakery items available in the big supermarkets.  A shame in reality because I just worry that basic cookery will disappear as Australians become more affluent and find excuses not to bake.  I usually like a plain scone with a blend of wholemeal and white self raising flour.  A plain buttered scone does me nicely.  I used to make scones for our guests in our bed and breakfast cottage back in South Australia.  I always served the scones on lovely vintage china too with a variety of preserves and cream. Guests always enjoyed this.

Whilst I would like to say that I make scones just like mum did, I cannot at all.  My Slovenian born mother lived in the far north of Italy in Trieste.  After the war mum and dad ran a trattoria for a while.  Mum would cook for up to 80 people a day and dad would visit the produce market early in the morning to pick up supplies for the day.  Dad’s day time job was a police officer you see but that is another story.  My mother was a renowned cook and learned from her mother; also a renowned cook in her time.  There were no menus back then.  Mum would come out of the kitchen and recite what she had cooking at the time and guests would make a selection.

Whilst I had to learn how to cook at the age of 9, I did this by standing by the kitchen stove and listening to my mother recite the essence of the recipe.  I had to recite the essence of the recipe back to my mother and she would correct me if I was wrong.  I also had to help prepare ingredients for cooking.   In my ancestral recipes, there are no set measurements so I had to learn orally as my mother had learned from her mother.  The oral tradition was passed down over the centuries in my family.  To this day, I rarely follow recipes of any sort because of my oral ancestral culinary tradition.

Cooking is more than sustenance for the body.  Home cooking sustains the soul.  We are the sum total of all our ancestors.

 

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