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Foraging for mushrooms in the fog is such a vivid memory as it was a rare treat. My Dad was often on-call or worked odd shifts at the hospital so it was seldom we could all go out as a family during autumnal mushroom season. He was also the only one who knew which mushrooms were safe to pick and eat.There was a field adjacent to the hospital grounds which was the perfect spot for picking the little fairy ring mushrooms, as well as common field mushrooms and a few puff balls. We'd always come home famished and fry up our mushrooms treasure which tasted extra delicious after our morning out.
Fave Memory: The best food memory I have is of growing up in the food culture of Louisiana between the ages of five and nine years old. My family and I would go to to Cajun food festivals and eat crawfish, fried frog legs and alligator stew. We'd go every year to Mardi Gras and eat the fine Creole food of New Orleans. At home my mother made the best gumbo you've ever eaten. As an adult I understand that this period of my life was critical to the "foodie" adult that I am now. Not afraid to try anything once and appreciative of the rich and varied food cultures of the World.
"Food is one of the most powerful memory triggers known and it often involves all 5 senses."
This statement inspired me to create this whimsical illustration of a country fair. As fall sets in and the air becomes crisp, I have many memories of going to the local fair. The sweet smell of apple pie, show animal being paraded around, the colourful fall harvest displayed for competition including enormous pumpkins, so much to experience, a sensory overload! Hopefully this drawing evokes similar wonderful memories.
My late gran had a sassy sense of humour. She was a good cook but sometimes if you gave the hint that you didn't like something she'd made or couldn't finish it, she'd say, with a wry smile and a twinkle in her eye, "Oh, just choke it down!"
I always remember her kitchen in her spooky old house with much love, and her very British-inspired humour. I don't necessarily remember exact dishes she made, other than roast beef & yorkshire pud, but her humour around food and funny sayings (there are a few!), and her favorite daily nip of sherry, are what I remember most!
Fav Memory-My favorite childhood memory is picking blackberries with my family. Mom would give us each a pot and we would pick one and eat three! Afterwards my mom would take them back to the kitchen and would make blackberry cobbler the smell of it baking was so good! It was and still is my all time favorite. I would walk by and get a spoon and take bites every time I walked by. We lived in a 100 year old log cabin and the blackberry bushes in the meadows nearby were thick so there was so many of them. My mom would make jam with them also. Unfortunately there is a bad memory involved also. The bushes harbor nasty little bugs called chiggers and I can remember many times being covered in calamine lotion for a week and scratching myself raw. It was all worth it though! Blackberry cobbler is the best!!
This cake is a very fond memory of mine and it is also a local speciality from where I grew up, in the south west of Germany. I tried to translate its name „Kirschplotzer“ and I hope it conveys what it is: a juicy fruitiness combined with cloves and cinnamon that add a mysterious hint of christmas to the late spring season when cherries are abundant and everyone who owns a tree is trying to pack as many as possible into this wonderful recipe – I hope someone tries to bake it!
One Day a neighbor posted a notice for a cake decorating class. It was the 70’s, we were living in the Alps in Germany. 5 of us signed up, all young new moms, all thousands of miles from home. Each week we’d eagerly pile into her tiny kitchen, bumping hips& elbows, stirring bowls full of sugar & cream. We’d share the frustrations of all new moms, colicky babies& sleepless nights while we practiced making rosettes, ribbons, stars& letters, licking our fingers & eating our mistakes. Leaving on a sugar high, we were happy for a night out. I baked& decorated cakes for years. It was that time in life with lots of baby showers, christenings & kids birthdays. Looking back it reflects the times& the trends: lots of Barbie bundt cakes, R2D2, Bert & Ernie, Cookie Monster & Holly Hobby. Cars & trains were also popular. I loved baking, creating & “painting”with icing. I loved the little jars of food coloring &, ok, I loved licking the leftovers. This is the original recipe from that class. I still have my notebook!
Fave Memory for the October HandPicked Design Challenge:
While most Southern hoecakes are small and fried, our family gives the name "hoecake" to a large, fluffy buttermilk biscuit that we bake and then cut into squares. The recipe for this three-ingredient quickbread has been passed down through at least four generations of Virginia mountain women, from my great-grandmother Rosalie who was born in the 19th century, to my grandmother Clelon who grew up during the Great Depression, to my mother Shelley who created the pencil-lettered title for this recipe, to me, who created this illustration in watercolor, pencil, and digital media. Whenever I make a hoecake, I feel connected to my heritage, proud of the women who came before me, and covered in flour. We love to eat hoecake with cozy fall soups or drizzled with honey for dessert.