Mother’s Day is bittersweet for me. I lost my mum over 14 years ago now, and I miss her so much. Woolies#campaign reminded me of how often I used to hang out with my mum in the kitchen, helping her cook dinner and clean up. I wouldn’t say my mum was an amazing cook, but there were some signature dishes she did VERY WELL.
Soup. Bread. Pie.
My favourite comfort foods.
I recently found in the back of the kitchen cupboard, a basket of her recipes. In the little basket, there were magazine clippings from the 90s, handwritten notes on recipe cards and scraps of paper, and typed out recipes that were printed on those inkjet printers I remember so well.
I have been looking for her pea and ham recipe but I haven’t been about to find it. Mum’s pea and ham soup was one of my favourites. Each birthday, we were allowed to pick whatever dinner we wanted mum to make. On the last birthday, before I left home to get married, I asked her to make pea and ham soup with her bread rolls. I have been playing around with different pea and ham soup recipes and tapping into my memory to try and recreate mum’s soup, but I haven’t been able to nail it yet. Mum’s version was really thick and I remember her using a bar mix on the peas before adding the ham back in – I’ll try that next time. This is where I am at with fine-tuning the recipe. This soup turned out gorgeously, but it isn’t quite the same as mum’s soup.
Pea & Ham Soup
- 1 ham hock
- 2 litres
- 1 x 500 gram packet
- Bay leaf
- Rinse the peas under running water very well. This takes a few minutes.
- Place the stock, diced onion and hock in the slow cooker and cook for 5 hours on high.
- Add in the diced potato, carrots & celery, and bay leaf
- Close lid and cook for another 3 or 4 hours until peas are tender and the fleshy parts of the ham can be pulled off the bone. Discard any fatty parts and the bones.
- Serve with delicious freshly baked breadrolls.
I’ll keep tweaking until I get it just as I remember it. What I don’t have to wonder about is how to make her bread because I made it with her so many times and you can find the recipe here.
I put the bread dough next to the slow cooker to help with rising and the process was so homey and comforting.
Now pie. I love pie! One of my daughters went through the recipe box. This daughter of mine was only 6 months old when my mum died, and I thought it would be fun if she picked one of the recipes and we recreated it. She decided on mulberry pie. What is lovely about this recipe is I remember writing it out for mum. That’s my handwriting below, except for the small “mulberry pie” under the main title, which my mum wrote. I loved that our escapades in the kitchen were reflected on the piece of paper in this way.
My daughter and I had such a lovely time and it bought back memories of mum’s “rustic” pie bases. Mum was all about rustic, and I’m here for it. The taste of the crust took me right back – it’s amazing how our senses hold on to those memories. We couldn’t find mulberries so we made this into a blackberry pie using Woolies frozen blackberries – and it turned out even better than we expected.
Looks at those sumptuous berries!
The Woolies #prompt led to such a special day for my daughter and I. Being intentional about the ways food connects us, even through the generations, is a beautiful way to honour relationships. If you are fortunate to still have your mum with you, write down that favourite recipe!
Even with social distancing, thanks to technology, sharing the love of food together is possible. Here are some ideas:
- Re-create a family recipe
- Video call with your siblings or mum and create a recipe together
- Do a video call get-together with family while enjoying lunch
- Search for a new recipe to try and start your own tradition with your kids. You can find more inspiration on the Mother’s Day section of the Woolies website.
- Tag and share your creations with the #hashtag