Nourishing tales from my 9-year-old self
I have many fond memories of cooking as a child. I picked up the passion for cooking at a very early age.
When my mum would take me with her to grocery shop, I’d be begging for her to sneak in a cooking magazine or two! She loved the Woman’s weekly or Women’s day, for the articles. I would head straight to all the delicious recipes that I could start to experiment within the kitchen.
One particular day, I created my apple pie. I followed the instructions to make the pastry, prepare it correctly, and make sure it sits nicely in the baking tin, trimming off the excess edges. I also made the apples with beautiful cinnamon spice and some brown sugar. Then came my favourite, making the pretty leaves on the top of the pie, washing it with egg whites and a dash of sugar for an extra glow. This was my weekend ritual, and I remember getting lost in the process. I was forgetting about my troubles in school, my insecurities as a child, and involving myself in this beautiful process.
This recipe was my dads favourite. He would devour a piece every morning for breakfast, with his strong greek coffee — and a cigarette to finish it off. He would always praise what a great cook I was, and what a great wife I’d make. This would fire me up, and we would have a massive debate about women not being born to serve men, but to create a life they want or themselves. He stopped saying that after those heated arguments.
Every weekend dad would ask me if I was going to make his favourite apple pie, and I would make it diligently with lots of love. I had a sense of pride in what I made- and I liked making him happy as well.
These are some of the beautiful moments I have when I think of my dad. He passed away from cancer when I was 22.
I stopped making that pie when I became quite sick. I was diagnosed with many allergies and food intolerances, and I was on a 6-month immune therapy program which involved strict food eliminations. My dad never asked me to make the pie for him again. He knew I was having a callous time adjusting as a young person. It was hard for me. We never had alternatives for foods like we do now. No one ever heard the term “vegan” or “gluten-free” then. For a while, I gave up on my cooking adventures to focus on getting better and becoming myself again.
But of course, passion always has a way of igniting itself during the most pressing times in your life. I don’t think you ever lose the love of that thing which you become lost in, that you do with much love.
Having so many health problems, and experiencing the death of my beloved dad, really cemented my need to speak up about the importance of food on health and wellbeing. It has always been my strongest belief that food can cure any health issue that we have. We need to know what should be included in our diets. This has been an ever-evolving issue for me because allergies become ever-changing when the toxicity on our planet changes. The thing we need to do is always trust our bodies and listen to those signs that are niggling at us. I know you’ve had them, and I most certainly have experienced this too.
Has your body been telling you something lately, and what can you do every day to listen a whole lot more?