A few weeks ago I received an invitation to attend a special bloggers event being put on by Appliances Online (chances are if you live outside Australia you will not have heard of this website). The event was to be a special Mother’s Day Morning Tea and a cooking demonstration by the Monday Morning Cooking Club – yesterday was the big day! Unfortunately I was running super late yesterday so forgot to grab my camera before I left the house and the couple of photos I took on my iPhone are not even worth talking about. So sadly I have no photographic evidence that I was ever there. But I’m going to tell you all about these great ladies anyway! But before I get too far, I’d like to thank the lovely folks at Appliances Online for inviting me along, just because you liked my blog! It’s definitely something that I’ll remember for a long time.
The Club was started by a group of women about seven years ago. They are all friends who met through their local Jewish community here in Sydney and started spending Monday’s together cooking, sharing what they made and talking about everything under the sun and before long, The Monday Morning Cooking Club was born and has been a fixture in the lives of these women ever since.
In 2011, the group released a cookbook. But not just any cookbook. This book is made up of recipes from not just the ladies themselves, but also from people in their wider community and beyond. The recipes come from all over the world, but mostly from Europe as this is where the ancestors of these people originally immigrated from. There is borscht, dumplings, strudels, chiffon cakes, pancakes and a myriad of other foods that have been cooked in families for generations, many pre-dating the World Wars. Ok, so that sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it? Just compile a bunch of recipes, take some photos and your done. Well, you’re not done. Many of these recipes had never been cooked with accurate measurements. Many of them have been cooked largely from memory and the only measurements were “a little bit of this and a little bit of that”. So not only did these ladies have to try and convince people to give them a recipe they may have never shared before in their lives, they also had to test them over and over with correct measurements and making sure that it could be cooked in any kitchen, by any person. Then whittle these recipes down to only a few to be included in the book.
But I think that the effort has more than paid itself off. This book will now serve as a record of recipes that may have otherwise gone to the grave with their creators. I remember a while ago one of my aunt’s came to dinner at my house and she gave me a little book to write all my recipes in to pass on to someone when the time is right. She said that she hates to think of all those beautiful recipes that have just disappeared because the person who created it never wanted anyone to know their secret. I completely agree with her. So on the odd occasion I actually use my imagination and come up with something of my own creation, I have no problem sharing it as that means that when I’m gone, it will still (hopefully) be floating around out in the world. It’s for this reason that I loved watching these ladies cook and hearing the stories about the creation of their book. They really know what it is to have something amazing – you don’t keep it to yourself. You share it. All in all, this is a great cookbook and the stories behind it are amazing.