Image via A place of my own
Sheppard pies with golden pillows of potatoes topped with cheese and edges oozing with the delicious promise of what hides beneath. Simple delights of cauliflower cheese or braised steak and onion. The more complex flavours of lemon soul with fennel and potatoes. A seventies delight of a pineapple upside down cake.
The focus has always been what you contained. You were always been a vessel, serving us well. My mum would use you to serve up wholesome family food and when the boys were born and she was on her own, rather than have you languish in the cupboard unused, she passed you down to me.
Once again, you became well used. Perfect roast potatoes where held within glass walls, roast chicken, lasagna, macaroni cheese. You became my go to dish, the one I always picked up first. You were a doddle to clean going in the dishwasher and coming out as good as new.
Then last night the unthinkable happened, I dropped you. This time you did not bounce, you shattered and with you so did a small piece of me. You might only have been a Pyrex dish but you held so many memories for me. So much of my childhood is wrapped up in the delicious food that my mum cooked. I hold very fond memories of the time we spent in the kitchen. She was a superb cook and tried to make sure that I was involved in the preparation in the kitchen with her.
As I grew up and had a family of my own, my mum always encouraged me to cook and I realised that she had given me a firm foundation in the kitchen and love of seasonal produce. I know you are only a dish, but I cried a little last night for a woman that I miss so much and then when I saw you in the bin this morning I cried a little more for the time in my life you represent.
Yes, I know my mum would be saying “it is just a dish Jen” and indeed it is, but also a thousand memories were baking inside it and it will always hold a place in my heart.