I guess it’s clear that for me food is more than just cooking something delicious and eating it. Recipes, dinner parties and culinary discoveries: everything has a moment, story or memory to it.
And a person: eating a whole fish for the first time with a dear friend in Ibiza; my first oyster with the in-laws; or that one dinner at home, where my brother brought over a 30-year-old Pedro Ximenez sherry: pretty memorable!
I could of course write down all these stories and share them with you but wouldn’t it be much better if the important people in my life did that? In “memoirs & meetings” they share their best, craziest or most delicious food memories, they talk about their culinary upbringing and they obviously share a favourite recipe. Wonderful stories that give a personal glimpse into the life of Miss Gingerish, today with my old time friend and fellow ginger Suzanne.
Teenage girl love dramas
Suus and I know each other a little over 20 years (geez, we’re getting old!); we met in 2nd year of high school. I especially remember her long red hair and guts; something I could learn from.
Soon we were best friends: we biked to school together and took our first steps in the local disco (evenings full of teenage love drama ;-)). On party holidays with 8 friends to Rimini or Lake Balaton there was no question that we would share a room. With her humour and guts Suus always had the best holiday romance (and left me with their less entertaining friends ;-)).
Even when we both went somewhere else to study after high school, we kept in touch. I remember one night when she came over for dinner and found a delicious pasta recipe; Suus found all kinds of extras in the refrigerator that, according to her, we could also add to the pasta. I can’t imagine it anymore but at that moment it caused a bit of panic; it was not quite the recipe?!
When boyfriends (and for Suus 3 lovely children) came into our lives we were still doing nice things: we celebrated the New Year together, went to Antwerp for a weekend with the guys or just had coffee together. There have been times when we saw each other less, but actually that was always ok. Suus is such a friend that is there for you when it is needed, you can laugh and cry with her. I hope we will continue our friendship for many years and keep seeing each other; here in the big city or soon in Suus’ new countryside palace with vegetable garden!
memoirs and meetings # 3: old time friend Suus
How have you seen raised culinary?
Typical Dutch with potatoes, vegetables and meat. My father had a large vegetable garden, so I ate a lot of seasonal food. Delicious, all these vegetables, but sometimes we ate beans for weeks! As a kid a have prepared kilos of them and just like back then, I still don’t really like beans ;-). As a child I did not really realize how special it was that we took most of our food from our own garden. I now wish that I had that opportunity!
What does food mean to you?
I’ve always had a bit of a love / hate relationship with food. I love to eat, but also ate a lot of wrong things. A few years ago I discovered healthy eating. Yes, I have followed the super food and health trend, but it has helped me a lot. The first thing I started reading about was E-numbers in processed food: I was shocked! From then I’m avoiding processed food as much as possible and, where possible, started to make things myself. I lost 10 kilos just by eating differently; for me that’s the evidence that food really does so much more with our bodies than we might think. Meanwhile, I learned a lot about nutrition and I’m seriously worried what the future will bring. When you think about it it’s crazy how Western society deals with our food and the production of it. Unfortunately I don’t know how it should be, so I try to enjoy honest and pure food as much as possible and occasionally dream about a self-sufficient life on a small farm in sunny southern Europe 😉
What is your best, funniest, craziest food memory with me
That must be the cracker with strawberry jam 🙂 (the only edible food during our holidays in Hungary). No seriously. We have had many delicious dinners with you! Actually, you might even have been the first one to show me that cooking can be fun, and above all that cooking for friends can give them a very special feeling. That’s a compliment for you 😉 But the huge steak straight from the farm in Cromvoirt on the BBQ would be my number one!
How would you describe your style of cooking?
I would describe myself as a freestyle cook. I check what’s in the fridge and then think of something to eat that evening. Sometimes I start a dish, but realise that I miss a crucial ingredient. Well then I just make something else. Thanks to my big friend the blender my kids actually eat everything. I do like to experiment with new ingredients or new ideas, but for me that’s only fun if I do not have to use any prescription or planning ;-).
If you had to choose one recipe to share, what would it be?
We are fans of soup. I never use a recipe for soup; it just depends on what’s in the fridge. And of course my soup is all homemade, from scratch. Usually it’s tomato soup, sometimes “crunchy soup” (Suus’ kids proof vegetable soup with corn), pumpkin soup, broccoli soup or potato / leek soup. If I must choose just one recipe I would go for this broccoli soup: with just a few simple ingredients you will cook a family feast!
Super simple creamy broccoli soup
- 1 onion, chopped
- 45 gr of butter
- 60 gr spelt flour (or plain white flour)
- 1 broccoli, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 stock cube, preferably organic, no flavour enhancers, such as E621 or yeast extract
- 1 litre of hot water
- Some dill
- To garnish: unroasted cashews and feta cheese
- Melt butter in a medium pot over medium-high heat
- Add the slices onion and sauté until the onion is soft
- Add the flour to the pan, stir well and cook until the flour reaches a blonde colour. Make sure the flour doesn’t burn!
- Add a bit of the hot water and stir well
- Add the sliced broccoli to the pan and stew on low heat
- Add the garlic, stock cube and rest of hot water, and if you prefer, some dill
- Bring to boil for a few minutes, blend the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper
- Garnish the soup with cashew and crumble some feta over each bowl