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A Tribute to Clare, Treasured Recipes Handed Down…

A Tribute to Clare, Treasured Recipes Handed Down…Clares recipes

Last week I lost an old friend. She had wanted to go for a long time…so this is a short tribute to Clare, & to honour the treasured recipes that she handed down to me.

She would decide which ones no-one knew, the ones people had coveted over the years. And she would painstakingly write them in her wobbly old hand-writing, sometimes on pretty paper, seal them in an envelope, & ceremoniously (or covertly, depending on the situation,) hand the baton on to me.croquembouche

I smile warmly, from the inside out, at the thought of her trusting me with her gems.

Cooking. We had that in common. An understanding & a passion. An eye for presentation & a mind for flavours. An adventurous culinary spirit & an excitement that overflows onto all who will taste. It was our kindred love-language.

There’re lots of food-sharing memories…a special croquembouche birthday cake she made for me one year, her Christmas puddings, her love of salads & platters we chatted over, ice-creams & coffee….salad platter

Many moons ago, (like a decade & a half,) when I was a chef in a local kitchen, by arrangement with the owner, Clare & her husband would pop in through the back door a couple of times a week. Often holding hands, they delivered her home-made biscuits & slices, to help with the workload of our busy little cafe.

Much appreciated, lovingly baked & delightfully delicious.

We became friends.

When her husband died 10 years on, I did the catering.sandwiches

And as she didn’t ever drive, for many years we would go off to the hair-dressers, out for lunch & grocery shopping, to the Dr’s. or wherever she wanted, at least weekly. Daily phone calls, a little check in, just to make sure she knew she wasn’t alone, make sure she was okay.

She was a sprightly little chicken even into her seventies. Climbing up ladders onto the roof to remove leaves out of the gutter. Rain, hail or shine, each day walking up the steep 1km. driveway, to the letterbox, & then back, in the summer months always banging a stick on the ground to keep snakes from crossing her path.Clare

But the years took their toll, & she just wanted to be with the love of her life….

Now I am privileged to have these recipes. Soon I shall bake these goodies & think of Clare with love. Share some of her highly-prized joys with my special people.

It is quite an honour to receive these old recipes from another generation, don’t you think? It tells stories of the life that was. It keeps historical tabs on things, like measurements, ingredients, styles.

Bet she never thought she would be passing these things of importance on to some random woman who she met in her sixties….a daughter form another mother.Christmas puddings

It has made me ponder on all the other recipes I have collected from generous women who have graced my life with theirs. When I cook from one I will look at it differently now. They represent a small shared slice of that person. A kind of intimacy with me.

Do you feel that?

I wonder who I’ll be passing mine on to?

Clares land

Goodbye Clare. And thank you….

  1. This is a lovely tribute to Clare and she’d want you to know how special you are for looking after her treasures. I’d better start cooking because I don’t have any secret recipes! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Maureen…I’m sad, but Clare will be happy. And that’s the main thing…
      Yes, it really is food for thought isn’t it?
      Lol, you have loads of special recipes I’m sure. I guess they don’t have to be secret, just the ones we’d like to see kept in use.
      The ones that are special to us. xx

  2. That was so beautiful Roni, what a lovely lady she’ll be missed Xx

    • How lovely to hear from you Cath. Thanks for taking the time to reflect with me.
      Sad times, but how lucky am I to have some of Clare’s precious things :)) xx

  3. Absolutely beautiful Roni! She loved you in life and is now looking down on you with love and smiling in appreciation of your passion for love, life and a great recipe.
    Loved ones are never really gone, they are just waiting around the corner for you to catch up.

    • Oh thanks Suzie Wing Wong…hope I’m lagging way behind for a very long time yet :)) big love xx

  4. What a special lady…what a special gift to pass onto the generations! Her baking and food gifts were her way of spreading the love…so strong but so delicate, like her flavours and flair…she will live on in these!!!

    • Thanks so much Carolyn. Yes, they are indeed special gifts, & she will be missed.
      For me at least, she will live on in her recipes :)) xx

  5. RIP Clare x you will be passing your recipes to your children who will cherish them & feel your presence in each one xx love you xx

    • Hey precious girl…thanks for taking the time to stop by & feel the emotions. Yes, I am very lucky to have her recipes.
      And especially to have my gorgeous children to pass special recipes on to. I know they will think of me :)) It’ll be kind of like a good haunting…lol xxxxx

  6. I don’t have anyone to pass my recipes on to.

    • Yes you do Jen, you’ve got your nieces, your sisters….
      And who knows, you may meet some random woman in you sixties too :))
      big love to you xxxx

  7. Oh Roni, how lucky Clare was to have someone like you in her life
    It is no wonder she wanted to share her recipes with you…she knew that they were in the hands of someone who truly valued them. I wonder tho if she could have known that you would not only value them,but also honor her memory by sharing this very special and touching story

    • Oh thanks Pam, you are special for even thinking these things.
      Yes, I’m sure she would have loved to know she was remembered warmly.
      And she knew her recipes would be replicated & shared, that would please her immensely :))
      big love to you xx

  8. Aawww That’s beautiful Roni πŸ™‚ Clare passed her treasured recipes onto the right person: someone she knew would appreciate them n cook them often, someone who has loving family to pass them down to in turn πŸ™‚ You & Clare had a special freindship n fond memories πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • Awww thanks Val, that’s very lovely of you to say. Yes it was an interesting & special friendship.
      And maybe I can cook them for you sometime….xxx

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