It is that time of year that we take a moment to appreciate all the amazing things that our mothers do for us. When Mother’s Day is put into context, it seems rather bizarre that mothers are celebrated only once a year – especially since mothers do so much for us and the family.
Mothers are special. They are special because they are one of the few people in the world that genuinely want the best for you and will tell you the truth regardless of how much it hurts. As you get older, you also realise that your mother is your best friend – the one person you can share everything with. They are also special as they are the most selfless, always putting their family first. Ensuring that their children are fed before their themselves.
I guess the point I am trying to stress here is that a mothers love is unconditional, they love you no matter what mistakes you make and what you do and they will suppress human extinct to provide for others before themselves.
This is where, as aforementioned, it seems ridiculous that we only dedicate a mere one day a year to our amazing mothers. Of course, we all live busy lives but it is important to take some time aside sometimes, at any time or point, to simply say thanks.
Now that we have recognised how special mothers are, it is important to share another aspect of mothers that is also truly special: their food!
If your mother is anything like mine, which I know that many are, then she is an amazing cook. Perhaps it is a skill that one gains when becoming a mother, or a dormant superpower, but behind nearly every great mother is a fabulous cook.
So, instead of sharing a stereotypical Mother’s Day post – I decided to pay homage to my mother and all the mothers out there by sharing their secret recipes. I mean, essentially FOOD is LOVE – a mother’s love expressed through food.
I asked anyone and everyone on my social media platforms to share some of their mother’s recipes – these mothers definitely know what they are doing in the kitchen and they’re sons and daughters are VERY lucky – below are some of the recipes I received:
1.Terry-Anne Pasquini’s Creamy Pomodoro Pasta (Submitted by Claudio Pasquini)
1 box of pasta/spaghetti 500g
1 canned pomodoro
3 cloves of freshly crushed garlic
4 leafs of fresh basil
1 sprig of fresh origanum
1 pinch of sugar
1 bottle of fresh cream 250ml
1 fresh chilli
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 grated Parmesan
Crush the garlic cloves in fine pieces till they become like a paste. Then chop the chili and mix it with the garlic.
Get a pan and add the tablespoon of olive oil and heat on medium to high heat. When heated add the garlic and chili and fry for 30 – 60 seconds. Add the canned pomodoro to the pan , sugar, salt, pepper, basil and origanum leaves to the sauce and then let the sauce simmer on medium to low heat for 15 – 20 minutes.
Add the fresh cream to the sauce and let it cook till the sauce thickens and reduces.
While the sauce is cooking boil water with salt in a pot. When the sauce is almost ready add the pasta in the pot of boiling water and cook for required time.
Drain the pasta in a colander in the sink and remove all water. Add the pasta to the ready cooked sauce in a pan and mix with a bit of Parmesan.
Plate your pasta and garnish it with Parmesan and a sprig of basil.
NOTE: For the meat lovers an extra yummy addition is to chop some bacon into small cubes and fry it in 1 tablespoon of olive oil till crispy then add to the sauce but leave a bit for garnishing.
2. Isabelle Lauriault-Casilli’s Green Pea Samosa (Mange Tout Cooking School – Lusaka Zambia) (Submitted by Shanika Barker)
1 cup All Purpose flour (plain flour or maida)
1 tablespoon sooji fine (semolina)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
Approximately 1/3 cup luke warm water
2 cups boiled green peas I am using frozen green peas
2 tablespoons oil
3 teaspoons coriander powder (dhania)
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon mango powder (amchoor)
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 teaspoon salt (adjust to your taste)
To Make Dough:
Mix flour, sooji, salt, oil and water together to make soft dough (add water as needed).
Knead the dough to make it smooth and pliable.
Cover the dough and let it sit least ten minutes.
To Make Filling:
Boil the green peas over medium heat with 1 cup of water, until peas are tender. Drain the water, squeeze the excess water, and pat dry. Mix all the dry ingredients to the peas, coriander, chili powder, garam masala, mango powder and salt.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and put the green peas mix, stir fry and keep mashing, stir fry until no moisture left, but it should not be powdery.. This should take about 10-12 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the let the filling cool to room temperature.
Knead the dough for a minute.
Divide the dough into 12 equal parts and roll into balls.
Roll each ball about 4-1/2-inch diameter and cut each circle in half.
3. Isabelle Lauriault-Casilli’s Pineapple Sorbet (Mange Tout Cooking School – Lusaka, Zambia) (Submitted by Shanika Barker)
1 pineapple cut in half and flesh scooped out and frozen. Reserve pineapple shells for garnish
1 cup of caster sugar
1 ½ tsp lime juice
1 lime, zested
1 tsp ginger, minced
Toasted coconut, to garnish (if desired)
Make sugar syrup by bringing the sugar and water to the boil. Allow it to thicken a little before taking off the heat and cooling slightly.
Process the frozen pineapple pieces in a food processor. Mix the sugar syrup, lime and ginger through the pineapple puree and pour into a large tray that will fit into the freezer. Freeze until almost frozen.
Break up the iced pineapple mixture and process again in the food processor.
Place this sorbet mixture into a container and re-freeze until set. You could also pour mixture into the reserved pineapple shells and refreeze. Garnish with toasted coconut, if desired.
4. Soraya King’s Secret Pasta Sauce (Submitted by Sohayla King)
For the sauce
2 x medium sized chicken breast sliced thinly
1 teaspoon chopped/minced garlic
1 medium sized onion sliced thinly
Olive oil to fry
salt n pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon bbq/chicken spice
2 tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1x 350ml single cream
pinch of sugar
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 packet of macaroni/pasta swirls boiled to al dente
In a pan heat olive oil and over medium heat fry garlic & onion until translucent
Increase heat and add sliced chicken, make sure chicken is dry – you want a quick fry not a stew!
Add to chicken all seasoning: paprika, bbq/chicken spice salt n pepper
Once chicken is lightly browned – do not over cook or it will be dry add tomato paste and pinch of sugar. Fry gently until paste is cooked.
Add fresh cream and chopped Italian parsley
Simmer for a 5-10 mins until sauce is slightly thickened. Taste.
In an oven proof dish, grease and layer cooked pasta and sauce adding grated parmesan cheese : pasta, chicken, cheese, etc
Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese on top,
Bake in pre heated oven for 15 – 20 mins until cheese is melted and bubbling.
Serve with green salad/ garlic bread.
Add sliced mushrooms after frying chicken
Add diced red and yellow peppers for colour
Add chopped chilli for heat.
5. Sandy Findlay’s Chicken Casserole (My Mother’s Secret Recipe)
chicken pieces coating: 1 cup flour, one cup paprika, one tablespoon salt, one tablespoon pepper, one tablespoon paprika, two crushed garlic cloves, one tablespoon oregano
1x onion, 1x mushrooms, 2x garlic (add other vegetables if desired such as carrots, peppers etc.)
1x can tinned tomatoes
1x chicken bisto cube
1x tablespoon tomato paste
Coat chicken in the flour and paprika mix and then fry chicken.
In another pot fry onion in butter, and mushroom, carrots, peppers, garlic and fry.
Add herbs to taste, such as oregano (also add salt and pepper to taste)
Then add the paste and tomatoes and fry for 10 minutes
Throw in the browned chicken and add water to cover the chicken. Simmer for an hour then finally add bisto to thicken.
I hope you all enjoy making some of these recipes and more, eating them! I urge everyone to think about all the amazing mothers out there while they make/eat these dishes too.
I thank all the people who submitted these recipes and the mothers for being fabulous mothers and cooks, as well as sending/making them.