Seventeen years ago, my parents moved from a bustling capital city to this mountaintop with their two daughters, a dog & dreams of a simple suburban life.
My father worked as a truck driver & courier, driving throughout Queensland for a week or more at a time, leaving my mother to raise her two baby girls in a new city, far from her family & friends. Fortunately for my mother, not long after settling in she was befriended by a kind-hearted woman, who had just moved-in next door. They hit it off instantly.
Margaret is a widow, living with & caring for her deaf brother. She loves frogs, makes her own yogurt & knits in her spare time.
She also makes for a great listening ear & shoulder to lean upon...& the best adoptive grandmother for little girls, living far from their extended family.
Honey Mar-ret*, as I named her as a child, would walk us home from school, she taught us to play mahjong & knitted blankets for our beds in Winter. We would chat about our day, drink fresh green juices, draw pictures & play with her 100+ frog statues.
Most of all I remember her cooking.
Biscuits, slices & breads, cassaroles, roasts & soups (her pumpkin soup is incredible!), frozen yogurt, jam & my fathers favourite chutney-pickle. Anyone & everyone was welcome in her home, anytime of the day or night, & you were guaranteed to leave with a full belly & an armful of homemade treats.
On Tuesday, I sat down in Margaret's sunny living room, at the very same table we shared afternoon tea at all those years ago...instead this time we chatted about politics & her sore hips.
I brought her a freshly baked Greek Yogurt, Apple & Cinnamon Loaf & a few sprigs of fragrant eucalyptus from the flower market.
She gifted to me a yogurt-maker (yay!), as well as her most loved & treasured recipes from family, friends, plus her own creations. Recipes for simple slices, cakes & afternoon treats; some filled with fruit & spices, others with yogurt & notes of citrus - all in scrawly handwriting on yellowed, dog-eared paper. The kind of recipes one makes year after year.
After many hours of sipping iced-tea & reminiscing, as the sun began to fall, I was bid farewell laden with my treats.
I walked home feeling as if I had been given an incredible gift - something to be treasured, to be passed onto my own young & grandchildren in the future. I have been trusted with treasures that cannot be replaced - a part of her family history.
You see, just a few years ago, my spoilt & inconsiderate self would have politely thanked & smiled, whilst subtly throwing this pile of pages in the trash.
Somewhere along the way I have also adopted the same appreciation for a simple & meaningful life as those before me.
Gone are the days of take-out meals & a highly consumerist lifestyle, instead we have wholeheartedly embraced this beautifully simplistic, homemade & on-our-way-to-self-reliant existence.
These recipes are safely tucked away with my most beloved cookbooks in our kitchen, ready for a weekend of baking or a special afternoon tea. There's fresh, organic, homemade yogurt in our fridge & our bellies are full of the most delicious, herb-laced wraps I have ever tasted.
I'm probably a little too excited to share these wraps with you, but they're the kind of recipe that's too good to keep to myself!
Super simple - seriously it takes me 10 minutes max to make them - & incredibly soft, I can't imagine buying wraps from the bakery again!
Greek Yogurt Wraps
3 cups unbleached all-purpose or spelt wholegrain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tablespoon of your choice of herbs (I love rosemary or tarragon in this recipe!)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups greek yogurt (or plain natural yogurt with a teaspoon of lemon juice would be fine too!)
1 tablespoon of oil
1. combine the flour, herb, baking powder, salt & baking soda in a large bowl, mix to combine
2. stir yogurt into flour mix until it for a 'shaggy' dough
3. tip dough onto floured board or counter, knead gently until smooth & no longer sticky - add extra flour if needed until dough is slightly tacky
4. divide dough into 8 equal pieces, roll out to 2-3mm thick, & layer on a plate, dusting with flour & a drizzle of oil in between each wrap
5. heat a griddle or fry pan over a medium heat, bake each wrap until golden & slightly puffed, turn over & cook for another minute or two.
6. serve with your choice of toppings, fillers & condiments - we love smashed avocado salsa, chives, poached eggs & balsamic-oil for breakfast, or grated carrots & beetroot, plenty of watercress, asparagus, & grilled zucchini & pumpkin for dinner.
|obligatory awkward eating shots... Images by Sam|
Oh, & ENJOY!!!
* aka Auntie Margaret - did you call close family friends auntie or uncle when you were a child, as a sign of respect...or was that just my family?
ps. please find my toddler-talk endearing... ;)