Here are some of my favourite food related memories and experiences:
- The Zilli’s Burger
I believe Zilli’s back home has closed now- much to my despair. However the memory of this burger lives on. Especially the confusing moment when the waiter though Mum had ordered a chicken AND beef burger, since chicken was also listed in the extra toppings. We weren’t aware that doubling the meat content and variety in a burger was a popular thing to do. A concept that baffles me to do this day, how could anyone finish such a burger? Anyhow, this exceptional creation consisted of a chicken breast, mushrooms, cheese, BBQ sauce, salad, the usual suspects. I’m not the biggest burger fan, but this really was good. Such a shame they closed. Thankfully I found a similar thing in the Edinburgh student union, Teviot, called a library burger, but without the mushrooms.
- Cooking Food in the Garden on Mum’s Wood Burning Stove..
..was also a summer-food treat back home. This was where we invented the ‘Whatever Burger’- really good quality beef patties with mature cheddar, mushrooms and a ton of ketchup. Good times. I remember eating this the evening before A-Level results, so thankfully I can remember the burger rather than the pre-results day nerves. My favourite of the allotment foods would have to be the yellow/orange tomatoes, which to this day are the sweetest vegetable I’ve had, and the allotment is the only place I’ve found them. Close runners up would be the black cherries.
- The Spanish Deserts from Ambiente
Ambiente, the tapas restuarant where we celebrated my sister’s 21st birthday was my first tapas experience. I only wish I’d taken more photos- delights included fried calamari with a particularly potent garlic sauce, little peppers stuffed with goats cheese, some of the nicest fish I’ve ever had- I can’t remember the variety but when we asked for seconds they had run out!
- Love Crumbs
A popular, trendy cafe in Edinburgh where I spent my last afternoon before returning for the Christmas break with a friend from University. Famous for it’s window seat- which we managed to claim on this occasion. I had a delicate ginger tea, a cheese and mustard toastie and and slice of dark chocolate ginger cake. Not my healthiest of lunches, but definitely memorable. Would highly recommend. They did the toastie thing where it seems to have been toasted inside out with cheese on both sides.
This incredible Ghanian peanut butter, tomato and chilli stew with chicken and (our substitute for fufu), rice, was a throwback for Mum rather than me, from her time in Ghana. We had to eat it as traditionally as possible, bar sharing it from the same pot, we used out right hand only, making a well in the centre of the rice to house the sauce. It was fascinating hearing the stories about the dangerous production process of fufu.
When I was in early secondary school (year 7,9) my friends and I began somewhat of a trend of baking homemade cakes and bringing them to school for people’s birthdays. My liking of eccentric cakes may have stemmed from Mum’s extraordinary birthday cake creations when me and my sister were young. This trend climaxed when I was set an english lit homework task to ‘Creatively’ interpret some of mice and men quotes “A water snake glided smoothly up the pool, twisting its periscope head from side to side”.
Another household tradition was (and still is) to make pancakes in the morning whenever our friends slept over. We were known for our sleepover pancakes. This extended to special occasion pancakes: on mothers day and Mum’s birthday I’d get up super early, wait for the milkman to arrive (or Dad to bring milk in- because there was never enough milk when you wanted to make pancakes) and make a crazily indulgent pancake often with bananas, blueberries, chocolate sauce, lemon juice, syrup and sugar. They’re a thing of beauty.