This blog is a dedication to my Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother. All Great cooks.

Several years ago just after my Great Grandmother Evelyn Annie  Hamilton(nee Linger) passed away I was able to get her recipe book. My intention was to write a book using the recipes that she had collected over her lifetime. I then decided that I would write a book using recipes that my grandmother and Mother had also collected. Why not throw myself in as well? I have collected quite a few recipes myself, and not just all hand me downs from Mum, Nan and Nanna.

So my first post will be an introduction to us, the four generations.

Nanna/Evelyn: Nanna was born In St Neots in Cambridgeshire in England at the end of the 19th Century. She moved to Australia with my great grandfather, Roy Hamilton,  in early 1920. My grandmother was born the same year. Nanna and Poppa had a farm just outside of the town of Singleton where they raised their 5 daughters, Joan, Sheila, Pam, Audrey and Betty. In the late 60’s they moved in to town where they enjoyed many years together, and watched the future generations grow. Nanna’s recipes go back approximately 60-70 years.

Nan/Joan: Nan was born in 1920 and raised on the family farm just outside of Singleton. She grew up and became a nurse, married my grandfather Walter Keith Lawson and they had 5 children, Jan, Ian, Robyn, Marilyn and Sue. Nan still lives in the same house after 40 years. One filled with lots of memories, like learning to make marshmallow and then turning it into rabbits for easter, sherbert cones for fetes, gramma pie is still one of my favourites. Nan’s recipe collection covers approximately 50-60 years.

Mum/Robyn: Mum was born in 1950. Mum grew up, met and married my Dad and had three children, myself and my two brothers Nathan and Sefton. Mum and Dad left Singleton and moved to Ballina for 12 years and are now back in the Valley. Mum was a busy working mum. As we got older my brothers and I all learnt to cook to help Mum out and so we knew how to make the things we really loved. Mum’s recipe collection goes back approximately 40 years.

Me/Viktoria: I was born in 1969 in Singleton and spent my early years there. Mum and Nan taught me to cook, and I have many memories of fun times in the kitchen. I grew up moved to Newcastle, moved back, moved to Brisbane, moved back and have now been in Sydney for 17 1/2 years. Married and became a chef. Becoming a chef was what I had wanted to do as a job from when I learnt there was such a job. Unfortunately during work experience in high school I had a reaction to cleaning products used in restaurant kitchen and had to give up that dream. Fast forward to 1993 and I was doing a certificate III in Hospitality(catering)supervision and I found out as a chef you didn’t need to clean. So as soon as I was finished with the course I became an apprentice in 1994 and have been a qualified chef now for 12 years. I still love cooking. My recipe collection goes back around 30 years.

So I will be trolling through the collections of all four of us and talking about the things I have made hopefully with some photos to accompany the text. It is also an interesting way to look at how cooking has changed over the past 80 or so years. A lot of the recipes have been written, some have been cut out and then pasted into exercise type  books . Some are from friends, some are from magazines, others are just the title. The ones from friends often have that persons name in the title eg Jan’s jam drops, Pam’s chocolate cake, Mrs Elms’ Cheesecake(truly delicious and the first cheesecake I learnt to cook).

Anyway that is enough for my first post. Looking forward to getting through the recipes…..What will be first?????