The 3 F’s: Food, Family & Friends
It will come as no surprise that in my opinion food is more than just fuel, it brings together not only family but also friends.
A taste of England
I believe that I have inherited my passion for food and cooking from my parents. My mother’s side of the family is British. My mum is a fantastic cook and uses her skills in her place of work too (she is an assistant head chef trainer at the local university). My mother inherited her culinary skills from her grandmother who I am told was also a brilliant cook. I grew up feasting on vegetables from my grandfather’s allotments from beetroot to green beans. Family feasts on this side of the family consist of great British cuisine: in the summer its pork pies, homemade/grown salads, roast meats and homemade quiche. In the winter we are treated to lovely roast dinners at my auntie’s house, which includes her magical Yorkshire puddings (magical because they are huge!).
Big Polish Family Feasts
Now my father’s side is very different, dad is one of 4 and the only boy. His parents are Polish and came to England shortly after the Second World War. Family gatherings are big, loud, fun affairs which has food at its centre. My 3 aunties are always in the kitchen helping my mum or my Babcia (Polish for grandmother) with the cooking. You will never leave a Belz gathering feeling hungry. An afternoon visit to Babcia’s usually consists of 3 courses of the finest polish comfort food: chicken soup, Cottlette (basically a giant meat ball served with potatoes and vegetables) then a ‘choc ice’. About 1 hour later you are offered a sandwich and/or donut which you can’t say no to because it is Babcia.
Food and friends
I am lucky that I have a group of friends who love food almost as much as me. There were about 5 of us who used to go to my friend Miranda’s house after school once a week purely to eat. It was our ‘secret club’ (definitely not so secret now!) we also had a name but I think its best we keep that hush hush. As we got older Miranda and I, along with our friend Henry, started to have food and wine nights which we still do today. Henry is the best at the creative dishes (although he may deny this fact), the most memorable being his cheese fondue which was followed by a chocolate fondue! Yum! Both attended my 21st birthday for which I held a dinner party. The guests got a chance to experience my mums exquisite beef bourguignon and homemade profiteroles. I think I can say that in true Belz fashion no one left hungry.
Recipes by the Retz’s
My friend Sarah loves food as much, if not more, than me in fact a great deal of her photos from her recent travels are of food. She is an exceptional cook and her birthday parties have always included new and exciting recipes such as the unforgettable coca cola and chocolate cake (Saz please put up the recipe on Retzbites). I wrote this blog to promote Retzbites, a blog site recently created by Sarah, her mum and her sister. The aim of the blog is to share their favourite recipes and are each taking it in turn to write down their latest discoveries. The mighty mushroom burger sounds divine I can’t wait to try it out! If you are after the interesting (marmite pasta) or the homely (spinach and potato pie) then visit Sarah and her families page you will be in for a real treat!