Three years ago on the 19th January 2009 my second daughter Annie, turned 21. Joyous and special though the occasion was, she got a terribly rude shock. Instead of a fabulously expensive piece of jewellery or some other significant gift to mark her coming of age, all she got from her lousy Mother was a small notebook containing handwritten recipes and a few quickly scribbled illustrations. Before you all shout ‘Meany, meany, meany…’ I would just like to say that, at that time my financial situation was pretty dire, in fact very dire.
More than anything I desperately wanted to give Annie something special, something significant, but alas, I did not have the funds to do so. I wracked my brains for days beforehand trying to think of things that I thought she might like or need (aside from the obvious) and came up with the idea for a cookery book. Not just any old cookery book, but one that had all the recipes that I had used from the moment that she was weaned off the bosom and could chomp her way through real, sustaining hearty food, not watery blue stuff. I called the book ‘Chicken Annie’
My Mother died when I was 24, the exact age that Annie is now. She was the most fabulous cook, the sort that can dive into an almost empty fridge and conjure up marvelous meals in minutes. She was, as my youngest brother once proudly boasted to one of his school friends ‘A Condom Bleu’ chef.
Alas, I am not a Condom Bleu chef, but I was the daughter of one and so, along the way I have learnt a few tricks or two. When I wrote Annie’s personal cookbook for her 21st birthday, I realized that nothing is more special than recipes handed down from generation to generation, especially when those that have lovingly cooked them, have shuffled off their mortal coil and are no longer here.
I included all our own family favourites but the one that stole the show and the most disliked by all of my five children, subsequent lovers and husbands has got to be ‘Peela’s Mess’. I’m not going to bother giving you the recipe as I know that you will all wretch, but I love it and I included it in the cookbook. I also thought that Annie might be interested in the little anecdote about Peela who was my Dutch Oma’s best friend.
Peela was an alcoholic who tragically came to an untimely end. One night, whilst very drunk she drove her car straight into a Scottish Loch and was never seen again.
This recipe that I am about to give you, is very simple and straightforward. Just make sure that you keep tasting it as you go along. The first time I made it, it was absolutely disgusting but that’s partly because I thought that I could get away with not using Rice Vinegar and just use normal. Trust me, you can’t.
Green Ginger Sauce – a recipe that I begged off a restaurant here in Jakarta
No cooking involved, just a bit of chopping and slopping stuff around. It’s delicious as a side sauce to go with grilled chicken and rice, or slurped straight out of the bowl late at night.
One cup = 250mls
Very finely sliced Spring Onions ¼ cup (not sure what they are called in America, but something fancy I suspect)
Grated Root Ginger 1 tablespoon
Light Soy Sauce 2 ½ tablespoons
Sugar 1 ½ tablespoons
Rice Vinegar 1 tablespoon
Sesame Oil 1 teaspoon
Mix, mix, mix. Delicious (make extra and keep in fridge)
I am proud to report that Annie is now working in the porn industry. She is also a very competent cook.