Today you can win a copy of ‘Licking the Spoon’ by Candace Walsh.
My memory is not great. I can barely remember anything that happened as a child and am constantly letting my own children down by not being able to remember their first steps, first words, and other important occasions that mothers really should have etched in their minds forever.
A lot of the memories I do have are connecting with food, primarily the smell of certain foods and of meals being cooked.
The smell of slightly burnt toast for example always makes me think of my Gran and Granddad. One of my favourite meals at their house as a child was tinned beans and sausages on toast. The toast was always slightly overdone, but spread thick with real butter. A similar sort of toast was also served with my favourite soup – chicken and sweetcorn – served in short, stubby black and white patterned bowls.
The smell of roast dinner reminds me of my other set of grandparents. We visited them less frequently, but when we did it was often for a roast dinner on a Sunday. They never used their front door, so we would always come in by the kitchen door at the side of the house, up two steep concrete steps, and be greeted by a waft of sage and onion.
Smells and tastes can be incredibly evocative, and it’s no wonder really that food and memories of food play such an important part in our lives. Reading about food too is something I love, whether it’s just looking at the pictures in a recipe book or tucking into a book like ‘Like Water for Chocolate’ – just reading about the preparation and enjoyment of food can be hugely atmospheric.
‘Licking the Spoon: A Memoir of Food, Family and Identity’ by Candace Walsh then is a book I can really relate to. Walsh uses food throughout her book, entwined with tales from her life, to create a beautiful story of a difficult childhood, held together by a something constant and often comforting.
Walsh’s life hasn’t been easy, but food and cooking has played a massive part in her life, alongside ups and downs including divorce, death and family difficulties with alcohol. ‘Licking the Spoon’ is a memoir full of insight, inspiration, and of course, recipes – a story that shows us that it is possible to recover from life’s tribulations if you just have the right ingredients, a little luck, and an appetite for life’s next meal.
To win your very own copy of ‘Licking the Spoon’, just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favourite food or meal is. The competition will close on 28th February and you can see the full T&Cs here.