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Speaker: Memory Food

22 Responses

  • Carol Stewart,

    What a lovely story, Giovanni.
    My grandmother's home range was similar to your Nonna - she didn't own a car and walked everywhere - although in later years she did travel out to New Zealand to see us and was also fond of Norway.
    However, I'm not sure I want to keep the memory of northern English food of the mid 20th century alive! (apart from the Lancashire hot pot).

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    god, red lambrusco... i remember drinking litres of it at the original la porchetta in carlton, melbourne. it was like $4 a bottle, and therefore, a must.

    you can buy it from the med warehouse here in wellington at a pretty reasonable price. fantastic chilled and served with summer salads

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    OK, I need to see a photo of that meal completed. The instructions lost me about 1/2 way through, somewhere around the masher.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • range,

    That sounds like a great trip. I'm hoping to do the same with my son, Keanu, (15) soon. His mother is Italian - a Carneavle from Naples (her family moved her when she was about 5). I love hanging out with her family, and there is always an abundance of lovely food!!

    wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Indeed a wondeful story Giovanni, perhaps RB will let you do another guest piece on your return or at least when you next have a great recipe to share.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Kirsten Brethouwer,

    thank you for that Giovanni, I'm a dutch kiwi that has accidentally ended up in Rome (by accidentally I mean I had no particular plan or dream to live in Italy previously) but since being here I understand that the Italian relationship with food is quite something. First I was amazed and maybe amused, now I've become convinced that this insistance on the attention one gives to nourishment is to be treasured and most of all to be shared and taught.
    I do get a bit giggly though when parents at my 6 year old sons school insist on 3 course meals for lunch and on children sitting down at the lunchtable for 45 minutes. I feel like a total barbarian for sending him off to school in NZ with a cheese sandwich. I'm so stoked with having any cooked food for lunch for him at all, really he does not have the patience for primi piatti, secondi piatti, contorni etc. etc. etc. And then another parent suggested that the food would not be digested if they run off into the playground, but that just seemed cruel. Anyway, this is another topic altogether. What I wanted to say is that I very much enjoyed your blog on memory food and I think you should share more of that with us.

    Waiheke Island • Since Nov 2006 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I love the idea of the Grandmother Range. My grandmother stayed in a tiny rural parish of Louisiana all her life (apart from one amazing visit to us in NZ when I was six - I still can't believe that happened). With a few exceptions, Cajuns never go *anywhere* - it's like after they were exiled they never wanted to move again! (And they also have a really intense relationship with food. Hmmm. Is there a pattern here?)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Kimberley Verburg,

    Another Dutch Kiwi here (hi Kirsten *g*), but living in the more prosaic city of London. I used to be a "food is fuel" kind of person but two years in Paris cured me and I'm now suitably horrified at what the English think is acceptable to feed children for school dinners.

    Grandmother Range is a great concept and it's kind of embarrassing that I don't know the answer. She did make the trip out to NZ with her older sister when both were in their seventies (armed with a card saying "these ladies don't speak English, please help them"). But apart from that, I assumed that she had travelled a bit, if only because the Netherlands' size and location make it difficult not to. E.g., 3km in one direction would've put her in Germany.

    Giovanni, I enjoyed your post and hope to hear more about your trip and the pane ferrarese.

    Leiden • Since Jun 2007 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Thank you Russell for the hospitaly, this is quite exciting for me I must say. Although I was doing the classy thing and not plugging the blog... that was all him, I swear!

    The instructions lost me about 1/2 way through, somewhere around the masher.

    Picture, pictures, lessee... These are the dumplings coming out of a potato ricer. You take a fistful of dough, put it in the ricer, squeeze and when the dumplings are 3-4 cm long you cut with a knife flush to the exit holes. With a masher you leave a fistful of dough on a chopping board and press down. The final look of the dish is much like this (although I cannot endorse the recipe on that site. Nutmeg? That’s just crazy talk.)

    I do get a bit giggly though when parents at my 6 year old sons school insist on 3 course meals for lunch and on children sitting down at the lunchtable for 45 minutes.

    Heh... welcome to my life, ages 6 to 11. The dreaded school canteen, brings back food memories, but of a most unpleasant kind. It must be that if you weren’t good enough to be an army cook they sent you to the schools (on account of children not being equipped with rifles).

    Cajuns never go *anywhere* - it's like after they were exiled they never wanted to move again! (And they also have a really intense relationship with food. Hmmm. Is there a pattern here?)

    You might be on to something, I’d sure love to find out if it’s the case. In my not infrequent delusions of grandeur I see the Grandmother Range as a worldwide research project done with overlays in Google Earth, leading to all sorts of interesting conclusions. Or not. But this could be one of them.

    I head Declan Kyberd give a lovely talk once on Ulysses and the Irish habit to walk everywhere; his grandparents apparently used to walk for hours to get to another village just to play cards with a particular couple. Later he was in LA with his wife for a conference, and she kept being accosted by motorists assuming she must be a prostitute - why else would a woman walk about like that?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Picture, pictures, lessee...

    Ah OK, that is what I pictured, but it didn't match my assumed shape of dumplings (er round?) so I was confused. Interesting.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    I am very interested in hearing about baking the bread and the recipe
    will there be a follow-up post?

    Grandmother range -
    my maternal grandmother moved to Hawkes Bay when she was 3 (just in time for the big shake of '31 of which she remembers a lot of) from Taumaranui. I don't think she has often left the Bay since then - certainly never the North Island.
    my paternal gran retired with my pop when my dad (who was the youngest) was only 17. They sold the orchard and travelled around some Pacific Islands and Canada. Eventually built a house in Whangamata (before it was trendy to) and settled down to a life of socialising, golf and bowls.

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I like the memory question. I have some old photos. Some of my great grand dad as a tattooed twenty something year old. And, I also have the wooden old camera, that might well have taken some of these old black an white photos, of my ancestry.

    Being that my great grand dad lived to one hundred years old, I have actual ordinal memory of the man alive. I'v got a drawing and some writing rendered by his dad, my great great grand dad. That information's planted a memory of an imagined person. I imagined what my great grand dads dad looked like when I looked at his hand writing. I now see that imagination of the man as memory... It's cool being the human animal.

    And Giovanni, I also like reading your research writing such as that. Its good tucker.

    Thankyou.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    DUDE YOU WRITE RESEARCH ON SCI-FI!!!

    you know, the more i hear about this giovanni tiso guy? the more i like it.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    you know, the more i hear about this giovanni tiso guy? the more i like it.

    I also hear he's very, very handsome.

    I'v got a drawing and some writing rendered by his dad, my great great grand dad. That information's planted a memory of an imagined person. I imagined what my great grand dads dad looked like when I looked at his hand writing. I now see that imagination of the man as memory...

    That's lovely, and good for your family for holding on to the documents. I'm assuming they're from the late 18th century, yes? Were they immigrants by any chance? Migrants families have a special sense of the value of such things, I saw it first hand when they were putting together the Italian exhibit at Te Papa.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I am very interested in hearing about baking the bread and the recipe will there be a follow-up post?

    I'll talk to Russell, but I'm determined to at least post that recipe, yes, if that plan comes to fruition. I'm travelling to the source next Tuesday, and my cousins there reckon the lad and I could take part in the grape treading. Can't wait.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'll talk to Russell, but I'm determined to at least post that recipe

    Write what you want, when you want. Send it in.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I'm assuming they're from the late 18th century, yes

    Yes my great grand dad told us how he had bee to old to enlist in the first world war.

    Were they immigrants by any chance?

    My family are of, predominantly Protestant welsh refuge heritage, on my mothers side and aristocratic black sheep (my great grand farther managed to drink himself to death, after his centennial booze up.

    I am pretty much, the only member of my immediate family, thats interested in memory assisting technology, such as the photographs.

    I'm lucky I've found some second cousins of both sides of the family, that not only have historic material, they have good reliable narrative, which includes, some of the hard news.

    Some of the descendants of Protestant welch refugees, from 1860s, not long after the Nova Scotia Scott's, south Pacific voyages, married local maori. My second cousin showed me a photo of her grand mother with Moko. I like visiting those cousins. I usually dig for white clay, to use in ceramics work, from to sight where my great grand mother lived. And that always gets me thinking.

    Giovanni, It's olive session here in Wellington, I just harvested three liters, and I've got two already salted, ready to eat.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    It's olive session here in Wellington? Well actually, after checking all the trees around Mt Victoria, I discovered that that was wrong. I do however, knew where there's an unseasonal tree.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    My Grandmother Range is as interesting as pretty well everyones'-

    Nanna was born in Waianakarua, was schooled (up until Standard 6) in Totara ( both south of Oamaru) and travelled north as far as Christchurch and the odd tiki-tour into North Canterbury including Hanmer Springs; and south as far as Rakiura. She never flew in a plane, never ventured into the North Island...

    Her parents had ventured forth from the Orkneys but, once arriving in Dunedin in the late 1860s, never went further north than Oamaru.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Sorry to have strayed of topic, but the roadside olive trees that the Wellington city council planted during the eighties, are probably off limits to the public now. They won a prestigious award. As a result, I guess I'd get growled if I tried picking them.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I've seen people gathering olives from street trees in Jerusalem.

    I wondered about doing it here, but the thought of pollution from car exhaust puts me off.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Sorry to have strayed of topic, but the roadside olive trees that the Wellington city council planted during the eighties, are probably off limits to the public now. They won a prestigious award. As a result, I guess I'd get growled if I tried picking them.

    When we lived in Mt Victoria we were going to the olives from a very laden tree in the garden of our flat. I mentioned it on the phone to my mother - never one to overdramatise health hazards - and the first thing she said was '...but YOU MIGHT DIE'. As it happened, our (Greek) landlord beat us to the bounty by one day. Now we have an olive tree but it doesn't bear fruit, perhaps it's too young, but I'd look forward to bottle me some olives, although with due care otherwise WE MIGHT DIE.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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