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A Canadian grandma who has lived most of her life in Europe - Austria, Germany, Hungary and now in France. We travelled to various other countries as my husband has relatives in various countries in Eastern Europe. I was given a cookbook in Slovak for our wedding - 36 years ago!
My Canadian mother, who is now 89, gave me her cherised "Wartime cookbook" - She also gave me one very old cookbook which she picked up at a flea market - no name, no date but extremely old - measurements in it are very indefinte; eg: a closed handfull, open handfull, tip of the knife. I have estimated it to be around early 1900's because of some references made in it.
I use all kinds of cookbooks depending on the weather! - We like some of the heavier meals when it is cold and damp out - like sauerkraut! That is when I get out the Slovak or Hungarian recipes.
I serve many, many guest here in France who arrive from Canada or the US and I have several favorite light meals I developed for guests. First, they are almost guaranteed to be enjoyed by anyone - even picky eaters - and second, they are light and easily digested, as most folks who arrive with jetlag just want to eat and go to bed to rest.
Another passion of mine is gardening. So,of course, I have a herb garden near the kitchen door which opens to the back yard. More of the herbs here last over winter than in Austria or Hungary where it freezes more. Now I am trying various other one than I did there. I just planted a mini hedge with rosemary and am watching it grow slowly so I can start to shape it - of course the trimmings can go in many recipes. With very little frost here, I can go out to the garden and get fresh herbs all year round. Parsley is still one of the most basic herbs I use and it is green all year here.
I love to make a herb bouquet just to keep on the kitchen table. The whole kitchen smells so fresh and wonderful from it.
Another passion I have is cats! Here in France I am not able to have my own as we are gone from home too much. I tamed a stray cat. It took 3 months for me to be able to touch her. Recently, we were gone 4 months but the 2nd day we were back, she came to the back door looking just fine! She is an excelent hunter and it appears she can take care of herself without me. In the meantime I "have" a cat!