Growing up in my family, Saturday lunches were a time for my family to come together, reconnect and refuel after a busy and active morning. My brothers would return from soccer, smelling of grass and dirt and more often then not, victory. I would be prancing around the house in my pastel pink tights and leotard following morning ballet classes. Mum would be gliding around the kitchen, slicing and preparing the impending feast for five hungry bellies.
We would then gather around the table for wholesome and fresh salad rolls. My brothers would recount hilarious anecdotes or exaggerated, valiant feats from the morning game, my dad would throw in his jokes that are oh so lame yet frustratingly intelligent, and my mum and I would laugh and encourage then chat away in our own little world – all whilst creating and devouring delicious salad rolls.
I miss those days.
Alongside the super fresh, crusty rolls would be a plethora of pleasing provisions. All the typical salad ingredients would be on the table for us to pick and choose – tomato, cucumber, red onion (my mum just has to have this) and lettuce. Sometimes beetroot, often some cheese, usually a cold roast chicken. All the pieces were there to make the perfect roll, the ultimate homely lunch.
Occasionally mum would make curried egg, if we weren’t in the mood for chicken. That was a real treat. Everyone loved mum’s curried egg. It is very simple, no gastronomic feat. Just boiled eggs, mayonnaise and curry powder. But we loved it. We loved it because she made it, and because it was shared it in this familial environment. The fact that it was such a spur of the moment assembly of deliciousness made it all the more special. We would never plan for curried egg, the idea would just come to mum on the spot and amongst gleeful cheers she would make it. And we would eat it. Instant craving gratification. That is how it was in our house.
The other day, I felt like curried egg again. I wanted to taste those flavours that take me back to my childhood. Those memories are so precious to me. It is amazing how food holds such a special place in your heart. How one food or meal can be the key that opens up a great treasure chest full of cherished memories. Curried egg is one of those foods. It completely and utterly holds the key to my heart.
Unfortunately when I made this, I was low on curry powder. Hence the creamy, slightly pallid colour. And although it was not as strong a curry flavour as mum’s, it still worked. The key still fit and the chest opened. And I was a child again, twirling around in my leotard waiting for my lunch date with my family.