Image by Khonsali

Cooking is a funny thing. Some people can whip up a six layer chocolate cake with liqueurs and fancy pants cream, shaved chocolate on top but cannot fathom couscous.

I am strictly a recipe girl. Give me a recipe, perhaps a photo to go with it and 90% of the time I’ll get it right. So, for me, couscous is a cinch. I may not make it perfectly but with a lovely slow cooked moroccan lamb meal, it will be oh so good… enough.

My all time fav food group is Sweets: lemon meringue pie, pumpkin pie, choc chip muffins with enormous chips in them, biscuits, cupcakes, meringues, puddings, you name it. If it’s got sugar it’s in my recipe book. I blame this obsession on my little granny. She was always cooking. Her offerings included jelly cakes, lamingtons, fruit whip and coconut cake. We always left her house full of sugar, kool mints and minties. Ah, mint will always remind me of her. Probably because she smoked and wanted to cover up the smell as much as possible.

My mum makes great cakes and biscuits. I love it when she whips up a batch of custard creams. I try and hide the jar from my family because I know how hard they are to make and how melt-in-your-mouth awesome they taste. There is nothing like home baking. She also is the queen of the common noddy slice: ginger with lemon icing, chocolate with choccy icing with sprinkles, apricot and coconut and swiss slice. Yum.

It’s not to say that she always got it right. Sorry mum. The eighties were not kind to you. When we had barbeques with friends mum would make her famous marshmallow salad. And I use the word ‘salad’ loosely. Are you ready for it? It had obviously marshmallows as well as tinned mandarine sections, coconut and tinned pineapple. As kids we loved it! It felt healthy because it was a ‘salad’.

Then the microwave revolution hit. And into our microwave went cakes. They came out full of sponge-like holes. Choc chip cake was our favourite and we could eat it hot with the chips melted yum…. but a bit wrong… right? They had such a weird texture. Kinda plastic feeling.

And now to me. I love to cook and sometimes it works and sometimes… disaster. But for my friend who is afraid of couscous, here is the recipe. Make it with confidence and love. Because, as the Masterchef gurus say, you must cook with Lurrrvve.

Couscous (or just read the recipe on the back of the packet)

1 cup water
1 cup couscous

1. Bring water to the boil

2. Pour in cup of couscous, remove from heat. Put lid on and sit for 3 minutes.

3. Fluff up with a fork. Season. Add butter if you like. Serve.

Easy von peasy.

What are some of your favourite childhood recipes?