Monday, January 28, 2013

Let them have prawns!

In 2001 my Mom and Dad came to live with me.  My parent's home had been burned down a few months before and I was a single Mom working two jobs.  It was a big sacrifice for my parents to move to the city but they very generously wanted to help.

My Dad took on the grocery shopping.  Between us there was not a lot of money to go around.  The food that he bought in bulk was very boring to start with.  My Grandmother was a fantastic cook but the ability completely by-passed my Mom.  Bland boring groceries were converted into tasteless and at times inedible meals.

My Mom and Dad 

Let me elaborate on my Mom's cooking skills.....  When I was a child we had a Labrador that ate anything.  She would even eat the peaches that fell off the trees.  One night my Mom cooked a meal that none of us could eat.  She dished all the food into our Labrador's food bowl but even our Labrador would not eat the food.

After school one day Carmen was whining to her Granny about the boring food that Grandpa bought for us. She finished off the tirade with, " ....and Granny I can't even remember when last I ate prawns."  This she said with so much disgust as if prawns should be an everyday meal.
On the left is Carmen in a blue dress around the time of the prawns statement.

The prawns thing developed into my Mom and I responding to any complaints of hunger, doing our best Marie Antoinette :

"Let them have prawns!"

Many years later I gained a Japanese daughter, Sayaka,  she was a rotary exchange student unhappy with the host family that she had, she asked if she could live with us.
My Beautiful Japanese Daughter.

Sayaka asked if she could cook for us.  We were of course delighted.  She then asked me to buy prawns.  Michael and I both choked a little and then explained to Sayaka that prawns are a luxury food in South Africa.  We offered to buy them at the end of the month but told her that we could not buy them in the middle of the month.  Sayaka kindly bought them with her own money.

She proceeded to make the most divine dish, a prawn and rice cake.  Which is now our family's favourite meal.  Carmen was especially delighted as rice and prawns are her two favourite foods and then the added plus to have it in a CAKE!

We could then go back to saying:

"Let them have cake, Prawn Cake!"


  1. Cute story. My brother, sister and I moved in with my grandmother when we were kids. My grandmother has four things that she cooks. She cooks the hell out of them, but if she tries to branch out it is usually a disaster. We begged for spaghetti. She finally decided to make it and not only would we not eat it, but the dog wouldn't eat it eiher. ;-)

  2. It is funny how some people are like that they can cook the meals they know well but something simple like spaghetti....