The Food24 team shares winter dinners that brim with nostalgic childhood memories – a special shoutout goes to the moms and grannies who are at the heart of these food recollections!
Jeanine Boshoff, Food24’s group account director, says: “My mom’s hearty vegetable and lentil cottage pie is definitely a childhood favourite. She used whatever veggies were in the freezer. The filling was always piping hot with a crispy and golden potato topping.”
For Tessa Purdon, head of content, it’s an old classic. “It’s my mom’s bangers and mash loaded with gravy, or creamy fish pie studded with peas,” she reveals.
Roast chicken is a long-standing favourite on any table. It’s the go-to nostalgic meal for Tarryn Corlett, head of the Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund & Food School Trust. However, it’s the sides that complete the dish.
“We would have roast chicken with cheesy cauliflower or broccoli, gravy, honey-glazed carrots, peas and roast potatoes,” Tarryn shares.
Chicken and broccoli are definitely a win-win combination, like in this creamy chicken and broccoli bake topped with McCain Smiles.
For another chicken meal, salesperson Werner Hayward shares his mom’s chutney mayo chicken. “It’s better than it sounds. My mom made it with crispy potatoes (yes, double starch) and veg. I have tried to make it over the years, but it’s never the same,” he says.
For Food24’s commissioning editor, Lauren Goldman, it’s pea soup that brings up warm and fuzzy feelings. “My mom always adds lots of pepper so it has that delightful warmth that is perfect on a cold winter’s day.”
Lauren adds: “Another fond memory I have is that she would always make green bean bredie for my dad. The rest of the family doesn’t eat green bean bredie, but my dad loves it and I always thought that was the ultimate ‘love sign’ – that she would make it especially for him.”
Social media manager Ishani Chetty is vegetarian. She says: “My mum often prepared vegetable stew with dumplings and rice in winter (one of my favourite meals) along with soya chunks curry and what we call ‘wedding potatoes’ (basically soft potatoes with turmeric, garam masala, chilli and coriander) served with white rice.”
Staying with stews, managing editor Lauren Josephs fondly remembers her granny’s beef stew with fluffy rice. “It would be filled with carrots, peas, yummy soft meat and potatoes. I also remember her pepper steak pie. I still cannot recreate either of these dishes, so I’m pretty sure there was a bit of magic involved,” she adds.
Content producer Bianca Jones credits her granny and mom for their cucumber soup, which is the only way she eats cucumber. “It’s potato and cucumber base cooked with stock and onions and then blitzed smooth with cream and served with an additional touch of cream,” she shares.
Bianca adds: “Another one was a budget-friendly tuna bake. Rice, fried onions and tuna with an egg to bind everything, topped with cheddar cheese and baked until golden.”
Rounding things up, content producer Kgomotso Moncho remembers the warm hug of her mom’s nyola. “Nyola is made simply with corn and sugar beans. It’s a rich, hearty soup with spicy undertones. This and umngqusho are my mom’s best dishes.”