‘THIS. IS. INCREDIBLE’
The biggest compliment my mum used to get about her dinners from my dad was, ‘It’s good Joyce.’ His eyes still on the plate whilst continuing to shovel it down.
I’m married to an Italian and his compliments are proper ones. The first time he complimented my mum’s cooking I’m pretty sure she blushed and little wings sprouted from her shoes as she floated just for a second.
Eyes closed, fork waving in small circles by his head. A long pause followed while he savoured his first mouthful of mum’s Sunday roast, ‘Hhhhhuuumm it’s delicious Joyce.’ My mum, amidst floating, struggled with how to react to such a compliment.
When Giuseppe snapped out of melty, lamby bliss he looked her square in the face and said, ‘No, really Joyce. This. Is. Incredible.’ (you have to imagine this in an Italian accent) At that point I think she nearly fainted – she then pulled herself together to prepare the trifle.
I work in food journalism and it’s really satisfying to see your recipes photographed beautifully, looking all oozy and delicious but the best thing about food is getting together around the table. I love good food that evokes memories and also cements new ones (outward appreciation Giuseppe-style is also a great motivator). The Italians are the masters of food being the main event, so I’ll be taking this ethos whilst celebrating the best of both British and Italian food.