Recipes often remind us of a beloved person or moment in time.
The City of Tea Tree Gully community has kindly shared their memories and recipes of their loved one. We say thank you for taking time to contribute their recipes and we look forward to making new recipes and memories.
The recipes included here are sweet and savoury and full of love.
Part of the Compassionate Community Project 2022
Funded by Hospital Research Foundation and Palliative Care SA
While my great grandmother died many years before I was born, her recipes live on in our family. This recipe was also made by my late grandmother and now my mother, sister and I. My grandmother was a very practical woman who left school at 13 to care for her brothers after her mother died. She was a woman of contrasts, at times mixing with high society, but more at home on the farm where she was renowned for her cooking, horse riding and shooting skills, along with her sewing and knitting. When we make this recipe, we think of our grandmother and the fun times we had with her. Much like life, this recipe gets messy, but the end results are very satisfying.
*** Note: The weights in the recipe might look a little odd but it’s because they have been converted from imperial measures. I have also adapted some of the language from the original recipe, such as ‘return to fire’ and, of course, there was no stick blender.
- Amanda Nes
5.4kg tomatoes- peeled and roughly chopped
1.8kg onions- peeled and roughly chopped
4 level tablespoons curry powder
6 level tablespoons mustard powder
2 handfuls salt
1 level teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups white vinegar
1. Put tomatoes and onions in separate dishes
2. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt
3. Let stand for 12 hours
4. Strain off liquid
5. Place tomatoes and onions in large saucepan and boil rapidly for five minutes while regularly stirring
6. Make paste of curry, mustard and pepper mixed with some of the vinegar
7. Stir into tomatoes and onions
8. Return to stove
9. Boil one hour
10. Use a stick blender to get rid of any large chunks only
11. Bottle while hot.
My grandma migrated from Hong Kong in the early 60s, not only did she teach me about Asian cultures, but she also embraced herself in Western culture to connect with my cousins and I. Ever since she knew spaghetti bolognese was one of my favourite dishes, she would cook it for me when I went for a visit. Now I always follow this recipe and share it with my family, in memory of my grandma.
- Jessie Chan
2tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
500g beef mince
1/2 cup of red wine
2 cubs of beef stock powder
800g crushed tomato
2tbsp tomato paste
2tsp white sugar
2 dried bay leaves
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and chilli, cook until light golden.
2. Turn heat up to high and add beef. Cook until browned.
3. Add red wine and bring to simmer. Cook for couple minutes and until the alcohol smell is gone.
4. Add remaining ingredients. Stir and bring to a simmer for 20-30 minutes.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Then add pasta and cook per packet direction.
6. Scoop out half a cup of pasta water and add to the sauce.
7. Drain the pasta then toss with the sauce.
8. Divide between bowls then garnish with cheese.
My mum was famous for her sponge cake, every birthday cake request was simple, mum’s sponge with whipped cream and fresh banana. She would have to make two full cakes as my brother and I would fake fight over it, she would fake tell us off laughing and then my brother and I would eat so much of it we were almost sick. This behaviour continued from childhood into… our forties! We sadly lost mum to cancer in 2019 but reminiscing about her magnificent sponge always brings back laughter and a smile. She would be thrilled to share her recipe and the happy memories this recipe brought us.
- Alison Schiller
4 room temperature eggs
½ cups corn flour
Tablespoon plain flour
1 teaspoon cream tartar
½ teaspoon carb soda
¾ cup sugar
Couple drops vanilla essence
1. Put eggs in basin, beat for 5 mins
2. Add sugar and vanilla essence until sugar is dissolved
3. Sift all flour ingredients then add to mixture
4. Lightly fold flours until combined
5. Bake in hot oven for 20mins
6. 230 degrees for gas oven, 250 degrees for electric oven
Best ever topping is:
Whipping cream, plenty vanilla essence, plenty icing sugar (should be on the sweet side), whip together until soft peaks form, be generous with the whipped cream mixture and top with fresh slices of banana. And as my mum would say ‘FRESS’!
We always had this in the new year, to get rid of the last of the Christmas ham. It is great any time of year, probably better in the cooler weather. My children now make this dish in the new year.
- Christine Watson
1 and 1/2 kg of ham cut into small pieces
1 and 1/2 kg of potato cut into small pieces
2 litres of rich cheese sauce
Oven : moderately slow 160-170
Time : about I and 1/2 hours, last 40 mins with the lid off, for top to brown.
1. Par boil potato, do not totally cook them. When done leave to cool.
2. Make the cheese sauce, making sure the sauce is not too thick, more like thick pouring cream. Make sure you put in enough tasty cheese. Use any recipe you have for the cheese sauce.
3. Mix both ham and potatoes in the casserole dish, pouring the cheese sauce over the top making sure it is has covered all the mix.
4. Now add a little grated cheese. Put lid on and into the oven.
Our mum often made these as a treat for me and my sisters. I fondly remember her yellow covered Margaret Fulton Cookbook, where this recipe is from. The page with this recipe was well used and had a few marks and flour from us 'helping' in the kitchen. I was very young when she passed away, but I always remember her cooking these.
- Donna Mijatovic
2 cups self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
A pinch salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons currants, sultanas and chopped mixed peel
1/4 cup milk
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease the baking trays.
2. Sift the flour with the spice and salt, rub the butter in lightly, and then mix in the sugar.
3. Add the fruits and mix well.
4. Beat the egg and add the milk, then mix with the dry ingredients to a stiff dough.
5. Put small tablespoonfuls in little rough heaps on the greased baking tin.
6. Bake for 10–15 minutes.
I have fond memories of our tiny kitchen where mum would prepare and serve meals for 8 hungry mouths. We didn’t have much, but our tummies were always full, and we had the most important ingredient in abundance - Love, Love and more Love. Main meals would usually be something like a rabbit that dad had got ‘rabbiting’, which mum would somehow stretch into a rabbit stew or pie for all. Not something that is popular nowadays, so I have opted for one of our favourite desserts - bread and butter pudding from mum’s tattered and dog-eared Green and Gold cookbook.
- Cr Lyn Petrie
Two thin slices bread and butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pint milk
1 tablespoon currants or sultanas
Grated nutmeg or cinnamon
1. Cut the buttered bread into squares and put in a greased pie dish
2. Sprinkle with sugar and currants
3. Beat the eggs well, add the milk and pour over
4. Grate nutmeg over top, and bake in a slow oven till set – 30 to 45 minutes
5. 345 degrees for electric cooker, 300 degrees in gas cooker.
One of my patients gave me this recipe. She is now deceased. I have made this yearly. Absolutely yummy.
The measurements are not metric.
- Susan Kovacs
6 cups sugar
3 teaspoons vinegar
1. Cut tails off figs, prick around with fork
2. Bring syrup to boil
3. Add figs
4. Boil gently for 2 hours and 30 minutes
5. Put figs on rack to dry for 4 days, turn daily
6. Roll in castor sugar
7. Pack into jars
My grandma always made apricot and coconut log at Christmas as one of the sweet treats for us. When I first moved out of home, she made me a hand-written cookbook of her favourite recipes, with this included, when I was 18 ( I am now 47 and my grandma passed away in 2003). I still have this page of the cookbook with her hand-written recipe laminated. I use it every Christmas. This year with COVID, my family could not travel from interstate, so I was not going to make it. My husband and adult children were devastated as I have made it every Christmas. So, I made it this year. My grandma's memory lives on in this recipe.
- Diane Zoe Holty
250g chopped dried apricots
1 cup chopped white marshmallows
250g finely crushed nice biscuits
1 and ½ cups chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
400g sweetened condensed milk
2 cups coconut
1. Combined all ingredients (except coconut).
2. Mix well and divide mixture into 4. Shape each portion into a log shape.
3. 3cm in diameter roll in coconut.
4. Place on tray, cover then refrigerate several hours.
5. This can be kept for up to a month refrigerated.
Every year the whole family would come together to make a large quantity of fresh passata sauce to bottle them and store to make pasta sauce throughout the year. Mum would make this sauce weekly from freshly grown ingredients. The sauce would bubble away for hours on the stove, filling the house with a lovely warm aroma. The best part is that it is such a versatile sauce and can be used for all different types of pasta and compliment all sorts of dishes. It is a family food staple that my children love!
- Lucy O’Grady
Olive oil - approximately 50ml
1⁄2 a brown onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh chilli, optional
1 stalk of celery
1 whole carrot
500gms of top-quality mincemeat for meat lovers - if you want to turn into bolognaise
Freshly picked chopped parsley and basil leaves - just like Nonna Anna used to grow
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of salt and pepper
1. Using a thick based pan put in a good quantity.
2. (approximately 50ml) of olive oil, the fresher and more local the better, on medium heat.
3. Add onion and garlic to the pan.
4. For those who want to add some spice to your life, add chopped chilli.
5. Add celery and carrot to the pan, then fry at medium heat until brown.
6. For the meat lovers, add mince and brown.
7. Add the sauce and bring to the boil.
8. Add handful of chopped parsley and basil leaves.
9. Throw in a tablespoon of dried oregano, salt and pepper.
10. Also chop the leaves from the celery stalk and add this to the pan too.
11. Throw in dried oregano salt and pepper.
12. Then slowly simmer for 2-3 hours in a covered pot, stirring from time to time as required.
13. Cook your pasta of choice, or fresh pasta, and toss with hot sauce to the wetness you desire.
Don’t forget licking of plate or slurping up with fresh crusty bread.
I always remember, as a child, visiting my grandmother especially when she was having a baking day and I was able to lick the beaters and the mixing bowl. I love this recipe as when I bake it, it brings back lovely memories of a beautiful soul I was lucky enough to have as my grandmother. I still bake this cake and enjoy sharing it with friends who do appreciate the fact that it is an old original recipe.
2 cups mixed dried fruit (500g)
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 cup water
½ plain flour
1 and ½ self-raising flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1. Place all boil ingredients in saucepan and bring to boil.
2. Simmer for one minute only, then cool.
3. Add flour, eggs and spice. Mix well.
4. Bake in oven at 180 degree for 1 and half hours
We loved making the mint log with nana because it involved a hammer.
- Kelly Morris
1 packet of crown mints
1 packet of dry chocolate biscuits
1 tin of condensed milk
handful of dried coconut
1. Smash dry ingredients in a bag with a hammer until crushed.
2. Combine and stir in condensed milk.
3. Roll into a sausage shape and roll in dried coconut.
Although I don't remember my grandma making this recipe specifically for me, I do remember her always cooking or baking in the kitchen. She would cook for the masses - there was always too much! and there are still many today who say that her sponge cake, cream puffs and honey biscuits were legendary. This particular recipe has been handed down from my grandma, to my mum and now to my sister and I. Every time my mum would make it, she would tell us fond stories of how grandma would make this growing up for her. How when mixed in the bowl it didn't look pleasant at all, but once it was cooked - Yummo! It is a simple, but delicious recipe that I look forward to making for my family one day too.
- Amber Roling
500g beef mince
1 packet chicken noodle soup
1 brown onion, finely chopped
¾ cup of uncooked white rice
2 and ½ cup water
¼ tsp pepper
1. Mix together all ingredients and put into casserole dish with lid.
2. Cook for 1hr or until rice is cooked 190 degrees.
3. Serve with veggies
My mother-in-law, Von Tassell, used to make at least two of these at every family function. One to eat there and then and one for my husband to take home.
- Christina Tassell
1 small tin crushed pineapple
1 tin juice or water
1 cup sugar
Shop bought pastry shells
Jar of thickened cream
3 tbsp custard powder
1. Bring to boil then thicken with 3 tablespoons custard powder mixed with a little water or juice.
3. Pour into cooked pastry shells.
4. Cool in fridge.
5. Decorate with blobs of thickened cream.
Every Christmas Oma used to make these and put them in tins for all her grandchildren. Once she couldn’t make them anymore, mum carried on with the Christmas tradition. Now mum in her 80’s has passed the recipe onto me and also my daughter, niece and nephews. Every Christmas we all get together to make big batches for all to enjoy. Thanks Oma!
- Tania Manuel
400g plain flour
100g icing sugar
300g unsalted room temperature butter
200g ground hazelnuts (not ground almonds)
1. Put all together and mix with your hands.
2. Roll a teaspoon amount into a ball then gently roll into a stick shape and pinch the ends into the shape of a moon crescent.
3. Place on lined baking tray in the oven on 160 and bake for 15 mins (depending on your oven) until slightly brown.
4. Cool for 10 mins.
5. Then place them in a mix of icing sugar and vanilla sugar.
Welsh cakes are a traditional food in Wales and when our family migrated mum continued the tradition. Everyone loved eating them hot off the pan, tossing them from one hand to the other because they were too hot to hold! I remember mum and my daughters (her granddaughters) laughing together as they rolled the dough, covered themselves in flour and turned them onto the hot electric frypan. Mum continued to make her famous and delicious Welsh cakes into her 90s.
- Ruth Harris
400 gms self raising flour
200 gms butter/margarine
200 gms sugar
A handful of currants (personal taste)
2 eggs beaten
1. Rub the butter/margarine into the flour
2. Add sugar and currants
3. Mix in eggs to a roll out consistency
4. Roll out and cut with a biscuit cutter
5. Warm electric frypan 325 degrees
6. Turn when one side is golden brown
My husband took over the cooking when he retired and his specialty was the 'baked tortilla beef stack'. He always made this dish for our children when they would come for a meal. He made extra too so they had some for lunch the next day.
This recipe is synonymous to the memory of Jeff Woodley - a wonderful husband and father to our three sons and two daughters and much-loved grandpa to nine grand-sons and nine grand-daughters
- Heather Woodley
1 TBS oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1kg premium mince steak
600g jar Old El Paso thick 'n chunky salsa
35g sachet Taco seasoning mix
240g pack Old El Paso Burrito Tortillas
450g frozen spinach
1 cup tasty cheese
green salad to serve
1. Preheat oven to 200C.
2. Heat oil in heavy based pan and saute onion, add mince and cook until well browned.
3. Add 2/3 of the salsa and sprinkle seasoning mix over meat.
4. Stir, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
5. Oil a pie dish and place a little meat sauce on the base. (or you can made tortillas fit into a lasagne dish).
6. Add a tortilla then layer more sauce, spinach (which has been squeezed as dry as you can) and sprinkle with a little of the cheese.
7. Continue layering in this fashion and spread the remaining salsa on top and then the remaining cheese.
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
9. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving
There are great memories with this recipe. As a kid I used to love my grandma’s nut loaf, it was always out on the table for celebrations, made using a cylindrical tin, sliced and spread with plenty of butter. It was one of the first things I would grab on the party table. I tried to buy a cylindrical tin to use. I could have ordered one on line but felt that I could just use a loaf tin. I think this might be my great grandmother’s recipe as it is “Mum’s Nut Loaf”, written in my grandmother’s book. Currently I have challenged myself to recreate all 168 of my grandma’s recipes from her book and am writing a blog about it which you can find at makingbakingmemories.net
- Kelly Littleford
(Serves: 2 Loaves)
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
2 cups Self Raising flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence pinch salt
1. Sprinkle soda over dates, add boiling water, sugar and butter.
2. Beat thoroughly, add beaten egg, then flour and salt sifted, nuts and vanilla.
3. Bake in nut loaf tins greased or lined with bake paper for about 45 mins in a moderate oven.
Note: You can also make this gluten free by substituting the SR flour with SR gluten free flour.
My wonderful mum made this salad every summer for the family. It was delicious eaten with tomato bruschetta. Whenever I make it, it reminds me of the Sunday lunches we shared chatting and catching up.
- Lidia Visintin
1kg baby red potatoes
2 stalks of celery
2 red capsicums
200g crushed green olives
Salt & pepper
1. Boil the potatoes with their skins on until just cooked.
2. Drain and allow to cool.
3. Once cooled down remove skins and cut in half.
4. Place the capsicums on a baking tray and grill in the oven until the skins blister.
5. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl and cover.
6. Once cool, remove the skins and seeds and cut into strips.
7. To assemble the salad, place the potatoes, finely chopped celery, capsicum, olives, oregano, salt, pepper and a generous amount of olive oil.
8. Season to taste.
Mum always made this when there were lots of people to feed as it went a long way. Also good after Christmas when there may have been some cooked chicken available. I still make it for my son and family as a special treat.
- Joan Elizabeth Walden
Cooked chicken pieces
1 packet chicken noodle soup
About 150gms bacon pieces
Dried parsley flakes
Couple dobs of butter or cooking margarine
Small amount of cooked frozen peas
1. Mix all together bring to the boil.
2. Mix cornflour and milk together and pour into mixture, have a little extra mixed to make sure it is thickened.
3. Pour into casserole dish, serve with a few plain potato chips on top.
Gran used to make Timpana when the family gathered and on special occasions. I remember pinching the crispy bits of pasta out of the oven tray as a child. I make the dish every now and again for my family in her memory. She would tell me I make it wrong, but that's part of the fun. I don't have her original recipe, so I use an adaptation of the one from the SBS show Food Safari.
- Amanda Ashford
250g onions, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed 150g bacon, finely diced 150g minced pork
150g minced beef
250ml chicken or beef stock 100g tomato paste
125ml tomato puree
250g macaroni or penne 75g parmesan, grated
75g tasty cheese, grated
4 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper
1. Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic.
2. Sauté for 5 minutes.
3. Add the bacon and pork, stirring well to separate
4. Then add the beef and continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring every so often.
5. Add the stock, stir well and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.
6. Add the tomato paste and puree, simmer briefly and remove from the heat.
7. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until just undercooked.
8. Drain, then mix through the sauce.
9. Stir in the cheeses and egg and season with salt and pepper.
10. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
11. Spoon in the pasta mix. Bake for 1–11⁄4 hours.
I have been making this recipe for years and now my children and grandchildren just love this cake with cream.
- Susan Gooding
500 grams mixed dried fruit
1/2 tsp all spice
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of brown sugar 125grams butter
2 cups of SF flour
1 small tsp bicarbonate sofa
1. Place water, sugar, butter and fruit in saucepan and bring to boil.
2. Let cool, add bicarbonate soda.
3. Add eggs then flour.
4. Place mixture in greased cake tin, cover with foil and bake in moderate oven (180 dogs) for 45 minutes.
5. Remove foil and bake for further 10 minutes.
6. Test if cooked with skewer.
7. Serve with cream.
This cheesecake was always a very much-loved treat that grandma would make. She always made it with love and it brings back so many good memories of her when we make it now.
- Kelly Bennett
2 cups plain biscuits (I use Marie and it was just under 1 packet) crushed
3 packets Philly cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 dessertspoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Fresh berries and edible flowers to decorate
1. Mix butter and biscuits together, and press into the base of a lightly greased spring form pan.
2. Beat the Philly until smooth, then gradually add in the sugar, vanilla, eggs and salt.
3. Beat until smooth, then pour into the pan, smoothing out the top.
4. Bake in a slow oven (130/140) for 40-50 minutes.
5. Cool in the oven with the door ajar then cover and let set in the fridge overnight
Note: I cooked mine in a 130-degree fan forced oven for about 50 minutes. The cake will still be very pale in colour and ‘wobbly’ when you turn the oven off, but will continue to cook when you leave it on the oven to cool with the door ajar (about 2-3 hours) and will firm right up overnight in the fridge