This post is sponsored by Bupa
We all have Greats – those people around us who are there to help us grow and learn, they guide us through life and help to shape who we become. When Bupa approached me to share my story for their #CaringForOurGreats campaign, there was no doubt who the Great was in my life – it’s my mother, affectionately known as Ma.
For the longest time I thought I had simply gained my appreciation and fascination with all things food from my Ma who is a fabulous cook. It wasn’t until I sat down and got to chatting with her that I found out it goes far deeper than that – food has played quite an important part in our family history.
My great-grandmother was quite handy in the kitchen, employed as the cook for a large sheep station in rural Victoria, where she prepared meals for hard-working farm hands and shearers. Years later when my grandmother migrated to Australia from Japan (who brought with her an excellent knowledge of Asian cuisine) she sought advice from my great-grandmother – her mother-in-law – for guidance on creating Australian dishes.
My grandmother passed on her love of food on to Ma and my uncle – Ma working in the commercial kitchen of a high-end reception centre for a few years (responsible for entrees and desserts), and my uncle, an established photographer, doing a lot of food shoots for brand packaging.
Thanks to Ma’s enthusiasm in the kitchen, we never ate bland or boring meals. I have lots of childhood memories of Ma baking beautiful cakes sweets and preparing extravagant dishes. From a young age Ma introduced my sister and I to many types of food and I think that has added to my interest in different cuisines.
In learning about our family background I came to understand that my passion for food is deep-rooted, running through the veins of my blood and ancestry. I had always appreciated good food but it wasn’t until adulthood that I truly started taking an interest in cooking, and with that, Ma has been behind me all the way – getting involved, helping and giving me tips and advice.
Over the past few months my sister and I have been spending our weekends at Ma’s, where the three of us get creative, play in the kitchen, have a lot of laughs and work on our handcrafts (drawing, sewing, crochet). What’s great about this is Ma gets to share her vast knowledge and experience with us. It’s been such a special time and I know I’ll always be grateful for the memories we’re creating and our quality time together.
Staying connected with our Greats is an enriching experience and it’s wonderful when those we treasure have purpose and feel respected.
These are some simple ways you can stay involved with your Greats as they age:
- Call and ask for advice – nothing makes people feel more valued than when they are asked to share their knowledge
- Arrange a regular outing – catch up over coffee and chat about what they’ve been up to
- Embrace a shared interest – if there’s something you both enjoy, set aside time so you can spend quality time together
Learn more about Bupa’s #CaringForOurGreats movement, with tips on how you can stay connected and care for those close to you.
Time for a giveaway!
Want to score a signed copy of Matt’s Kitchen Garden by Matt Moran? Check out the entry form below – you can leave a comment and share a story about your greats and how do you connect with them through food. You can also tweet about the giveaway. Entries close midnight 31 October 2015 AEST and the winner will be announced shortly afterwards. Good luck!
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