Family life | Hen-house holiday, Morris mynah and Subzi kuku

please note this post is not by Jay Clapp Photography but from the photography news at the guardian for your viewing pleasure please feel free to use the share buttons at the bottom.

Readers’ favourite photographs, songs and recipes

Snapshot: A converted hen-house holiday

This photograph of my father and me was taken on holiday in 1947. For 50 weeks of the year, he paid into the holiday club at the engineering factory where he worked so we always had a summer holiday.

We stopped going to stay in seaside boarding houses after visiting one called the Pendennis. Those were the days when the landlady waited at the door to make sure everyone left the premises before 10am and did not return before 5pm.

At the Pendennis, they went further – if my mother turned to help the children with their food, her plate would be whisked away before she had finished her meal. For 60 years, the family have used “to Pendennis” as a verb, if someone is prematurely taking away one’s plate.

Dad always found somewhere out of the ordinary – one year a converted charabanc in a field in Bacton and in this picture we were staying at a converted hen house in Holmfirth, Yorkshire. The ex-hen house accommodation sounds basic, but was bliss. There was a corridor along the length of the building with a lounge and three bedrooms off it. At the end was a kitchen and sun deck, and we had our own stream and garden. We could have been at the other end of the country, but we were only six miles from home.

While we were there, my father’s Aunt Emma paid us a never-to-be forgotten visit. She offered to prepare the bilberries our family had spent hours picking and make them into a pie. Unfortunately, she wasn’t familiar with the kitchen – and cooked them in salt instead of sugar.

Val East

Playlist: Dear old Morris, our mynah

Release Me by Engelbert Humperdinck

“Please release me, let me go / For I don’t love you any more”

“Ooh, he can park his shoes under my bed any time,” my mum (now a youthful 88) exclaimed when she first clapped eyes on Engelbert Humperdinck singing Release Me on television in 1967. My dad, 18 years her senior and very possessive of the beautiful woman he had married 20 years earlier after a four-week whirlwind romance, was not amused. He sulked for days until Mum apologised. The same year, my parents bought a mynah bird, aptly named Morris. He was a prolific talker and soon mimicked everything and everyone, particularly my mum, with whom he, too, appeared to be in love.

He could imitate to perfection the sound of the gate opening, then the doorbell chiming. We soon lost count of the number of times we got up to answer the door to a non-existent caller. Even the dogs, Pepe (a poodle), and Rex (a mongrel), were confused when Morris mimicked their barking and then told them “Shut up!” or “Be quiet!”

Even the insurance man who knocked at the door one day was ordered to “Get on the mat!”

Morris would start up every morning at 7.30am calling, “Georgina, GEORGINA, GEORGINA!” and then shout “WHAT??” to get me out of bed every day, especially if my mum, who was a psychiatric nurse, wasn’t home from night duty by that time.

But it was his rendition of Release Me sung in my mum’s voice, followed by “I don’t care”, that used to have everyone in fits of laughter. My mum would only have to utter the word “Please”, and off he’d go. Whenever we hear that song on the radio or TV we think of dear old Morris and the gentle chaos he used to cause.

Despite Morris and their very short courtship, my parents spent 43 very happy years together.

Georgina Websdale

We love to eat: Subzi kuku (green omelette)

Ingredients for four

1 packet baby spinach leaves, chopped

1 bunch of spring onions, chopped

1 small bunch of dill, chopped

1 small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

4 eggs, beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbs vegetable oil

Mix the spinach, spring onions, dill and coriander in a bowl. Add the beaten eggs, salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. When hot, pour the mixture in and cook for several minutes until the base is cooked. Finish by browning the omelette under the grill.

Subzi kuku has been a favourite dish in my family for several generations. My parents came from Mashad in Persia (now Iran), part of a small Jewish community, who stuck together through thick and thin and passed down recipes by word of mouth, from mother to daughter.

I have very happy memories of my mother’s cooking. We had a large extended family and she created wonderful meals at a moment’s notice for a large crowd of people.

Persian food relies heavily on soft spices, such as cinnamon and allspice as well as dill and coriander. These are used to flavour main course meat-based stews known as choresh, which are usually served with rice.

My mother loved feeding her family and when my children were small she would travel from north to south London on the bus, with bags brimming with tasty dishes, savoury and sweet. This couldn’t have been easy for her as she was a tiny woman, but apparently the Routemaster bus conductors would lift her up on to the bus with her heavy bags.

Subzi kuku has always been a favourite with my children – so much so that my son Ben, a musician, aka Max Tundra, named a song after it. It is delicious hot or cold, for breakfast, lunch or supper.

Sipora Levy

We’d love to hear your stories

We will pay £25 for every Letter to, Playlist, Snapshot or We love to eat we publish. Write to Family Life, The Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU or email family@guardian.co.uk. Please include your address and phone number

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via Art and design: Photography | guardian.co.uk http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/may/18/hen-house-morris-mynah-subzi-kuku Thanks for reading Jay

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About jayclappphotography

Professional photographer running http://www.jayclappphotography.co.uk Feel free to comment and discuss photos

Posted on May 18, 2013, in Photography News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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