A dirty page or two

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Grace McKinney and her recipe for Banana Pudding

If you’re anything like me, you love to chat to people about their favourite recipes to cook and which family traditions are alive and well in their kitchen. All while peeking into an old recipe book that was given to them by their grandmother… Sound familiar? So the idea of a group of women sharing their most beloved recipes, handed down to them by a family member or somebody important in their life is my cup of tea. This is exactly what Dirty Pages is. An exhibition of 20 photographic portraits of Nashvillian women, each accompanied by a favourite “dirty page” and a tale about that particular recipe or adventure in the kitchen. This fabulous idea for an exhibition appears at the Nashville Farmers Market up until April 20.

A recipe for Shrimp and Artichoke Fettucine

A recipe for Shrimp and Artichoke Fettucine

“The project aims to celebrate our shared food stories and give a glimpse of the abundant variety of Nashville’s food traditions and cultures.” 

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Karla Ruiz and her recipe for Apple Crisp

They had me at food stories! Throw in some gorgeous photography and i’m yours. I love to wander through a market (and I really mean wander, as in SLOW. My boyfriend will wholeheartedly back me up on this), and I find it’s a good way to experience the local food culture wherever you might be in the world. I recently lived in Nashville for almost two months and the Farmers’ Market was a nice way to spend a Saturday morning. There’s teeny tiny cinnamon doughnuts, home-made ice-cream sandwiches (yes!) and a handful of local produce, including a lovely stall run by local Mennonites selling their freshly baked breads. The man and I also had a fantastic Jamaican meal of jerk chicken and yellow rice (saffron-infused basmati rice with currants and nuts) at Jamaicaway’s pop up style restaurant. We recommend! There’s also space in the restaurant hall that’s often used for local exhibitions and this is where the Dirty Pages exhibition hangs (rather stylishly I might add!). I so enjoyed slowly making my way around the portraits and reading a little bit about each woman, her food memories and favourite hand-me-down recipe. I have a KEEN eye on the banana pudding recipe, as I tried southern banana pudding for the first time while in Nashville and my goodness. It’s simple and so delicious!

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Grace McKinney’s recipe for Banana Pudding

Having been traveling for almost 3 months now, I’ve not always had access to a kitchen or the time to source and prepare food. I miss it! So diving into the dirty pages of someone elses kitchen was delightful and made me think of an old recipe cut-out that’s stuck inside my parents’ kitchen pantry (and has been for as long as I can remember). It’s a simple Donna Hay recipe for pikelets with jam and whipped ricotta and was a go-to breakfast on the weekends or a simple after school treat with butter and jam. I also remember it being one of the things I started to cook on my own, and for years I accidentally burnt the pikelet bottoms every time… Mum NEVER did though! Have a think about what your own dirty pages are, I’d love to know.

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Dirty Pages indeed!

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