Draped in their gorgeous sarees, members of ‘The Saree Club’ in Sydney went down memory lane and took everyone present on an emotional journey at the launch of a new cookbook called ‘Swaadisht Yaado ka Safar’ (A journey of tasty memories).
The cookbook which is an amalgamation of recipes coming straight from the heart also has backstories about why those particular recipes were chosen. Some members of ‘The Saree Club’, reading out excerpts from the cookbook at the launch, narrated anecdotes about their loved ones related to the recipes, triggering memories of childhood aromas and warmth of tasty food during difficult times.
The book was launched on 13 November 2022 by Dr Sushila Badami. The Indian Literary and Art Society of Australia Inc. (ILASA) supported the launch of the book which took place at Kebabiya Restaurant in Dural, Sydney.
Poornima Menon who is the Founder of ‘The Saree Club’ and ‘Five Pleats by Poornima Menon’ told The Australia Today how the idea to launch this cookbook came about.
“Food brings people together. A lunch out with friends and family dinner times are occasions that ooze with a warm fuzzy feeling. Every culture has its own style of serving and sharing food. While some are rustic, others are very well planned and presented; while some cultures enjoy communal eating, some others enjoy their plate of food with a glass of wine”.
“Every saree has a story and so does food. There are certain preparations that evoke fond memories and every time a particular aroma wafts through your kitchen you travel back in time and recall the first time that aroma tickled your olfactory nerves”.
“The idea for a cookbook took seed during the Covid lockdowns. Earlier, before Covid barricaded us indoors, we the ladies of the Saree Club had eagerly anticipated our monthly catch ups. Going with the lockdown trend, we too improvised and started Zoom catch ups. The 15th August 2021 catch-up was with a plate of food that evoked memories of home and amazing stories that the ladies had to share. It was then that I decided to publish a cookbook with a difference. A cookbook with everyday recipes that were extra special due to the fond memories they evoked”, says Poornima.
(Pics from the cookbook launch: Supplied)
Calling the book a labour of love, Poornima says that the ladies have not just contributed the recipes, but a slice from their personal lives, a slice that has ingredients that are very close to their hearts.
The afternoon was filled with laughter, tears, singing and some poetry too. Click on to hear the touching stories behind these recipes.