Scroll down to the first drawing, and this quote: "Those jars are there to indicate her ability to take care of herself. She opened all those jars without the help of a man because she is self-sufficient."
Well really it started in the kitchen yesterday as I wrestled the tapenade jar. No, actually, it started months ago when I was wrestling the pasta jar, failed, and passed it to my handy, biceps-equipped husband to open for me. Only someone must have left out the 'feel shame if can't open jar' gene from my husband, because he handed it right back, saying "I can't!" So I did. So when the tapenade jar wrestlemania began in the kitchen yesterday, I knew not to bother my snoozing hubby. I did it myself. Because I am self-sufficient.
Anyway, the lovely tapenade (from olive-growing Takamatsu in Shikoku, where I went last weekend) went onto a wee cracker sandwich I was preparing as a snack. Usually I have butter and cheese for a cracker snack attack, but I was out of cheese. My second choice is butter and Marmite, lots of it so it squeezes out of the cracker holes in black and yellow worms. But I was out of butter. So I was doing a little taste test - which was better: plain Marmite, tapenade or guava jam.
I got the guava Jam from Raul, who got it from his wife Ana's grandmother in Mexico. I love food from someone's grandma somewhere. I loved MY grandmothers' food - my paternal grandmother decorated wedding cakes and made tiny flowers out of sugar. My maternal grandmother made fantastic vegetable soup, the most amazing meat stews, and simply perfect stewed apple. I used to love staying at her place just so I could have her perfect stewed apples on my weetbix in the morning. My mother remembers her maternal grandmother's borscht and homemade spaghetti. I remember her (Big Nana, we called her) pocket-full of aniseed lollies.
I wonder what my kids will remember of my mother's cooking. I hope it's the beetroot. I wrapped up a jar in multiple layers of packaging tape, plastic wrap and tea towels and brought it back to Japan with me. Mum's coming in May, and she's bringing her recipe with her. Apparently we can cheat a little and use tinned beetroot, and just add her special flavorings. Then maybe I can send a jar back to Mexico to Ana's grandmother to puzzle over.
(PS the guava jam won the contest)