NUtritious Life Lessons
“Many people were killed during Batista’s time. We would hear about arrests, torture and murder. He was a very corrupted man and was in with the American mafia. They owned Cuba. It was a charged time to live through.”
“Every dish you cook and make is like a painting, you start with some raw ingredients but you can end with something truly beautiful and expressive. It stirs emotion.”
“I do think it’s important to have some imagination and not follow these cookbooks like the bible. Imagination and a sense of freedom is what you need to be a good cook.”
“I think it’s not the food itself but the sharing together that can heal you. It’s very healing to sit at the table and discuss.”
“We women can handle ourselves in everything, not like men.”
“I’m a country girl, really. I had a cow in my village back in Hong Kong and we would grow everything at home. It was so far away to get to a shop, we’d have to take a boat for 40 minutes there and 40 minutes back.”
“When I was younger, we had no such thing as this primi, secondi nonsense. We just put everything we had on the table and we’d feast.”
Food is so wrapped up with memories, that I like to recreate these dishes as a form of nostalgia for the happy times I’ve had travelling.
I thought it was the cabinet of horrors in my grandmother’s kitchen. They’d put live lobsters on to boil and I would feel so awful about it, watching their claws being axed off. It was like torture.
“1974 was the first time I left and went to America. All I was allowed to take with me from Poland was a single $20 US note.”
“Tomorrow, you don’t know what life is going to bring and what is going to happen to you. Whatever is going to come is going to come. You have to embrace it.”
“It’s so important to have faith in whatever you go into. You must believe in what you do, very much. You have to believe it is going to happen. It’s a question of character.”
“We find ways to live with our own means and we become creative. A Cuban woman is constantly being inventive in order to feed her family. That is what I am.”
“I do think it’s funny, as you get older you go out, meet up with the girls, do a little ladies who lunch thing, but I do realise, all we talk about is the things we used to do. I think, ‘well, what about now?’ ”
“I've never bought processed foods - not even biscuits. I make it all myself. I haven’t bought a loaf of bread in 40 years or a jar of jam. I think it’s important for a mum to know how to do all of these things.I even know how to rear and butcher a pig.”
“I think the key has been to listen and to always talk. Everyday you can turn to the other person and tell them it’s over, the hardest thing to do is to decide that it’s going to work and that you’ll make it work."
“I never went to school because my mother needed me to go to work out in the fields. I still can’t read or even sign my name. My education was out farming and cultivating the land, which means I’ve always had a full stomach and an active life to go with it.”
“Seeing people who haven’t got any food makes me wild about the way people buy food and then waste it. You learn to treasure food when you see others who don't have enough.”
“Schnitzel is a German favourite of mine but for a long time after moving to England I was very set on not being German.”
“My family were rich and we had servants where we lived in Tanzania. Here, I learned to work hard for everything.”
“I can hold a plank for 300 counts. Exercise, diet and mental attitude are the key to keeping young. Also, people worry all the time about yesterday. I think, just keep today and tomorrow will come.”