Courtney’s lifelong passion for food started with family dinners. To mark Mother’s Day, she shares the recipe for her mum’s delicious snapper.
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"Mum never bought us processed food and although I thought we were getting ripped off at the time, I now realise how lucky we were"
“My mother taught me many lessons in the kitchen when I was younger. Sometimes she would even instruct me how to cook over the phone.
“I am the youngest of six and both my mother and father worked full-time. Because of this we’d sometimes eat dinner quite late - until I took over cooking the family dinners.
“I started cooking to help take the load off my mum after working a long day in the dress shop she owned with my nan. I’d call mum (on the old round dial phone) when I got home from school and she would instruct me how to cook a roast leg of lamb with all the trimmings… a bit like an old-fashioned Zoom cooking class, I guess!
“I found my love of cooking from a young age by helping cook these dinners (and a bonus was nobody noticed I wasn’t doing my homework!).
“Growing up in a large family meant we didn’t have a lot of money to spend on food, but we always ate very well. Mum never bought us processed food and although I thought we were getting ripped off at the time, I now realise how lucky we were. We’d grow our own veggies and spent the holidays catching fish, prawns and crabs at our holiday shack on the Shoalhaven River, on the NSW South Coast.
“Mum often cooked the fresh fish that we caught just in a pan with butter, parsley and a squeeze of lemon and I still love eating this dish today. You can’t beat simple, un-fussy, real food!
“The best thing I’ve learnt from my mum is the joy that fresh food treated simply can bring.”