I remember as a child when family or friends would visit out of the blue, Mary would disappear into the kitchen and in no time reappear with a table full of food. I was in absolute awe at how she could have prepared so much food seemingly out of nothing, and to top it off, always with a smile on her face! I have to admit, as a modern-day woman, the first thing I do if we have unexpected visitors, and a meal is required, is to get on the phone and dial the nearest pizza or sushi place.
In 2001 my sister Marika, who is a qualified teacher, was keen to start her own childcare centre. Marika approached me to go into business with her as the administrative arm and of course, I said “yes”. I was at a point in my life when my children were at school, and I was keen to start something of my own. The next step was to source a cook.
Given her history in the kitchen, who would be better than Mary! She did not hesitate to say 'yes' when asked so she became the nutritional arm of our business.
Mary’s genuine passion to feed the masses with good wholesome food, is the basis of Mary’s amazing culinary reputation. Who else could get a child to eat black eye beans or broccoli and then ask, “Please Yia Yia, can I have some more?”
“Of course!” Mary would reply, with her smile reflecting her deep satisfaction, as though she had somehow succeed in saving the world with this one dish.
Like Yia Yia, we want our kids to eat well. However, as busy hard working parents we don’t always have the time to cook. In an ideal world we would all have a 'Mary' in our home. Fortunately now we can with Mary’s tried and tested recipes contained in this book!
So take the chance to indulge in the art of cooking, and bring the family together with Yia Yia’s yummy meals.