Moms know best, always. Whether it’s that life advice that rings true or your favourite home cooked meal, sometimes all you need is a little taste of home. This much is true for Alexandra Feswick, our Executive Chef at Drake Devonshire. In preparation for this year’s Mom’s Day, Alex took a trip home to cook her family’s famous butter tarts with 4 generations present. Read on to learn more about how her mother + grandmother influenced her and of course, the perfect butter tart recipe.
Did you and your mom start cooking together from a young age? Did she inspire your career path at all?
Cooking with my family didn’t necessarily inspire me to the be a Chef, but it certainly helped to build the foundation that I centre my culinary philosophy around today. My mom and my grandmother taught me to keep a garden, save food from the summer to get you through the winter and to use food to share a story. My family shows their love for one another with food – that was instilled in me as early as I can remember having to stand up on my tippy toes to see over the edge of the kitchen table.
What’s the significance of this recipe?
In our household the butter tarts are a significant recipe because it was one passed down from my great grandmother and we all fight over them when we get together. I have memories as a child of going to her house at Christmas and she would have cleared out her pantry and hall way closet and filled it with Christmas cake, butter tarts, Belgium cookies and short bread for our entire family. In hind sight she must have been cooking nonstop for weeks to prepare for us all. (there’s a lot of us, my family is bigger then most… extended from my great-grandmother I have 63 aunts, uncles, cousins and great cousins – not including their spouses)
It’s very special to me to that my grandmother is still alive and that my mom and Reed have such an amazing relationship – it reminds me of the love between me and my grandma growing up, I spent every weekend at her house. To be around all 3 of them is one of the best, most comforting and heart warming feelings in the entire world.
How have you approached cooking/ a relationship with food with your son?
I have been cooking with my mom and my grandmothers so long I don’t remember when it started. I think that if you ask Reed the same question 30 years from now he’ll say the same thing – it’s something we’ve introduced since the he was a tiny baby and I would cook with him wrapped up in a baby carrier. At the tender age of 2 he loves “cookin” – he can crack an egg, identify different foods by taste, loves to make cookies, go to farms and tastings at The Cheese Boutique. I am very adamant that food be part of Reed’s life and that he grows up and knows how to cook and fend for himself – any other alternative is boring.
Momma Feswick’s Butter Tarts
Butter Tart filling:
1 egg beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 ½ brown sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 cup raisins
beat all ingredients until frothy
put into unbaked tart shells
bake at 350 for approx. 30 minutes – or until golden brown
Join us at all Drake locations for a Mother’s Day brunch fit for your queen. See the menu + pricing here.