She was born May, 28th 1920, in Machen, Wales. She was named Ivy Irene. I knew her as Nana. She was an amazing, caring, beautiful woman who was happiest when she was in her kitchen cooking for her family. She would not sit down and enjoy her meal with us as she was always too busy getting up and down making sure we all had enough to eat. I always looked forward to Sunday dinners. The ultimate in comfort food; roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy and Yorkshire pudding.
At one time, my Nana had a diner called Irene's Lunch and from the stories that I recall she would give away meals to those who could not afford to pay. This, of course, meant that her business did not survive. But, that was the kind of woman that my Nana was.
My Nana raised her own children, foster children, and then helped raise her grandchildren. She also cared for men with mental health challenges in her home for many years. During this time, she was the first recipient of the Joe Webber Award for humanitarian service. She gave of herself selflessly and without hesitation.
When my Nana passed away in 2000, I discovered that her first name was actually Ivy! I was reading her obituary. I don't know why she used her middle name, but someone told me that it was a common practice among those of European descent. I loved the name and knew that I wanted to honour her in some way when naming my business. I also felt that the name should reflect my personality, the style of my bistro, and the type of food that I wanted to create.
Ivy's Awesome Kitchen & Bistro feels like my Nana's kitchen. Friendly, comfortable, down to earth and filled with love, and great food. I am happiest when I am cooking and feel my Nana's spirit with me every day. She is my "comfort" food and my greatest inspiration.
And that, is the (short) Story of Ivy. Rest in peace Nana. I love you and miss you always..your granddaughter, darcy