10 January 2019
For Mary Saloniklis cooking was always a big part of her life, inspired by her mum, Anna and her strong Cypriot heritage.
After losing her mum to Myeloma in February last year, Anna and her family made the commitment to honour her memory through a Cypriot/Greek cookbook that’s raising funds for Cancer Council SA.
A mother of a large Cypriot family, Mary’s mum Anna moved to Parkside in 1962 from Cyprus, where she raised her family of 4 children. When Anna was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2002, her family rallied around her, providing her with advice, support and plenty of home cooked meals.
“When Mum was first diagnosed with cancer it came as a complete shock to all of us. She underwent chemotherapy and luckily, that was able to get rid of the cancer. She went into remission and life returned to normal,” said Mary.
Then, thirteen years later in 2015, Anna’s family got the news that they never expected to hear. The cancer had returned in the form of Myeloma and she began her second bout of cancer treatment.
“It was a really hard time, knowing that the cancer had come back and that mum faced a long, hard road ahead. Despite the challenge ahead of her mum stayed positive and continued to cook her amazing recipes. Cooking really was her escape and it inspired me to collate all her recipes into a recipe book, dedicated to her and her Cypriot heritage.”
What followed was a three year journey, with Mary working alongside her mum to record every intricate detail of her famous recipes, many of which has been honed through years of practice.
“Mum was such a natural cook, so it was quite hard to get her recipes down on paper. I had to translate a ‘pinch of this’ and a ‘dollop of that’ into the right quantities. There were many recipes that I cooked over and over again to make sure that they tasted just right and met mum’s seal of approval.”
Anna sadly passed away on 11 February 2018 after a brave three year battle. She was involved in the cookbook right until the end, even seeing a draft version before she passed away.
‘My mum will be remembered as a bright, bubbly, passionate Cypriot women and her recipes were a huge part of that. This book is our chance to remember our mum and keep her spirit alive by cooking all of her amazing recipes, while also supporting others going through cancer treatment,” said Mary.
Mary is now paying it forward, selling her cookbook, entitled ‘Anna’s Kitchen’, with all the proceeds raised going towards Cancer Council SA.
“Mum was such an amazing women and cancer took her from us far too soon,” said Mary.
“Our hope is that through this cookbook, we can celebrate mum’s life and also raise money to save the lives of others. It’s our way of giving back and supporting a cause that means so much to our whole family.”
“Mum was always so generous with her time, cooking for us, our family and our friends. This cookbook really is our way of sharing her generosity with others,” said Mary.
Cancer Council SA Chief Executive Lincoln Size commended Mary on such a wonderful fundraising initiative that will make a difference to lives of the 27 South Australians diagnosed with cancer each and every day.
“Cancer impacts everyone in our community and through individuals like Mary we are able to support those facing a cancer diagnosis when they need it most.”
“Fundraising makes a huge difference to the work that we do and we are so grateful to Mary and her family for dedicating their time and fundraising efforts to support Cancer Council SA.”
‘Anna’s Kitchen’ the cookbook is available to purchase online now via Saloniklis.jimdofree.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All money raised through the sale of the book will go towards Cancer Council SA’s research, advocacy, prevention and support programs that save lives.