Fish and Chips
Wrapped in butchers paper and preferably eaten with a view of the ocean, and fresh lemon, of course. This is the best meal ever. Really! For those of you who haven’t yet tasted Australian fish and chips, put this on your list of "things I want to do before I die". Way back then they used newspaper for the final wrapping, as you’ll see in the pic. It was probably great insulation and no one seemed concerned about the germs :)
Vegemite on toast. I tried to make it look appealing, but....Maybe it will to the Aussies :)
On toast, Jatz crackers, Vita Wheats (remember squeezing the little vegemite worms through the wholes?) etc. Even Wheat Bix with butter and vegemite as a snack after school….that was my favorite. Americans just don’t get it. You have to start out eating it on toast fingers as a baby, and then grow up with it. A few years ago I found it here in our area in a specialty gift shop…..a very small jar, and expensive, of course, but some things are worth paying a bit more for.
I haven’t had good seafood since I left Australia, I’m sorry to say. Most of what I’ve eaten here is fairly tasteless, especially the prawns (shrimp). I’m sure it must taste better near some of the coastal regions, but here in the country it’s a sad situation (this is strictly my personal opinion). People around here seem to love the shrimp but I doubt they’ve ever tasted Myall River prawns (Port Stephens, NSW)!! My brother tells me they’ve been fished out. What a terrible loss!
Weekly lamb chops or a roast leg of lamb just doesn’t happen here. Occasionally I find it in the local grocery store but it’s very expensive. Until recently we could buy it from a local couple who raised lambs for meat, but they’ve retired now and given it up. We’ll have to find a new supplier. The meat is not generally a favorite in this country but our kids consider it a real treat to come home and have roast lamb. I guess that’s because they grew up with it.
These were one of Ross’ favorite meals when we lived in Oz. He cooked them once for Kylie and Andrew when I was in the hospital after giving birth to Kathy. I must interject that he is generally not the chief cook and bottle washer around here (in fact this is a rarity). He neglected to prick the skins before placing them under the broiler and they blew up….splattered all over the place, even the ceiling. The kids thought this was hysterical. It was the highlight of their time home alone with Dad and they still tell the story with glee :)
I love ginger snaps made with it. Molasses is NOT the same! When I was little I used to occasionally sneak a tablespoonful from the can when nobody was looking.
Passionfruit and mangos mostly. We can buy mangos in our local stores but they’re usually quite green, and when they finally ripen they’re not nearly as tasty as the Oz mangos. Passionfruit are just not found around here (well, they probably are somewhere....just not here in our area). Oh for a ripe passionfruit, spread over sliced bananas and topped with whipped cream. Mmmmm! I’d love a nice fresh pineapple too. They’re available here but they’re not as good and sweet.
A local Pie Shop!!
A trip to the local bakery….oh, what bliss! Meat pies, sausage rolls, lamingtons, vanilla slices, creamhorns and matchsticks are all things I loved as a child (and as an adult!).
Queensland Blue Pumpkins
We’ve found the squash that tastes the most similar is buttercup squash. We grow an abundant supply of it in our vegetable garden and freeze some for winter. But I really miss those delicious 'blues' baked with a leg of lamb, potatoes, peas and gravy. This was my mum's specialty. Mmmm, good!
I guess that’s enough for one post, lest I bore you all, if I haven’t already.
The other things I miss will be a subject for another post.
Now I'm hungry....I'd better go and cook dinner.