Once again I’m participating in the A to Z challenge – I think this is my sixth time. This year I’m having a retrospective look of family foods and favourites in my childhood and comparing it to today’s family food fare.
Family Food Fare and Favourites
Join me as I dig through my memories, and recipes, to rediscover my family’s food “back in the day” and how those food habits have changed over the decades to today’s diverse and multi-cultural cuisines.
By now you will have gathered that sweet things were popular in our house. I can’t recall ever not having dessert with our main meal – I suspect mum would have felt like a major omission if it wasn’t available. Sometimes it would be simple: custard or jelly with fruit but often it would be a very tempting sweet dessert like a tart, pudding, flummery or similar.
Drinks seems to have been different for many families. Tea would often be served with dinner, but not at our place. Dad did drink tea a little and my grandmother would occasionally pour me a milky tea when I jumped the fence to her place. However, our normal dinner drink would be milk or water. Dad didn’t take up coffee for quite a while – like a lot of the population – but it was his drink of choice in his later decades.
Dad rarely drank beer (both his mother and mine disapproved). It wasn’t until much later on, that he would have a beer while watching the football with Mr Cassmob, or even a duty free whisky we’d brought back from PNG. We had a funny incident one day while the three of us were watching the rugby in the lounge. I think mum was miffed with us for being absorbed by the game, so she came in and wiped down, and moved, the coffee tables beside the chairs. Dad was so focused on the match that he just put the glass down on the table that had been there….whoops!
Both desserts and drinks have been two major changes in our household. While desserts are rolled out for dinner parties (remember those?) or special events, they aren’t a day-to-day item on our food list.
Drinks habits certainly changed once we married and we were living in PNG. Like Mr Cassmob’s parents we would have a very civilised sundowner each evening. Our trips back and forth to Australia involved buying a range of duty-free alcohol. No PNG dinner party could occur without a range of spirits or wine being offered, before, during and after the meal.
We gave that away when the family was younger, but retirement has again brought out the evening tipple, wine being the favourite these days.
One thing I’d forgotten was a food import we would get from my parents at Christmas. They would send up a case of delicious fresh peaches. Yes, they were delicious to eat, but they certainly added a certain style to our Christmas drinks with Peach Daiquiris.
It was Mr Cassmob and the post-war Italian immigration that brought me over to coffee which I still enjoy, though I now drink decaf…to which youngest daughter says “why bother?”
New Food Fare: Dragonfruit which we first discovered in Darwin. A tropical fruit, it’s very tasty and colourful with its pink interior, making it an attractive addition to fruit salads or a fruit platter.
What drinks were served at meal times when you were young and what happens now? Are/were desserts popular in your family? Did you mother cook with dripping from a metal container beside the stove?