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. This is my theme for the 2021 A to Z challenge.
Is there anything better than the zip of lemon, or lime, in a dish? I have fond memories of desserts and slices with lemon in or on them. In fact, mum’s hand-written recipes include lemon in the fifteen she lists. So, why, pray tell, is the lemon delicious I loved so much not among the list? I’ve got such a hankering for it now that I may even have to make some myself, even though I’ve never cooked it since I left home. It was common in those bygone days for families to have a lemon tree in the yard but for some reason I’m not confident that we did. Now my Lotsa Lemons plant keeps my Kaffir Lime company in the garden.
Of course, dessert can’t be considered until after the main course. Or can it? Are you like me and make sure you scrutinise a menu for desserts before committing to an entrée or a particular main course?
Roast lamb was very popular as a Sunday roast and lamb chops were regularly grilled for dinner but tasty as they could be they just didn’t “cut the mustard” compared with desserts. Our lamb came unadorned with mint or rosemary or even mustard, and just accompanied by gravy which dad loved.
I nearly forgot Lamingtons! Is there anything better than a yummy home-made lamington like we used to get a school fetes back in the day? I remember the mothers pre-fete, working in a “chain” where one would dip the sponge square in the chocolate icing, another would roll it in coconut then it would be placed on a cooling rack.
Dad used to jokingly call mum a fruit fly because she loved fruit, and perhaps her favourite was ladyfinger bananas…none of that Cavendish nonsense for her! There’s no doubt that ladyfingers make better fried bananas because they don’t go squishy.
Lime juice is a regular addition to the Thai meals we eat along with the leaves or grated rind of the Kaffir limes. Preserved Lemons are added to our tagines for flavour and depth. I’m pretty sure if I did a trawl of my recipes I’d count numerous ones with either lemon or lime.
One of our regular meals is Lamb Curry which marinades overnight before cooking and develops even more flavour after cooking. It includes coconut cream so it’s not super-hot and spicy, and it’s a great reserve to have in the freezer. We virtually never eat lamb chops though we do have lamb roast every now and then.
Lasagne is a regular for the grandchildren who are guaranteed to wolf it down with enthusiasm though they prefer it made with their mothers’ recipe.
Our favourite lemon dessert is Lemon Meringue Pie for which Mr Cassmob has gained quite a following. I’m not saying there’s grovelling done before visits, or expectations of having it, but….if the cap fits!
Lamingtons are rarely seen to the same standard as yesteryear though I’ve found one or two places that almost live up to memory. In my working days, one of my colleagues played a prank with lamingtons, which I also carried forward into one of our church groups. I’d tell you what it was, but then I’d never be able to prank you, as the kids say.
We’ve talked periodically about friend’s recipes in our collection, and one that comes to mind today is my friend Linda’s grandmother’s shortbread recipe. Linda makes it en masse as gifts or for family gatherings. It’s different from my grandmother’s recipe but every bit as yummy.
I even like the fragrance of lime and lemon so much, it’s a default fragrance choice for bathroom products. <smile>
NEW FOOD FARE: On the rare occasions we ate at a Chinese restaurant when I was young, we’d have lychees and ice cream for dessert. Now lychees au naturale are readily available in the supermarket, and in Darwin they’re regularly found at the various markets. Lychees are so tasty it’s surprising we don’t buy them more often. Darwin has strong links to Asia and the food has significant Asian influences Laksa is an enormously popular meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I find it a tad too hot and I also usually end up wearing it, so don’t order it often. Have you partaken of a Lassi to reduce the fire in your mouth after a hot curry or laksa? Liver may not have been one of our meal options as a child, nor as an adult, but I’m very happy to eat it in pâté.
Do you have a favourite lemon or lime recipe for dessert or baking?
What’s your favourite lamb meal?
Do you enjoy Laksa or lychees?