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.
One of my favourite biscuits when I was a teen was mum’s Marshmellow Slice. I especially liked it as a birthday treat, though with a summer birthday, making marshmallow wasn’t a very forgiving experience. In cooler months I’d also take it to school when one of my classmates had a birthday. It was traditional for us to bring food to share over lunch while sitting on the Terrace overlooking the Story Bridge.
Another fruity treat was fresh mangoes when in season. My grandparents planted a mango tree when dad was born and when last seen it was still growing though it had gone through some bedraggled years. As a child I loved to climb the tree to near the top, which must have given grandma heart failure.
One of our treasured recipes is my sister-in-law’s Mango Chutney recipe (remember all those curries?) Sadly, I can no longer eat mangoes which is a shame considering we lived in mango country for years.
I’ve never ventured to make mum’s marshmellow slice but for Christmas on a few occasions I made a rolled meringue cake with tropical fruit filling. It was quite delicious!
What defines a memorable meal for you? Mr Cassmob talked about our favourites, and they range from family Christmas dinners where everyone contributes something special, casual picnics or BBQs by a creek while having a day out in the country, family gatherings for birthdays and anniversaries (given we often travel around our anniversaries we’ve had some pretty amazing meals).
And then there are the special culinary meals like a gourmet fine dining experience, often to celebrate an event like a first date or a big anniversary, or even a lucky prize like we won recently in Brisbane.
Or the times where the location is as much the feature as the food: from breakfast in the Masai Mara with two of our daughters, to fresh seafood in Santorini at a restaurant recommended by a colleague, a takeaway roast chicken (halb henschen) overlooking Heildelberg, bratwurst mit senf at the Nuremberg Christmas markets, the huge meal we had in Assisi on Easter Sunday in 2000, to the view of the Acropolis with our dinner in Athens. How lucky have we been?! I honestly couldn’t have imagined this when I was growing up. A few years back, at a fabulous AirBnB to see Riverfire in Brisbane, mum echoed that thought, asking if I ever thought we’d stay somewhere like that.
We love pottering in food markets wherever we are, from the unusual ones in Papua New Guinea to the upmarket versions in Provence. In each place the food is reflective of the local growing conditions as well as the culture.
What special memories do you have of meals, either simple or elaborate?
Do you enjoy exploring food markets wherever you go?
Do you love to munch into a mango with the juice running down your arms?