Passionfruit, Pufftaloons and Paella

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.


Passionfruit was a staple food in our family and one of the few fruits (only?) that dad grew. We’ve already seen in other posts that mum’s recipes included passionfruit flummery. One of the drinks she made for the hot weather was home made passionfruit cordial which I remember being quite delicious – which begs the question of why I’ve never made it.

Mum’s passionfruit cordial.

I’ve also mentioned that when we lived in Papua New Guinea my parents would airfreight us a box of juicy peaches at Christmas time. These were often blended into Peach Daiquiris. Yum!

One food that was completely new to me was my mother-in-law’s pufftaloons. I remember them begin light and fluffy but that seems to be contradicted by the fact they’re essentially fried scones.


Once again our foods and recipes have changed a lot over the years. Tiny prawns used to appear in our (Keen’s) curried prawns on Friday nights, now we have delectable Mooloolaba prawns from the co-op. They’re so fresh you can taste the ocean water.

Pikelets have transitioned from a childhood treat to something our children, and grandchildren, have made. There was one memorable time when they accidentally used too much bicarb soda  in them – that wasn’t such a treat!

Or pizzas that have become a staple in our diets in recent decades. We rarely have a take-away pizza but we do have one when we enjoy at a local Italian restaurant at Mooloolaba. Our favourite is the Thai prawn pizza (is that multi-cultural or what?). It has a sweet chilli base, calamari, prawns, Spanish onions & roasted peppers, sprinkled with Japanese breadcrumbs, topped with a coriander & lime aioli…delicious. Italian purists would throw their hands up in horror. Very occasionally we’ll make a pizza at home.

One daughter has a funny story from when she taught on an island off Darwin in the Northern Territory. Some Fridays they’d order pizzas for delivery from Pizza Hut to the Air North terminal and it would arrive on the last flight of the day…imagine the poor pilots with the pizza tempting their taste buds from the nose cone of the single-engine aircraft.

Paella with the family.

Paella has had a recent rejuvenation at our place and has received good reviews from the guests. It’s a dish that it does make me nervous to cook because getting the moisture balance right can be tricky. We had a yummy version at a local restaurant recently, and I reckon both it, and mine, are better than the one we ate in Barcelona.

Pavlova for me is a case of “pride comes before a fall”. Back in my PNG days I could turn out a fab pav with no hassles, until I stupidly said they were easy to make. Don’t think I’ve pulled it off since then.  And no, we’re not going to argue whether pavlova is an Aussie or Kiwi invention!

Pauleen’s Pavlova recipes


Portuguese tarts in Lisbon.

Have you eaten Portuguese Tarts? They are the most delectable sweet treat around. I remember one of our Aussie refugees (Ahn Do?) saying his family referred to them as Pork and Cheese tarts…of course this is now part of our family’s vernacular. We were lucky enough to sample the “original” versions in Lisbon a few years ago – amazingly we didn’t demolish mountains of them!

Pistachios have made an entree into our food choices and are among my favourites. If it’s got pistachio in the recipe I’m onto it.

What P foods do you eat now vs then? Did you have pikelets and pufftaloons as a child?

Are Pizza, prawns or paella on your regular menu?

Do you love pistachios like I do?

17 thoughts on “Passionfruit, Pufftaloons and Paella

  1. Pauleen you’ve solved a big problem for me. We have a freak passionfruit vine that gives us at least 12 and up to 30 passionfruit every day all year round. There is only so much pavlova we can eat so I’m going to make your Mum’s passionfruit cordial. The Mr in this house loves cordial and won’t drink water without it. As for Pizza, I’m sure I’m the only person in Australia who doesn’t like it at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad I could help with the over-abundance of passionfruit!a pity you’re not closer…I could help 😉 how about passionfruit butter in lieu of lemon butter? Do you dislike meringues as well or just pav?


  2. Had never heard of pufftaloons and it is ages since I made a pavlova, may have to rectify that. Pistachios and passionfruit are personal favourites and only very occasionally do we make a home made pizza. Prawns are regularly on our menu, the Thai prawn pizza sounds hood. We had yummy Portuguese tarts in Sydney’s inner west but I’ve not had them here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Thai prawn pizza sounds good! And Paella — who doesn’t love it? Glad your recipe gets rave reviews. I used to enjoy paella at a Spanish restaurant in Manhattan, alas now closed. Must find a new location post-pandemic.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Did you know you can get passionfruit in a little tin? I know its ridiculous in Queensland where we have so much beautiful fresh fruit and veges but its saved me on a number of occasions and is not bad with icecream. I can’t believe what you can get in a tin. Bean sprouts for example. Another life-saver for stir-frys. Now I can see I’m making your hair curl. Portuguese tarts are the best. I hadn’t heard that Ahn Do quote – very funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m struggling with both those options in tins. We had a passionfruit vine growing like mad on our patio and up the study window. Should have left it there as our success since then has been zero. Can’t swear it was Ahn Do but it was a refugee story.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.