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.
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 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!
NEW FOOD FARE
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?