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.
My childhood thoughts turn to Toffee! Always found at the church fete were home made toffees in patty cake cases and sprinkled with hundreds and thousands like the ones in this recipe. And then there were the deliciously appealing toffee apples with their shiny red glaze – it’s a wonder we didn’t half expect the wicked witch to be tempting us. Caution was needed though as toffee in all its guises is pretty deadly on the teeth and especially fillings/amalgam.
Tarts in all their guises would often appear on the dessert menu: coconut, raspberry, apple, rhubarb. Tapioca was commonly used “then” and was sometimes on our family food list, but rarely. It took my friend’s recipe to convince me to try it again. Trifle was popular for more special occasions with its combination of cake, jelly, custard and cream. Always yummy! A simple teacake was often an afternoon tea snack at home as well. You just don’t see them available as much these days.
Tripe never darkened our family’s door for which I’m grateful – just the appearance puts me off. No one has ever convinced me to try it – I just don’t do offal. Is it any wonder that a phrase you’d hear challenging someone’s veracity or nonsense “don’t give me that tripe!“
You’ve well and truly got the picture that we love curries and Thai food. In fact, it would be a rare week when we didn’t have one or two dinners featuring Thai cuisine. So why have we never been to Thailand I ask myself?
Speaking of curries, tandoori chicken kebabs cooked in the tandoor and arriving bright reddish-orange on your plate are hard to beat as an entrée.
Another weekly regular at our house is a chicken tagine cooked in its own tagine dish. Think preserved lemons, vegetables, chicken and stock. So easy to cook and looks and tastes great. I have to admit, though, that we were just about tagine-d out after 10 days on our Moroccan tour. Guess what’s on tonight’s menu?
Tacos are another easy-peasy weekday meal we have regularly – you really have to eat them in privacy at home because they’re just about impossible to eat tidily – or that’s what I find. The grandkids also love them and they will always just about eat their body weight in tacos, butter chicken or Nona’s cheerio plonk.
Tiramisu is our 21st century version of trifle, glammed up. Sponge fingers, coffee flavours, cream. It’s become a family tradition for Christmas since our daughter put it on the menu, and has displaced the traditional Christmas pudding because it’s more suitable for the hot weather.
Take-aways were occasional treats when our kids were teens and our favourite was the local Chinese take-away. Without fail, when you rang, the timeline would be “Ten minute okay?!”
NEW FOOD FARE
Did you even know real truffles existed as a child? Or were you like a colleague who swore blind they were only chocolates and the other person was scamming them? Now they appear in truffle oil, truffle risotto, cheese etc – and they come at a price. We were hoping to see a truffle farm in Stanthorpe recently and then….2 weeks lockdown! Luckily for us they have a shop outlet nearby…memo to self, have an excursion. Let’s face it, that’s closer than tracking them down in Tuscany.
Tamarind appears regularly in our curry recipes and is now readily available in stores. You’ll even find it at the market stalls in Darwin. It has such a distinctive flavour and smell.
Tangelos are a tasty addition to the fruit options today. I really like their flavour, and peel-ability. In PNG we also got tamarillos from the markets but you don’t typically see them here, or at least I haven’t.
Lots of changes between then and now for this letter of the alphabet.
What food changes have you seen in this category?
Do you eat any of the foods I’ve mentioned, then or now?
Did your church, school or community fete sell toffees and toffee apples?