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.
Vegetables “back in the day” were less varied than they are today. Usually potato, pumpkin, peas, beans, sweet potato and perhaps parsnip. None of them came in frozen or tinned form and all were fresh though I wish I could remember where mum did the shopping before they had a car. Perhaps in Fortitude Valley which was on our bus route.
I have no strong recollection of eating veal and yet I think we did, very occasionally. I can only assume it was a bit expensive. It’s only in her later recipes that mum mentions main meals like veal.
As always, there were biscuits and, in this case, Valentine Kisses and Variety biscuits.
It was once more common for us to eat dishes with veal like Veal Italian or Veal Cordon Bleu. For some reason, veal is not regularly seen on our menu these days. Even when it comes to schnitzels, where you might expect veal, we lean towards chicken.
Different vegetables have become more commonplace these days and I certainly learned a lot about what was “out there” when I worked at the fruit and veg shop on Toowong’s High Street. My children will happily take the mickey out of me regaling how I would haul sacks of potatoes into the store from the owner’s car during my uni days of part-time work. I may have been long and skinny then, but I was obviously much fitter.
Did you have vegetable rules about what your kids had to eat? A friend in PNG used to cook a different meal for each of her five children – no way that was happening chez Cassmob. Our daughters were given the allowance of not eating one vegetable that they didn’t like. For one it was mushrooms, for another it was pumpkin, but for the gourmand-in-training nothing was barred. She would crawl (yes she hadn’t even started walking!) to the kitchen cupboard and pull out a garlic bulb and eat it like an apple. Weird child!
NEW FOOD FARE
We had some wonderful food when we had a short holiday in Vietnam with fresh fish and vegetables….very tasty and refreshing meals. Somehow, we haven’t quite come to grips with actually cooking Vietnamese cuisine despite having bought some cookbooks. We did enjoy our journeys through food markets in Vietnam even though some of the sights were a little confronting.
I can’t recall anyone identifying as vegetarian or vegan when I was younger. If I had the courage of my emotional convictions, I’d at least be pescatarian but the change just seems too big a practical leap for me.
Who doesn’t like a really good Vanilla Slice? If you’re looking for the best of the best you need to visit Kurt’s Cakes in Cavanagh St Darwin. Kurt turns out the most delicious vanilla slices we’ve ever eaten – as well as superb “special occasion” cakes that we’ve ordered for big birthdays, anniversaries or weddings. Mr Cassmob’s maternal family lived in the Victorian town of Ouyen which has a Vanilla slice Competition – I’m sure Kurt’s would be a winner. Did you know as a child that vanilla came as a bean, not just a bottle of vanilla essence?
Do you eat or cook Vietnamese food?
Is anyone in your family vegan or vegetarian?
Did your children have to eat their vegies – under duress or persuasion?