About Me

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NSW, Australia
I'm made it past 50! married for over half my life, have 3 kids all grown and I'm loving this part of my life.I was a nurse in my younger days but an unhealthy dose of rheumatoid arthritis put a damper on my career,so I'm at home with the internet.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

my life in food

I'm on roll now haha!!

The first solid food ,if you could call it that ,that I remember is Weetbix with hot milk ,soaked and sprinkled with sugar. I had this most mornings,or toast and honey until I left home at 18. My kids had the same .Today I don't like it at all, but the smell always brings back memories of mum.

Most nights in our house were meat with 2 veg. The meat was either sausages, steak, lamb chops, hot dog frankfurts or smoked cod boiled dry. The veges were always mashed potato, and either peas or beans, occasional broad beans(yuk) sometimes carrots, brocolli or coulliflower.EVERY NIGHT!!! We had to eat everything on the plate and mum was not the best or organised cook, so if she thought she forgot to salt the spuds or veg, she would do it again.

Desert was always tinned fruit and vanilla ice cream.....if we(me and my 2 younger sisters) had eaten all our dinner.

There was always fruit in season. My dad grew up in an Italian fruit shop and so we always had plenty of fruits.

Porridge! My mums dad, my Pop ,came to stay with us, and taught us to make porridge.It was a real production to get it how he liked it, apparantly a fuel stove is best. He served it with brown sugar. I hated it at the time,it looked icky and gruel like ,as in oliver: "please sir can I have some more" .Funnily enough I quite like it in winter now.

Spag bol. My grandparents on Dad's side were Italian, so we ate spaghetti when we visited. I remember being told "Mangare" and taught to twirl it around my fork. And mum learning how to cook it from Nonna, then trying to replicate it at home.(this is the 60's it was foreign food!!!)
I spent 4 days a week with my Nonna and Nonno for 3 years while mum and dad worked, they were under strict instructions not to teach me Italian as I was Australian.Nearly 50 years later Dad regrets not letting us embrace our heritage at the time, but times were different then and dad had grown up with discrimination .

Crostoli, My nonna used to make the pastry biscuit, lay it out on the table and cut it into strips then plait it together, it would be deep fried and then a syrup and fine sugar sprinkled on it. YUM.

always always, she would have an enamel tub full of hard red jelly, that made that suction sound from the spoon when she dished it out....sigh.... and a big scoop of vanilla icecream that never seemed big enough.

Thursday nights would be late night shopping, a big production with us kids tagging along, bored and helping drag the goods into the house. Our reward was fish or potato scollaps with chips, brought home wrapped in newspaper. Dad was funny, still had to have his on a plate,sometimes with salad, but us kids and mum would eat off the newspaper. Less washing up. Those days 2 peices of fish, medium serve of chips and half a dozen scollaps was $3. The same today =$26.

Pizza hut came to our shire in about 1972 offhand. In '74 my friend Lee_Anne had her 12th birthday there.When it first opened it was a "proper" restraunt, tablecloths,candles, table service, menu, wine menu. Very posh, we dressed up in our long dresses.It was the first time I had pizza. My Italian grandparents did not eat or make pizza, said its nothing like that in Italy, its more like what we call foccacia bread which they would have with a meal not as a meal.

KFC came early in the 70's too and it was a treat for us for a birthday or visitors. Here is the ad that introduced Australia to KFC

Late in the 70's mum got creative, and every sunday would make curried prawns and boiled rice. We could eat this in the loungeroom, a huge treat, while watching the Muppets, and Tom and Jerry.Dad loved these shows.

Mum was working night duty in a nursing home and us girls weren't a lot of help being selfish teens and so would wake her up with a cuppa and with a view to her getting dinner ready. We would all talk till about 5 mins before dad got home and then rush to get a salad together so he wouldn't have to wait to long for food. My sisters and I can still recite our salad recipe : Lettuce, tomato, beetroot, cucumber, pineapple ,cheese, ham!!!

1979 ,Maccas came to town~ there was an opening promotion, if you could recite the ingredients like on the add in 20 seconds you got a free big mac : 2allbeefpattiesspecialsaucelettucecheeseoniononasesameseedbun

my favorite back then was fillet of fish, fries and a strawberry thickshake!

chinese food.Australia was thin on the ground for "foreign" food until the early 80's unless you lived in the city.Out in the suburbs it was fish and chip shops. I was 16 before I tasted chinese food. My friends took me out to dinner. I didn't know what to order, and they told me to try the sweet and sour. It was good, so it was all I ordered for about 3 years until I met Les and he talked me into trying other flavours.

I still eat more maccas than I should.
I pretty much eat anything now and still have a soft spot for red jelly and vanilla icecream....sigh


  1. Oh that jelly noise...

    We had to eat what we were given. fortunately we were always hungry.

    My kids would never eat half the food I was forced to.

  2. The crostoli looks to die for!

  3. Interesting! I remember "foreign" foods -- we smashed our first coconut with a hammer in the driveway...

    And our first avocado? Ate it out of the shell with salt -- which turned out to be about right!


  4. I went off jelly and ice cream when I was in hospital getting my chemo. I never have gotten the hankering for jelly back but I still do love ice cream....yummy yum yum :)

  5. I grew up in New York, about 50 miles from NY City. Since America was the melting pot, we had the opportunity to eat many "foreign" foods and New York was the meltiest of the Melting Pot! :)

    My mom's family cooked very British, so at home we ate a lot of roasts and damned BOILED POTATOES. My sister and I TO THIS DAY never make plain old boiled potatoes. Ever. I think I ate enough of those in my lifetime! Boil them, mash with butter and cream, now you have something!

  6. What an interesting post. It brought back memories of how my mom cooked and what our treats were. I loved jello, but we had it with whipped cream.

  7. There were an awful lot of food ticks between us there. Even now, I have to resist always ordering sweet and sour in Chinese restaurants.

  8. Great post. You and I could have been eating at each other's homes. We ate pretty much the same things that you mentioned. But when fastfood came along, my mother was in her glory. And she wonders why all her kids have weight issues!!! Good memories. Thanks for that.

  9. Our big mac was two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun.

    There was a joke I can't recall... something about a bus going around picking up kids to take them to Sesame Street and the punch line was
    Two Obese Patties, Special Ross, Little Reese pickin' bunions on the sesame street bus.

    I ought to do my life in jokes.


  10. It's amazing how food is able to stimulate such good memories of growing up :)

  11. I LOVE this post.

    The KFC video is great for observing cultural differences between now and then.

    I love what you said about sweet and sour at the Chinese restaurant. That sounds like something I would do.

  12. Curried prawns sounds fantastic. I didn't know you've had Pizza Hut and KFC over there since the 70's.

    You mentioned meat and two veg. I know from having a friend originally from Britain that this phrase can also be used to mean something else.

  13. Now that's just made me hungry. You've a great memory. I can't remember what I ate for breakfast and that was only 10 mins ago!

  14. Loved it! :)
    Most of my food memories involve maple syrup!


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