We’re all taking turns at choosing a country, which is fair enough. it’s Lani’s turn. Four-year-olds do not usually have much of an idea of the countries of the world, and Lani only really knows Australia. So lunch in Australia it is!
During June, I moved house and had the most relaxing two weeks away with Lauren and the kids, and there was just no time for our next international lunch.
But for now, it’s back to normality, whatever “normal” is.
Lani is looking forward to vegemite sandwiches and fairy bread but, hey, we can do better than that in the land DownUnder!
Sunday 30 July will see us enjoying modern Australian cuisine. I’ll have a go at emu kebabs and kangaroo kofta, and I have found a recipe for Tim Tam tarts with raspberries. My god, how good does that sound! Tim Tams and raspberries is a match made in heaven!
Deep in the recesses of my pantry I have some pepperberries that I bought in Milawa, and I recall the Masterchef judges going into raptures about a beef and pepperberry pie a couple of seasons ago. I might have to look that one up as well.
There will not be any damper, there will not be any burnt sausages on the barbeque and there will be no drowning everything in tomato sauce.
So, off to the planning board I go.
A week later …
This has turned out to be much more interesting that I thought it would be. Yes, we’ll have vegemite sandwiches and fairy bread (both on white bread, of course), and party pies to keep the kids happy, but there are so many great things to try.
While browsing through some of my Gourmet Traveller magazines this morning, I found a Kylie Kwong recipe for Wallaby sang choi bau. Gotta try that one!!!
But with kangaroo and emu already on the menu, and now wallaby, sourcing good quality game meats could be problematical. Until I found Yarra Valley Game Meats. Ken was fabulous, and I came away with exactly what I needed.
Rob tells me that only Aussies do chicken parma, so this is a great option for people like me who are very unadventurous about trying non-standard protein (I am still more than a tad traumatised by being tricked into eating my pet duck when I was a child).
Being the good Aussies that we are we really should have lamingtons but, not being much of a cake lover, lamingtons do not inspire me very much. But lamingtons in a tiramisu sound yum. So we’ll have lamington tiramisu with our tim tam and raspberry tarts.
And perhaps we could finish off with some good King Island cheeses.
And booze. What type of booze will we have? Much as John Elliot wanted to foster-ise the world, and the ads are still fairly common in the UK, I do not know anyone who drinks Fosters. Bundy rum is an obvious choice, but it is a very strong flavour.
I think that the feature Aussie tipple for the day will be a North Shore cocktail. We had these on the cruise. We had a lot of them, actually. Assuming that it is named after Sydney’s north shore, it is a good Aussie choice. They comprise blue curacao, bacardi, coconut milk and pineapple juice. And they’re very blue. And very easy to drink.
And it’s off to Uncle Dan’s we go.
And another week later …
Lunch in Australia has become dinner in Australia because Liam has a swimming carnival at lunchtime. But that’s OK – it gives me more time to get organised.
Attached below is one of my all-time favourite takes on Australia. It is Douglas Adams’ (he of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame) take on Australia. It’s an oldie but a goodie, but it is very well-written and makes me laugh every time I read it.
I’ve also attached the fact sheet, some of which is questionable. Are kangaroos and emus really on the coat of arms simply because they can’t walk backwards? That sounds a little odd.
Viv is bringing all the ingredients for the North Shore cocktail and, treasure that she is, has been practising so that she can be certain she’s got it right. And this will be our first international dinner at my new digs. Lauren and Will (and the kids, of course) can walk home. They’ll be able to sample as many North Shores as they want. Um, not the kids sampling North Shore cocktails – Lauren and Will sampling North Shore cocktails. Kids will be drinking apple juice.
Karma and Rob will not be able to have a simultaneous lunch in Australia with us this time – they are camping this weekend in the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Camping with a one-year old and a three-year-old sounds horrendous, but I did it myself when I was young and energetic. We’ll have a North Shore for you, Karma and Rob!
I hope Elysia will be the official photographer again.
Our menu is:
- Emu kebabs
- Kangaroo Kofta with warrigal greens, beetroot and feta
- Wallaby sang choi bau
- Chicken parmigiana
- Minted orange, fennel and red onion salad
- Party pies
- Vegemite sandwiches
- Fairy bread
- Lamington tiramisu
- Tim tam tarts
- Macadamia nuts
Here are the recipes for our faves – Australia best recipes
Click here to see all our favourite recipes.
Dinner in Australia, Sunday 30 July 2017
Dinner in Australia was fairly awesome. Not so much because it was the first time we had an international meal in my new digs. Not so much because the catering was by far the easiest yet. Not so much because much of the food was so familiar. But I think because much of the food was so very unfamiliar.
The easy stuff – vegemite sandwiches, party pies, fairy bread, chicken parma – was all yummy, and very popular with the kids. And while I understand the argument that chickens and lambs are cute, and that wallabies, kangaroos and emus are exactly the same, it still took a while to get my head around eating our native fauna. But there was no need for any angst – it was a great experience.
The wallaby sang choi bau was one of the dishes of the day, and while it might seem odd to serve wallaby in such a Chinese way, it was a deliberate and sincere nod to the contribution the Chinese have made to our cuisine. The Asian influence in our cooking is absolutely worth celebrating. The wallaby sang choi bau was fusion at its best and, being a Kylie Kwong recipe, we all know that she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to fusion cooking.
I felt the same about making a lamington tiramisu. Tiramisu might be typically Italian, but this was a great way of celebrating the wonderful contribution that Italy has made to our cuisine, and to our country. Greece is the other nation that has made a solid, and oh so delicious, contribution to our cuisine. And guess which country we’re going to next month???? Can’t wait for August in Greece!!!! Thank you, Elysia, for choosing Greece:)
Anyway. Back DownUnder. The kangaroo kofta with beetroot and feta was lovely, but I have to admit to not being quite brave enough to try the emu kebabs.
The other dish of the day was the Tim Tam tart. But really, how could Tim Tams, chocolate and fresh raspberries NOT be the dish of the day. It’s hard to believe that seven ingredients could be soooooo delicious.
We loved the Douglas Adams guide to Australia. Do read it if you have a chance – it’s very funny.
And, speaking of funny, the joke of the day, which has nothing to do with Australia, was from Will – What is the difference between a good joke and a bad joke timing. Yes, it is typed correctly – you read it all in a string. I think it’s funny, anyway.
And thanks again to Elysia for the excellent photos. And thanks to Viv for the North Shore cocktails. And well done to Liam for some excellent swimming PBs.
And, Lani, please don’t talk so much next time. You drive us nuts!!! Truly, she did not stop talking the whole time. Did not stop! Once!
Where to next?
So, now it’s See ya layda to Straya and Yasou to Greece.