I've been "flat out like a lizard drinking all day", but I wanted to write something about typical Aussie food today and a few slang expressions just might get thrown in as well. Aussies, except for vegetarians and vegans have always loved a good beef steak, and throwing a lamb chop on the barbecue, as well as the prawn. Sorry but I refuse to call it a shrimp, despite Paul Hogan's best intentions to "throw a shrimp on the barbie". However, now it seems that delicious seafood is very popular and is more affordable than red meat, depending on where we buy it. A high percentage of us are favouring seafood at Christmas time now, instead of chicken and pork, it's easy and it's fresh. To mark the day I'm not going to mention just yet, I bought enough fresh prawns today from the supermarket to make a prawn sandwich on very fresh bread and butter, I adore seafood, even more that Mr. HRK. I was raised by my Mother to love it, as she grew up by the beach in Central Queensland with access to lots of lovely seafood. Give me a plate of fresh oysters, Queensland Mud Crabs, and prawns, and I am in Heaven.
These Crystal Bay prawns, which I bought this morning, were farmed in the pristine waters of the Hinchinbrook Channel near Cardwell, in Far North Queensland, and made a delicious sandwich for lunch today, after being peeled and cleaned of course. Many are being sustainably farmed, and sold at quite reasonable prices in supermarkets. However if you like to eat them with a delicious seafood sauce, I have a few favourites to suggest. This is my Seafood Cocktail with Marie Rose sauce. My mouth is watering at the thought of it. Long live the Prawn Cocktail, with fresh oysters on the side.
Vegemite is 100 years old, and is a black spread like Promite, that Aussies have been trained to love almost from the cradle. None of us can remember when we first tasted it, but it's always been in the refrigerator. Many a Mum has dipped her finger into a jar of vegemite while they are eating it spread on toast for breakfast and given their young child a taste even before they started on solids, just so they would grow up loving it, and most of us do. We've all grown up being "happy little vegemites". It celebrates everything fun and unique about being an Aussie. One of the amusing things we love to do with overseas visitors, is to give them a taste of vegemite on toast just to see their reaction. Even though we eat Australian made Weet-bix most mornings for breakfast during the week, it's often vegemite on toast that is my first food craving for the day, along with a cup of tea. Now that is an honest confession from a foodie.
Vegemite, the brand, is celebrating 100 years this year, such an Aussie icon. Besides having it on toast, we love to add it to savoury mince dishes, beef stews, and Mr. HRK insists it's his secret ingredient when he's cooking. Pizza companies have now developed a frozen vegemite pizza, to be released soon. Mr. HRK will be trying that out, he loves making pizzas.
The Royal Australian Mint has released a Vegemite edition of the $1 coin which will feature a piece of toast with vegemite smeared on it. Some Vegemite stamps are going to be released as well. Vegemite is a trademark of the Bega Cheese Limited, we've been to BEGA.
So what else do we Aussies hold dear to their hearts as favourite foods? Weetbix has always been around as a breakfast cereal, we've been eating them since we were kids. After all, Aussie Kids are Weet-Bix kids, well they were, I'm not so sure now. It's a totally Australian product made by Sanitarium, and besides eating it for breakfast, it has been used as a basis for biscuits and slices and Rum Balls at Christmas, oh yes Rum Balls. I dare not mess with that recipe, or there will be a family revolt.
Recipe can be found at: HAPPY RETIREE'S KITCHEN : Christmas Rum Balls and Chocolate Rum Truffles (happyretireeskitchen.blogspot.com) As far as I'm concerned, these taste great at any time of the year, and made with lots of Queensland Bundaberg Rum of course.
The LAMINGTON is the national cake of Australia, that's fair dinkum. There I've said it, it's a big claim, but true. It is a slab of sponge cake cut in large squares, dipped in chocolate and sprinkled liberally with desiccated coconut. It was first invented in Queensland with the first recipe appearing in the Country Life newspaper as early as 1900. The story goes that it was created by a cooking accident at work by a maid-servant to Lord Lamington, the very British eighth Governor of Queensland.
Call us strange, but something else we love to do here Down Under is eat the humble pumpkin when cooked, in many ways, and at any time of the year. It is such an earthy and economical vegetable to eat whether baked, boiled, mashed, or made into sweets. Not many other countries in the world grow it and eat it like we do.
Some of you will remember my Pumpkin Scone recipe from International Scone Week last year, but I just checked my blog recipes and I have cooked quite a few pumpkin cakes over the years too.
Here's a batch of Aussie Damper scones just out of the oven.
Did I say damper? Real rustic damper is what we love to cook in a cast iron Camp Oven over a fire when we go camping in the bush. Eating it hot with butter and smothered in Golden Syrup is a must.
|The Camp Oven cooking the damper in the smouldering coals of the fire. Hot Coals must also be placed in the lid of the pot.|
2 cups SR Flour
Pinch of salt
Let's make Damper:
- In a bowl, add 2 cups of self-raising flour and a pinch of salt
- Slowly add water from the jug and mix gently with a wooden spoon until the ingredients start to combine and form a dough
- The dough now needs to be mixed together, not kneaded. Using your hands, yes your clean hands, cup the ingredients in your hands, and slowly work the dough until you get a nice round damper shape.
Back to the pumpkin recipes.
Rosemary Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese frosting
Golden Pumpkin, Olive and Zucchini Loaf
And this is one of my all time favourites, Pumpkin and Apricot Fruit Cake. We love a good fruit cake.
There are more but you can find them I'm sure if you feel inspired.
Many of the classic Aussie dishes have a British, Irish or Scottish origin, Meat Pies, Apple Pies, Hearty stews. Fair shake of the sauce bottle, who doesn't love a good pie?
Australia has not only great seafood, also awesome beef and lamb!! An Australian ribeye for tomorrow's lunch :-))ReplyDelete
Angie, it's hard to beat a good steak sometimes, we are fortunate to have so many wonderful choices. Thanks for your commentDelete
We visited Australia in 2017. What a lovely and huge country! I discovered lots of foods, but finger limes were the most fun. I’ve been trying to grow one but the little guy is very stubborn. I also remember quandong jam. Mmmmm Great post!ReplyDelete
Thanks Mimi, we've also tried to grow a finger lime tree here in the tropics but it didn't do well and was very thorny. Still if you can get them in season, they are delicious. I didn't touch on Bush Tucker foods, there are so many of them. They do make good jams.Delete
We have Marmite instead of vegemite, which I love, but not as much as bovril. I've made lamingtons once, but they are very fiddly. Enjoy your prawns!ReplyDelete
from Tandy I Lavender and Lime https://tandysinclair.com
Thanks Tandy, I think of Bovril as being very British, I'm a vegemite kid through and through:)Delete
That idea of a prawn sandwich sounds very unique...and very delicious! The closest thing I can thing of here in the States would be a shrimp po'boy, but those still have a sauce and various fixins on top. Thanks for a very fun read, Pauline - I bet this post was a lot of fun to write!ReplyDelete
David your comment about the prawn sandwich is really interesting. Over here we love just a fresh prawn or mud crab sandwich on delicious white bread and butter, it is a real treat and so simple. Good seafood doesn't need much at all with it. So glad you enjoyed it, it was fun to write.Delete
yes there's nothing better than a prawn sandwich on white bread with mayo and lettuce. I didn't realise Vegemite is 100 years old. yes we all grew up with it didn't we? there's always a jar in my pantry. I made lamington pikelets the other day. Delish but a bit of a nuisance to roll 'em in the chocolate and coconut!ReplyDelete
Thanks Sherry, we Aussies really do have a few favourites that are great standbys. I even send vegemite to my son in France.Delete
Up here in the States, prawns and shrimp are different (at least to me). Prawns are large beasts and shrimp are, well shrimps (small). Either way, I love them, too. And I am also a fan of Vegemite!ReplyDelete
David, it's great to know you like vegemite. You are welcome here anytime, hee, hee. I wasn't aware you called the large ones prawns, I thought they were all shrimp, large and small. Take care.ReplyDelete