Showing posts from October, 2004

Coconut Roughs

As a little kid, my one true passion in life was the pursuit of lollies (that's candy to all the folks in America).

When either of my parents paid a visit to the corner shop in the evenings, my sister and I always hoped they would return with a little extra something for us. Quite often they did, but there were also times when they did not. These were very disappointing occasions indeed!

Control over my lollie supply became a reality when my mother began paying my sister and I pocket money. I was paid a grand some of twenty cents a week (I do believe my sister got fifty cents, which after a couple of years of protest, I was awarded as well). With that twenty cent piece in my hand, my first thought was what lollie I could get for my money? My favourite chocolate bar at the time was Chokito - a very expensive proposition, at twenty five cents a bar - and certainly out of my price range.

The more attractive option for me was a Golden Rough - at twelve cents each, I was left with eigh…

Chili Garlic Spirali

There have certainly been times in my life where funds were less then adequate and I've really had to put my thinking cap on where food is concerned. Back in the late eighties, being the exuberant and perhaps a little impetuous young woman I was, I up and quit my job without bothering to find another one to go to first. Not the best approach to maintaining a stable life. Never the less, in the weeks it took me to get myself gainfully re-employed, I concocted a number of meals that could be made out of the supplies I already had in my kitchen cupboard.

The first was pancakes - easily done, thanks to a good supply of flour, eggs and milk. I had these for breakfast virtually every day (feeding a number of friends, also out of work at that time), served with maple syrup (until that ran out) or honey (until that ran out too). In those days I still drank orange juice, so I'd splurge the two dollars to buy a litre of Daily Juice - everyone started the day happy with a full belly.


Old Fashioned Hot Cakes

It is a sorry fact that the age old tradition of afternoon tea has fallen by the wayside. Thanks to the proliferation of cafes, restaurants, brasseries and even pubs, not too many people entertain for afternoon tea anymore.

Yet is was something that used to happen in our house all the time when I was a kid. An aunty and a bunch of cousins would call to say they were coming over for afternoon tea, and my mum would quickly get to the kitchen, whipping up any one of her classic afternoon tea favourite - sponge cake and cream, a batch of scones or even some humble old pikelets. Whatever it was, it came together quickly, and was on the table in time for the arrival of the guests, served up with a big fresh pot of tea.

That's POT - not mug. We actually used to make tea from leaves, a fine art, I must say, which I spent my childhood developing, that seems to also have fallen by the wayside. There is nothing like a cup of tea poured from the pot - the water is boiled fresh (as opposed to r…

Triple Chocolate Cookies

On the first day of High School, my father took me to the school hall, and much to my horror, he left me there by myself! Never the less, I was thrilled to be at high school - my last year of primary school had sucked big time, thanks to a last minute switch of horses (so to speak). High school was my chance to start over - a whole new bunch of kids, some from my old school, but many from other schools besides. I was thrilled when no one from my sixth grade class landed in my Year Seven class leaving the way clear for me to make a whole new group of friends.

Standing alone amongst the crowd was one girl, Kathy Dent. She seemed odd, which was attractive to me because I felt odd. We latched on to each other like castaways adrift in the sea, and pretty much stayed friends for the rest of high school.

Kathy was actually a super-brainy kid. I considered myself to be 'smart', but Kathy was intelligent. My quintessential failing was maths and science, whereas Kathy excelled in those …

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

I've only had two dogs in my life - Derek, my current canine and love of my life, and Tina, aka Scrunch, the dog of my childhood, whom we treated like people.

When Scrunch arrived on the scene, I would have been three years old. She was a little black and tan bundle, supposedly my mother's dog, but absolutely devoted to my dad. Scrunch had a pretty good life as a dog - she first took up residence with us in Newcastle and then in Penrith, both houses having fairly decent back yards for a dog to roam around in. She didn't necessarily do much of that - her thing was sun baking. Scrunch wore a small round patch in the grass near the clothesline where she curled up to catch some rays every day while we were off at work, school or whatever.

Our yard in Newcastle had a vegetable garden in it, in which Mum liked to grow all manner of things. I mostly remember the fresh mint, parsley and chives because I was often sent out to pick a bunch of one or the other (or all three) to add t…