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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Food, glorious food!

I’ve just been reading a few of the food blogs, which have not only made me hungry, but also made me think of food and recipes and cooking.

I was born just outside of New York City and we lived in various places throughout New York State until I was 10. My mother’s family were Russian and my father’s German, so I grew up on plenty of European food. My mother’s borscht and piroshky were to die for, but she wasn’t a fabulous cook on the whole. Neither was my grandmother. They both tried, but it just wasn’t in them. I remember my mother enlisting my help to try new recipes, especially from her Betty Crocker cookbook that I still have today. There were many failures, but we did have a few good laughs along the way. Cooking with my mother gave me some good memories.

However, the years up to age 10 are filled with memories of American food. The hotdogs with relish and mustard, somemores and sloppy joes to name a few of my favourites. I’ve tried to recreate them here, but they just don’t taste the same.

When I was 10 we migrated to Australia. It was the saddest time of my life. I cried for nearly six months.

We ate much the same food as my mother had cooked in the States. Australian food relied mostly on barbeques with sausages and hamburgers and steaks. There were meat pies of course and sausage rolls and I discovered that many Australian women, especially those in the country, did a lot of baking. My mother invested in new cookbooks and we tried more recipes and had more failures, with some pleasant surprises as well.

Food in Australia has certainly come a long way since those years. So many people from so many different cultures have migrated here and brought their recipes with them; first the Italian and Greeks, then the Asians, now the Indians and Africans. In Melbourne where I live, you can find food from around the world. It’s like a small part of culinary heaven.

I often try to cook from different cultures. My boys have grown up eating stir fry, tacos, curries, risotto, pasta and whatever else I feel like cooking at the time. I get bored easily with the same meal all the time and I like to experiment. My two eldest boys can cook well enough to survive on their own and this year I have plans to teach my youngest to do the same. I’ve always thought it’s as important for boys to learn to cook as it is for girls. With my eldest having just moved out of home, I hope he uses his cooking skills instead of relying on fast food!

Now I have to think of what to cook for dinner tonight!


  1. BLess your heart for teaching your boys how to cook! my boyfriend is a grown man and only knows how to make a mess and occasionally reheat!

    their future wives will thank you one day!

  2. I like to try different foods also. Eating the same thing all the time (especially when it's served on the same day as it was when I was growing up) is monotonous.

    Do you have a particular preference in cultural foods?

  3. I wish my mother 'n law would have taught my husband to cook!

    Have you ever checked out She has WONDERFUL receipes if you are a meat & potato kinda girl!

  4. Mo Diva - not only can they cook, they know how to clean the house as well!
    Brenda - I love Asian food, especially Thai and Malaysian.
    Martha - I will check it out, thanks!

  5. I haven't dabbled in Thai or Malaysian, though I have done basic Chinese. I like Indian cooking, which I've found to be one of the most labor-intensive types of cultural cooking, so far.


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