Animals Australia: the voice for animals

Animals Australia: the voice for animals
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Now really...without salt?

Over at ABC Online: Latest Recipe, chef Daphne Beutal gives a recipe for "Simple Scones" taken from 4 Ingredients: over 340 quick, easy and delicious recipes using 4 or less ingredients by Kim McCosker and Rachael Bermingham .
Well, dear Reader, your Miss Eagle found it a bit surprising. Remember that popular item on this blog, the Lemonade Scones? That recipe is so simple but has two additional ingredients to the "Simple Scones": a pinch of salt and a dessertspoon of sugar.
Now your correspondent can get her head around (but her taste buds can't) sugarless scones...but no pinch of salt? Well, really.
Fancy narrowing down your recipes for publication by leaving out the salt - particularly a flour laden one. Miss E is left to wonder do the writers omit it from bread as well?

Monday, March 26, 2007

World's Best Curries - 1

Way back in ancient history when Miss Eagle, dear Reader, was a child bride and bringing up Herself, Himself the Elder, and Himself the Younger with her Dearly Beloved, she learned to cook and knit with the Australian Women's Weekly.

So for many, many years Miss E carted around the country, little recipe and pattern booklets from the AWW until - ten years ago when moving from Tennant Creek to Sydney - she had to make a hard decision to divest. Now the divestment was not total. Miss Eagle kept The World's Best Curries from our Leila Howard Test Kitchen. This rectangular booklet was an insert with the Australian Women's Weekly of 8 March, 1967. It is forty years old!
So this booklet is tattered. The paper now tears easily. Miss E doesn't know how much longer she can continue to use it. So she will have to begin to blog the recipes - even the carnivore ones.
One has to think of the history of food - particularly Asian food. In Miss E's family there were seldom fresh meat curries. Curries were made from left over roast beef and they were the specialty of Buster, Miss E's dad. And, of course, the spicing was simple - Keen's Curry Powder. In fact, the only herbs and spices in the cupboard that Miss E can recall (except those for cake and biscuit baking) were Keen's Curry Powder; Keen's Mustard; and Mixed Herbs. Please note the back cover of the curry booklet - an advertisement by Keen's of their curry powder.
This brings to mind a statement made by Stephanie Alexander at Writers at Como two years ago. In a discussion with Guy Grossi, she said that there was a period in the history of Australian food which was pre-broccoli and post-broccoli. This, if Miss E's memory, serves her well was approximately 1966 and marked the transition from the standard three veg of potato, one yellow (either pumpkin or carrot) veg and one green veg (peas, beans or cabbage) to exotic vegetables like broccoli.
To mark the book's fortieth birthday, Miss Eagle this week prepared the Ceylonese Fruit Curry. Even names have changed! Ceylon is now called Sri Lanka. We no longer say Ceylonese but Singhalese. But we will stick with the name: Fruit Curry - picture from "The World's Best Curries" - Australian Women's Weekly 8 March 1957
Miss Eagle's Fruit Curry

2 large onions
1/2 oz ghee or butter
1 dessertspoon of curry powder
1 teaspoon of milk
1 slice of fresh or canned pineapple
1 small pawpaw (papaya to those in the U.S.)
2 bananas
1 tart apple
1/2 lime or lemon
1 dessertspoon of desiccated coconut (this is the finely shredded coconut)
1 tablespoon of coconut cream (not easily available in regional Oz in '67 so additional desiccated
coconut was soaked in water to imitate)
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of sultanas
Pinch of pepper or chilli powder
1 teaspoon of currants
Slice onions thinly, heat butter in saucepan, cook onions until golden, stirring occasionally. Add curry powder and milk, cook quickly 5 minutes. Peel papaw, bananas, and apple. Cut all fruit into bite-sized pieces. Squeeze over lime or lemon juice. Add to saucepan with the onions, cook 10 minutes. Add coconut, coconut cream, ginger, sultanas, currants, pepper or chilli powder, and salt to taste; simmer very gently for 1 hour. Serve with boiled rice and border of pappadums.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Cutting it? These take the biscuit....

Over at Pear Tree Cottage!, Lee-ann has displayed a marvellous collection of cookie cutters. Miss Eagle loves biscuit cutters too so here are hers. Some, Miss E has had for quite a while - but they are not the oldies and goodies that live at Pear Tree Cottage!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The family that tables together.......

  • Throughout history, humans have tabled together to break bread.
    The simple ritual of the shared meal reunites us with our families and brings balance to our lives.
    These words are taken from the review of Art Smith's book, Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family. Art is Oprah's personal chef.
    Counterbalance this with the views of Australian educationists that more children than ever are present at school with language difficulties. And what do they think is to blame:
    "Families aren't sitting around the dinner table any more every night talking about what's happened during the day and engaging with the children," Ms Trimper said. "Children are sitting in front of televisions more and computers playing computer games. It's dinner in front of the television, video games after dinner, or parents both working and time poor — all those issues have to impact on children."
    Back in 2005, Miss Eagle recalls hearing or reading that Kathy Letts, that well-known expatriate Australian, had rid her London house of the dining room table so that the room could become a home theatre. Miss E was horrified. Letts was reported as saying that, if the family wanted to eat together, they went out to eat. More horror!
    What about privacy - what if something unforeseen invaded mealtime: argument and debate, outrageous laughter and hysteria, practical jokes. All of these Miss E knows can arise at family meal time and a good thing too. But what happens in a restaurant or some public eating place: a child’s terror of having to behave?
    The failure to table together as a family shows no respect: no respect for the food, where it came from, the person who prepared it. It shows no respect for ourselves and what connects us to life and to each other. And now the kids are paying the price at that most basic form of human connection, language.
    In Britain, there is now a movement called Back to the Table - because Mealtime is Realtime they say. There are some big names swinging behind the campaign - including celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay. Miss Eagle would love to hear from you, dear Reader, on this subject: your projects involving food and kids; kids recipes; fun meal time stories etc. If you want to email me to include your contributions as a post complete with pictures, all the better. If you really have something to say about families, food, and connection you might also like to guest on Food from Oz. Please email me. Lets put fun, families, and people into meals. Let's get rid of the pit stop mentality where food is just a refuelling of whatever is handy. Let's take time to think about our food, how it is produced, where it comes from. Then let's take time with its preparation. And above all, let's take time for one another.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Treat your tastebuds: The Yang Yang

Looking for somewhere different to go food shopping in Melbourne to-morrow? Miss Eagle's favourite place is the Yang Yang in the Food Market at Box Hill Central. The Yang Yang is fascinating and so are the people who shop there. Not many Anglos but Chinese, nationals and ethnic; Vietnamese; Philippinos; Indians and Uncle Rhajiv and all can be seen at the Yang Yang. Fresh vegetables like you will never see at Woolworths and Coles; all sorts and varieties of rice; crockery; and all sorts of things, packaged and canned, that will make you wonder what on earth they're for and maybe you will invest in yet another Asian cookbook. And they usually have white carrot cake for a tasty snack.
Box Hill has a large Chinese population and the food market at Box Hill Central is clearly geared to that demographic - although there are plenty of retailers catering to the Standard Australian Diet.
The eateries are good and there is a great variety. And a stall in the main court sells Bubble Tea! Treat your tastebuds!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Season of the Soul: Lent 3 - Mi-careme

Miss Eagle had never heard of Mi-careme until to-night when she was reading a post on The Old Foodie's blog. And what a wonderful post for the third week of Lent. Mi-careme, where the tradition has been practised or upheld, marks the midway point in Lent when people are half-way through the Lenten fast. For one night there is a reprieve or a hiatus when people enjoy themselves. In its modern form, Mi-careme has taken on a carnival atmosphere, masks and all.

Flyin' high

Photo by Denis Wilson of The Nature of Robertson
Well, now! Whoda thunk it! Miss Eagle is flyin' high.
Matt over at Abstract Gourmet has compiled a list of the Top Aussie Food Blogs - and Food from Oz is on it. OK. Miss E is well down the list and there is no prize for guessing who came top. None other than that very busy gal, Grab Your Fork! Pop over and have a look. If you are a visitor to Aussie food blogs, you won't be surprised with who is there. Miss Eagle was particularly pleased to see that great friend of Food from Oz, The Old Foodie, on the list. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure, trot over to The Old Foodie for an historic food feast. To-day's post is of great interest. The Old Foodie writes about that popular salad, The Waldorf Salad. There it is - the original sans walnuts! Now - no resting on laurels! Where's the Miss Schauer. And if I can dig out that recipe for Tony Bilson's mother's pudd.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Yummy in the tummy comfort food

Miss Eagle has had a difficult couple of weeks with illness. It has been the sort of time when one thinks of comfort food. So, at one stage last week, the comfort food light bulb went on in Miss E's head. Ahah! she thought. And she took this photograph to show you. This week, over at Photo Friday the topic is addiction.
Miss Eagle thought about this and decided that this comfort food would fit the bill. You see Mashed Potato and Pumpkin with Vegemite in it is a sort of latent addiction for the majority of Australians. You see, it goes back a long way in the psyche and the food memory bank. Before tinned baby food, this was what Australian babies were regularly fed.
Vegemite is an acquired taste - or should that be a not easily acquired taste - for those who have not been eating it since infancy or early childhood.
Vegemite features in other comfort food such as soldiers spread lavishly with butter and topped with vegemite.
And then there is Vegemite Soup for whatever ails you.
Wednesday 14 March 2007
Since publishing this post, Miss Eagle has discovered Kitchen Wench and her nostalgic food blogging event. So Miss E submits this post for Kitchen Wench's perusal and edification.