Raw chicken – yes please!

satay chicken

I was brought up under the ‘if you don’t eat your main you won’t get dessert’ regime. I have to say, it worked quite well for me, because I love a bit of dessert, even if, for the most part growing up it wasn’t very exciting. Stewed fruit, for example, or bread jam and cream. But I got used to eating up my plate, even if I didn’t really like it. And because of this, I think, even to this day, I tend to eat the bad stuff on the plate first. I’ll eat the vegetables I am less keen on, and save the bite of lasagna for the end.

Generally, if I am eating something I am not familiar with, I taste a bit of everything and then almost subconsciously eat the thing I like least first, or at least most of it.

But this is not without its problems.

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Cabanossi – the word we invented

Cabanossi

When I was growing up a friend and I invented the word Cabanossi. Or at least we thought we did. I don’t actually remember what we thought it was, just that it was a word that came out of nowhere and was… kind of amusing. When I questioned said friend on this recently, she gave me some insight I had forgotten. Apparently we renamed the old ‘Fags’ (you know the fake cigarette sweets) Cabanossi, and fed them to our Barbies. Yep. True story.

Perhaps the more tragic thing is, I actually didn’t realise that Cabanossi was an actual thing until I moved to Austria and found Knabber Nossi and Kaptn Nossa in the store. I thought… woah… that’s really close to that word we invented. And then it hit me… we didn’t invent the word. Cabanossi is a type of dried sausage.

Facepalm. But hey, sometimes it takes some time for these things, and sometimes it takes moving to another country.

How do you take your porridge?

Porridge currents, brown sugar, milk

One of my great childhood memories were our Saturday porridge mornings. It was Dad’s thing. Every Saturday morning he’d make porridge. Generally he’d prepare and cook it, then head out to buy the paper, and on his return it would be the perfect sloppy consistency, ready to be rewarmed and served.

I’ve since discovered there’s heaps of stuff you can put in porridge, but back then, there was only one way – with sultanas, brown sugar and milk. If we were really lucky, there was cream in the fridge, and a dollop added a little bit of heaven to the morning.

I rebelled in my later years and began adding currents instead of sultanas (crazy, I know), but since moving to Austria, the land without brown sugar and currents (at least in obvious places), I had to adapt. So here’s what I do now:

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Weird things Austrians… bake…

Krampus

I’ve had this photo for a while, and I finally dared ask hubby… “What on earth is this?” I find it to be a wholly disturbing baked good. He looked at me as if I was the crazy one and simply told me: “It’s Krampus.”

Aha. Now I see it. The horns, the bunch of birch rods it carries to beat the children with… it’s definitely Krampus. It’s actually pretty impressive. But then the question… why?

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The Veggie Garden 2021 – this year’s summary

Veggie garden

I was hopeful in early spring. It seemed like it was going to warm up nicely. And then… it didn’t. So even though I’d eagerly gotten the garden ready and planted… nothing grew.

But as always, I pressed on. This year we laid the garden with black cloth (thicker than previously so it didn’t blow all over the garden during storms), and this really cut back on the amount of weeding I had to do.

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Locally produced

eggs

One of the great things about living in a rural town with healthy fields abounding, is the home-grown produce you can buy. Not only does it mean that everything is fresh, it also means you’re supporting the local economy and reducing unnecessary shipping of goods around the world. So here are ten of my favourite locally produced things from my area:

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Weird things Austrians… eat… the liver paste… bunny?

Liver paste bunny

A while back I was in the supermarket and something in the deli cabinet caught my eye. Nestled among delicious slices of salami and prosciutto with the tang of pungent cheese wafting forth, I came across… the Liver Paste Bunny. Is anyone else channelling Donny Darko here? Because as far as evil bunnies go, this one takes the cake for me… or the paste… or whatever.

I don’t know if there’s a story behind this bunny. Here’s what I know:

  • It’s apparently made of liver paste
  • Someone or something at the deli made a conscious decision to fashion liver paste into a bunny
  • A interested consumer decided that an ‘bunny ear’ of liver paste was what they wanted to take home and eat

I also know:

  • It is not the only time this kind of thing has happened
Liver paste mouse

Because another time I was there and behold… the Liver Paste… Mouse? I’m not sure if this one’s a mouse… or just a different breed of bunny. Obviously the artist is improving because this guy looks pretty suave – he’s got a bow tie and all! But the spoon looks decidedly heart-wrenching… as if someone is slowly caving out the inside of his skull at the back where you can’t see…

I recently returned to this supermarket with the sole intention of sniffing out possibly a third critter, or to glean some more information as to… well… why?

Sadly this time the bunny/mouse was absent.

So I leave you with the question… why?

Wanna go out for Banguet? How about Gordon Bleu?

Chinese Banguet or Banquet

It’s the classic when you go to a foreign country or just a restaurant where English is not the native language, to spot spelling mistakes in signs and menus. It keeps us in good humour, somehow, to titter over other people’s errors.

So much so that back in Oz, a friend of mine and I stopped going out for Chinese Banquet and went to Banguet instead. To this day we never use the proper word “Banquet”.

So when I came to Austria I picked up ‘Gordon Bleu’ pretty quick. Did they really think it started with G? Is it the way they say it that makes it seem like it’s a G?

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Off to Asia… at home

Hot pot

Coming from Melbourne, with its huge Asian influence and entire suburbs chock-a-block with authentic Asian eateries, I miss the lack of it here. I understand that if I travelled further afield to a bigger city I would find more diversity, but I think the kind of food that you can find in say, Box Hill or China Town in Melbourne, would still be few and far between.

Sure, I grew up on western ‘Chinese’ food with sweet and sour pork and cashew chicken top of my favourites list. I once famously proclaimed that Thai food was too hot for me. Oh, how far I have come.

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