Tuesday 18 October 2011

10 Childhood Food Memories

I was at work last night, and watched Masterchef Australia, with the lady I look after. The rather awesome, if sometimes looney, Heston Blumenthal provided the recipe challenge, featuring a rather luscious looking hamburger, the Reluctant Housedad's Thrice Cooked Chips (ok he might have nicked them from Heston first, but no matter) and an amazing looking milkshake.

Heston talks a lot about the emotion of food, and the memories food can evoke when you taste something from your childhood, so I thought it would be fun to share ten of my childhood food memories. One of the lovely things about being a parent is knowing you are introducing your child to a world of flavour, and I truly hope my gingerbread is on Joseph's list when he is doing this in several years time!

1. Scallops - so often in England I find scallops are done in a very fancy way. The scallops of my childhood are crumbed with chips and tartare sauce. Tasmanian scallops are so fresh, small and taste of the sea. Oh and roes must be kept ON! Ok they are orange and don't look very pretty if your a chef, but that is where the taste is!

2. Arnott's cream filled biscuits - my Nana, who no doubt will be popping up a bit in this post, was a great solid country cook, she made lovely cakes, scones and biscuits, but she always had a packet of Arnott's Melting Moments and Monte Carlos in the cupboard. I remember her getting out her green shamrock divided plate and putting them out for morning tea.

3. Cheese and chive scones - taking up the third section of the shamrock were cheese and chive scones. My grandmother made scones often, twice a week at least, and they were always light and fluffy with bits of cheese oozing out. A special treat was when she had cream past its best in the fridge, scones made with cream and butter are divine.

4. Milk and Milo - often we would have milo mixed with cold milk, not really  a milk shake, just stirred in with extra sprinkled on top. It was an after school treat. Now English reader, please do not go looking at your favourite supermarket to replicate this delight, for the Milo contained therein is fraudulent, it comes from Asia or Africa and looks like mouse droppings, it is not the same. Beside which Milo is a Nestle product, and I try to avoid these where I can.

5. Apples in the snow - my mum has always been a good cook, but desserts were rare, but when she made them, they were divine. I love apples in the snow, and have never been able to replicate it properly.

6. Anzac biscuits - Mum didn't bake frequently but this was one of the staples that she did bake from time to time, and my Nana too. Anzacs are great, solid biscuits, golden syrup and oats, and they are truly delicious, a bit like a flapjack. I now make them and Joseph loves them.

7. Double salted liquorice - I had a delightfully foodie friend growing up, her name is Fay, she always seemed incredibly exotic to me, half Chinese and half English, her lunch box was always a delight. She introduced me to double salted liquorice and I still love it now, and always stock up when in Amsterdam. I remember my mum taking me to the delicatessan in Sandy Bay, sadly no longer there, and I picked some up and went to pay for it with my pocket money. The man didn't believe I knew what it was, much less that I liked it and made me have a piece in front of him!

8. Pork "Goulash" - dad once made the most delicious goulash. He was liberally sprinkling in the paprika into the crock pot and......oops, a smell wafted up and hit him. It was cinnamon. He tried to scoop it out, but it was too late. We sat down to eat it anyway, dad feeling a bit sorry for himself, but it was truly delicious. And never came out the same way again!

9. Curry - my dad lived in Sri Lanka for a short time, in his early 20s, and developed a love of curry. He used to make delicious curries with left over roast meat, and loads of delicious sambals. I think I enjoyed the rice and the accompaniments more than the curry itself.

10. Icecream and tinned fruit - I can't say I am a big fan of tinned fruit, but every night after tea we would have tinned fruit and icecream, pears were my favourite, and the fruit cocktail with its grapes and cherries, it was always a fight over who would get the cherry, there only ever seemed to be one in a whole tin. If I feel fractious and want to be transported back to my childhood, a tin of pears with vanilla icecream is sure to do it every time.

What are your childhood food memories?


  1. Yes, that bloody Heston. Nicking my recipes! I might sue. Fantastic memories here. Double-salted liquorice sounds incredible. Thanks for linking me to you. Appreciate it

  2. Ooh, I'm going to do this too! Isn't it funny that we grew up in the same house but our food memories are entirely different?