It wasn't difficult to find recipes this week. Australia after all is now noted for its amazing food scene. We could argue that many countries are right there next to them and were there well before, but we wont. For this week we'll allow them pole position. The food and recipes coming out of Australia include influences from cuisines all over the world, particularly Asia, so sometimes it can be familiar, simple, other times complex and new. With labels like fusion food, which often gets called pretentious but really it's not.
The children have loved Australia week, and want to visit again soon. I guess the food is not that different to what we usually eat but they've loved all the details about Australia, the fact we have family there, the different animals, they speak the same but have some very funny slang words, the Aborigine people and their history. I would truly love to take them there for real.
I'll post about the exact food we've eaten over the weekend but I have two books that I referred to a lot this week.
the accidental foodie by Neale Whitaker which includes recipes from both Australian and British chefs & food writers, among the Australians (not necessarily born in Oz or still living there) are Joan Campbell, Bill Granger, Jill Dupleix and Terry Durack, Cherry Ripe, Donna Hay, Maggie Beer and Stephanie Alexander. This is a very beautiful and cool book, with fabulous pictures and a nice read. Neale's own story makes good reading, alongside his choice of chefs' in the book that he calls his food heroes. Until this week, it had just been a picture book for me. I'd dipped in and out, read a few paragraphs but I will now read the whole thing and I will certainly be cooking more recipes from it. I bought it for £8.00 in our local discount book shop but it's definitely worth the £12.99 that Amazon are currently asking for it, I'd even stick my neck on the line and say it's worth the full RRP of £25.00.
Wholefood by Jude Blereau who co-founded the Earth Market, a wholefood store and cafe in Perth, Australia. She also started the Whole Food Cooking School. The book quotes 'Wholefood celebrates food that has the ability to heal, nourish and delight.' It's a lovely book with a dark plum coloured cover. Inside there are simple recipes and pictures, right through the book it's very muted and calming, you do feel that anything you cook from it is going to be really good for you. So far I haven't, but I will.
For today I wanted to leave you with the Australian delight of Arnott's Chocolate Tim Tams and what you do with them, sometimes referred to as the Tim Tam Slam, among other things.
TIM TAM SLAM
Tim Tams are a chocolate biscuit (a little like Penguins but totally different if you understand). They're made by Arnott's in Australia and the Australians' do a peculiar thing with them. Not sure if it's frowned upon as it's not exactly polite, but my best friend introduced me to the practice fairly recently when she saw them for sale in Sainsbury's and she'd remembered doing it in Australia (You can buy them in Sainsbury's at the moment for £1.39 a packet). If you're not dieting and you have the willpower not to become addicted I urge you to get some and try it.
First make yourself a hot drink. (My choice is coffee). Make sure it's cool enough not to burn you. Bite one corner off each end (alternate corners). Then dip one bitten end in the drink and suck through the other bitten end, as soon as you start to feel the liquid you need to flip the whole thing into your mouth and eat. The taste and sensation is fantastic. As my boys don't drink tea or coffee and I'm not about to encourage them to do so, they did theirs with warm milk. It can make an almighty mess - but great fun! Go on - you know you want to! Makes me feel about 10 years old again - great!