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Short Queensland Trip Rpt and some hints for US travellers to Australia

Short Queensland Trip Rpt and some hints for US travellers to Australia

Nov 25th, 2009, 06:12 PM
  #21  
 
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"Sorry Joan, we seem to have highjacked your trip report."

Me too... but what's new?

"Had La Perouse been just a little bit faster, he could have claimed Australia for France and saved the country 200 years of English cooking".

Have a heart. We'd have ended up as pretentious black-clad arty poseurs making boring movies.

On second thoughts, that sounds like King Street in Sydney's Newtown.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 27th, 2009, 09:34 PM
  #22  
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I don't mind being hijacked for a discussion of Australian food and lollies. Jaffas are the biggest hit back here in the US with my nieces. They say they dream about them. (sorry aussiefive, that you had to eat all your Jaffas---aren't they the best??) And I did have my share of spagetti sandwiches and salad sandwiches on our last visit.

The thing that I have never been able to find on visits down are the licorice squares I got from the milk bars when I was a kid. They were little sections of checkerboard licorice, each piece about 1" square, but set in a sheet--have never had anything as good--and they were probably not even great quality licorice, but I'd love to have them again sometime.

What we noticed on our recent visit was an incredible quantity of pumpkin on all the menus--we had pumpkin panini, pumpkin in a Thai curry and pumpkin on a pizza. What's with that?? Also had the fabulous Wattle Valley roasted pumpkin, cashew and parmesan dip. Wow, that was addictive! So I guess, I for one, am glad France didn't claim Australia !! I might be dreaming of snails instead of Jaffas.
joan95448 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2009, 09:48 PM
  #23  
 
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Hi Joan -

I don't understand all the pumpkin either (or kumara for that matter), maybe an Australian can explain, but I've grown quite fond of pumpkin soup, which is popular here and in NZ.

There are so many different varieties that it's hard to get bored, even though more often than not the soup of the day is pumpkin. It seems to me they use pumpkin here the way we use potatoes in the US, although I've never heard of potato on a pizza!
Melnq8 is online now  
Nov 27th, 2009, 10:58 PM
  #24  
 
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Pumpkin has certainly come into its own in Australia lately, but I don't think we can claim credit for pumpkin soup (refer epicurious.com for traditional French recipes) or red curry of pumpkin, which as far as I can see is authentically Thai.

Pumpkin panini is a new one on me, though, given that a panino is an Italian sandwich. A pumpkin sandwich seems to nme to be taking things a mite too far.

(Note that the butternut "pumpkin" seems to be called the butternut "squash" in the US and I think UK).

On the other hand pumpkin pie isn't as popular in Australia as the USA - although my mother used to make a pretty mean pie from a variety of pumpkin called variously "ryo" or "gramma" with dark, sweet flesh.

Something that might be genuinely Australian is the pumpkin scone (= American "biscuit"). Senator Flo Bjelke-Petersen, wife of the famous (or notorious, depending on your viewpoint) Premier of Queensland, Sir Johannes ("Joh Bananas") Bjelke-Petersen, popularised her recipe.

I remember an English co-worker sneering at Australians' use of pumpkin for human food - "We feed it to our pigs at home", she said, in a near-incomprehensible North Country accent. I may have made some comment about English culinary values at that point. After all, my old man was English and a big fan of black pudding.

Come to think of it, I don't mind black pudding myself - nothing like a black pudding & liverwurst sandwich with lashings of hot English mustard. As Eric Olthwaite said in that smashing BBC series "Ripping Yarns", "Mah moom's black puddings were SO black, even the whaat bits were black!"
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 28th, 2009, 01:12 AM
  #25  
 
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Funny you mention pumpkin scones Neil, as I had my first pumpkin scone last month in Colorado of all places. We Americans tend to go pumpkin crazy in September and October, what with all the breads and pies, but I've not yet seen pumpkin soup on a menu there. I personally detest pumpkin pie...there's not enough cream in the world to get me to choke down a piece of that stuff. Maybe I've just never had a good one?

I seem to recall hearing that Americans are scoffed for our love of corn, which some Europeans consider fit only for livestock.
Melnq8 is online now  
Nov 28th, 2009, 03:57 AM
  #26  
 
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Joan, I think you mean Licorice Allsorts, my husband loves them to this day and assures me they're available in both Coles and Woollies, and elsewhere I'd expect.

Neil, I went through the pumpkin thing many, many years ago when I lived in England, where it was haughtily described as "cattle fodder". Funny, my Australian and country born grandmother described eggplant in exactly the same way, years before it was made popular here by European immigrants who knew how to cook it.
pat_woolford is offline  
Nov 28th, 2009, 11:54 AM
  #27  
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Neil, the pumpkin panini was made with maybe gouda cheese and carmelized onions and was very good-evidently was always the first one to sell out. But yes, we in the US seem to love our pumpkin in our fall months--pumpkin sage raviolis are very good. The worst I heard was a pumpkin pie martini--sounds god-awful! I have fabulous pumpkin soup recipe -from Singapore Airlines actually.

Pat, I do love licorice allsorts, but these other licorice things are different. They used to be in a large sheet (1 foot square, maybe) in the milk bar counter and you'd go and get tuppence worth and they'd pull off about 6 little 1 inch squares. I grew up in Hunters Hill and then Dee Why Beach in NSW, maybe specific to the Sydney area. Well, great memories anyway...
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Nov 28th, 2009, 03:00 PM
  #28  
 
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Joan, now that you mention I do have a vague memory of the licorice sheets, had totally forgotten about them. Coincidentally, I grew up at Newport Beach, not too far from Dee Why as you may recall. In fact I was there a couple of weeks ago, boy, has Dee Why grown!
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Nov 28th, 2009, 09:37 PM
  #29  
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Wow Pat, I do remember Newport Beach, and since you now remember the licorice sheets, I feel that I'm not crazy thinking about them. I have not been back to Dee Why since we left when I was 13---42 years ago !! I can't believe it was so long ago. So, yes, I'm sure it has grown, it was a wonderful place back then. I am saving that visit to Dee Why for the next trip--I hope. I also went to Queenwood in Mosman for a year before we came back to the US.
Nice talking with you.
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Nov 29th, 2009, 02:31 AM
  #30  
 
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You're kidding Joan, for a time I went to Wenona at North Sydney and the Queenwood girls would get on our bus at Mosman on the never-ending trip home. This was earlier than you though, so we wouldn't have come across each other on the 190 bus through to Palm Beach, which was our only way of getting home back then. Don't suppose you knew Roslyn Dight, she went to Queenwood and is exactly your age?
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Nov 29th, 2009, 05:39 PM
  #31  
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Wow again Pat ! I remember the Wenona girls--already on the bus--with the best seats, for that long ride home. There always seemed a little rivalry there....
I do remember a Roslyn at Queenwood. I even went to look at my old class photo just now--she had very black hair and very white skin--do not remember any last names though. I was only there for 7th form, then we had to move back to California. It was such an excellent school- but SO strict ! I got back to the US school system 2 grades ahead. We could be naughty girls sometimes to drive the headmistress crazy and ometimes got in trouble. The good old days...so much fun.
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