Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Auld Lang Syne

How weird! Deciding to write my second ever blog I felt I should use the opportunity to recap the last week or so incorporating New Years and perhaps the remnants of Christmas. For a title I thought perhaps the title of Robert Burns' new years song Auld Lang Syne and for the first time ever I actually found out what he was talking about. The English translation means literally 'Times Gone By'. Quite apt I thought. More thorough a translation and we get "We'll drink a cup of kindness yet for times gone by."
The kindness has been cruel to me - as it is every year during this crazy festive season. Drinking too much, eating too much, spending too much and discovering yet again why families don't spend too much time together during the rest of the year. Ooooh furthermore the beer and wine I have consumed this last two weeks would both make rehab sound not only necessary but a relief and make my mate Neil Davey (who by the way has a cool blog on foodie stuff call The Lambshank Redemption ), green with envy at some of the lovely wines on offer 'Down Under'. We have mutally consumed many a lovely drop of some interesting and captivating New Zealand and Australian wines all purchased from stores in the UK but the eclectic range on offer here has meant i am a lucky bastard with too much choice. I will comment on actual bottles in future Blogs - at present my memory is shot from all the alcohol. Neil - you will also be pleased to note that the two bottles of Woodford Reserve I got my brothers is going down nicely.
So back to eating and drinking myself to death. We all do it over the festive season. Over consume even when we promise ourselves we won't. I have eaten my way through cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, even a kangaroo (dont admonish me for eating Skippy - us Ozzies do it all the time) and a school of prawns and several salmon. All amazingly cooked on the BBQ. The great Ozzie tradition of using the BBQ for cooking anything extends these days to roasts, cakes (yes that's right cakes), even full english breakfasts. You name it my brothers can fire up their BBQ's to cook just about anything, which i have to admit BBQ's in Oz are like behemoths in their gardens that have pride and place in the centre like shrines to the gods. Thanks must be given to my brother Mark for his mango dacquiri's over New Year which went down smoothly between solid reds without a single miss step.
I ate Italian spiced lean sausages from a wholesaler in Brisbane this week, laced with fennel, which were exquisite and had very little fat in them (I will get the name of the company off my brother this week). These were accompanied by king prawns and a Hungarian potato salad, washed down with Bavarian beer and a Chardonnay. Almost every BBQ in this country must have the cliche "prawn on the Bar-Bee" but wow does it taste good or what.
Australian cuisine is such a mixed bag as the above attests. Today i tried dukkah, a spiced sesame and hazelnut concoction that you dip into with bread once coated with a good olive oil. Very Egyptian or Turkish in style. The one I tasted was from the Gourmet Spice Blends in Tambourine Mountain was with macadamian nuts and lemon. I later tasted chilli fudge and my mum is now eating the kahluha flavoured fudge (also from Tambourine Mountain - Granny Macs). Far too sweet to be eating at this time of night.
By the way it's way past my bedtime - I am way too sober for this time of night and I have hardly done any justice to my Times Gone By piece. Perhaps I have bitten off more than I can chew. Food puns at this time of night - oh dear! Well on that note - night all (will perhaps fatten this calf more tommorrow).

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