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What do I miss about Australia?

On this day 15 (!) years ago, I arrived in Paris.  I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t have a job, a place in the course I was supposed to be enrolled in or a place to stay.  That is possibly a story for another post but my point is – WOW – I have been away from Australia for FIFTEEN YEARS!!!!  When I left, I had no idea that I would be away for so long and I certainly did not imagine that I would end up in (Anglophone) Canada, but you know, life happens, as you probably remember from this post

People often ask me if I miss Australia and the weather there, being as it is what Australians consider ridiculously cold for about 6 months of the year here in Toronto.  Actually, no.  Whilst I hate the winter here with a passion, I don’t particularly miss the weather.

People often ask me if I miss the beaches. Umm… don’t take away my Australian citizenship but no, I don’t.  Neil and I are probably the only people who went to Cuba and did not see one beach in our two weeks there…

The two things I do miss are my mum and dad.  It sucks to be so far away from them, especially because my mum is one of the biggest reasons I am “into” food at all.  When I was growing up, my sister and I were spectators to many, many dinner parties (yep, in the 1970s though thankfully they did not involve copious amounts of gelatin) – you know the ones with the Alan Parsons project, Supertramp, Elton John and the Eagles constituting the soundtrack…  Sometimes we even got to come out of the bedroom where we were holed up dancing on someone’s bed and singing into a hairbrush (well that was me, my sister was probably doing something nerdy like her homework…) and serve some delicious claret which we would pour right up to the rim of the glass.  Mum would always spend the day in the kitchen cooking and preparing amazing food and we always got tastes while she was working.  The things I remember most were the desserts.  My mum has, shall we say, a huge sweet tooth and my sister and I have inherited this (Damn Tim Tams for coming in a pack of 11 that does not divide equally between three!).  She still bakes amazing desserts just for my dad and her – dad, do you REALISE how lucky you are??? – and recently sent me some pictures of her creations:

Left to right: Sherry trifle with summer berries, flourless chocolate cake with raspberries and nectarine frangipane puff pastry with chantilly cream.

Aren’t they amazing?  Even more so knowing that my mum has only had a digital camera for less than a year and her first ever computer for 9 months.

In any case, any culinary skills I possess are certainly inherited from her (they definitely don’t come from dad’s side of the family…) and I wish now that I had paid more attention to cooking when I was younger as opposed to just eating!  When I was little, I always used to think “When I grow up, I want to be able to cook like my mum!” and I still say that!  Thanks mum xox (one day we will get you on Skype with a web cam so we can have video chats and cook together!!!)

Since I have been blogging my cooking skills have definitely been honed and I have started to have confidence to experiment with recipes myself.  One of my favourite dishes that my mum cooks is Red Roast Pork – remember when I jazzed it up and submitted it to the folks at POM, in the hopes of becoming the POM Blogger 2010?

Well I didn’t win (though I was in the Final 9) so I submitted it to Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest.  If you would like to see it featured, click here and rate it 5 stars!

Since I was submitting something “old”, I figured I would submit a new favourite also, my tartiflette brûlée.

This was an Editors’ Pick on Food 52 but again, didn’t win.  If you like the look of this and would like to see it in the Foodista Cookbook, click here to vote.  I truly appreciate any votes!  go on – do it for my mum!

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36 Responses to What do I miss about Australia?

  1. Conor @ HoldtheBeef March 5, 2010 at 07:24 #

    Australia misses you too! Well, maybe the beaches don’t.

    I think next time I’m in SA I might have to hunt down your mother for a bowl of trifle and a slice of chocolate cake.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 5, 2010 at 07:27 #

      Actually Conor, mum and dad live in Sydney and if you are ever there, mum is an EXCELLENT person to take around to your foodie adventures… You can stand in for me!

      • Conor @ HoldtheBeef March 5, 2010 at 07:29 #

        Oh yes sorry I think I knew that but forgot. Ummm….just as well I didn’t immediately buy tickets to Adelaide after seeing those photos…or anything rash like that…..errrr..

  2. Divina March 5, 2010 at 08:52 #

    I miss Australia too. Although I was only there for a 2 week vacation. While your mom is your inspiration, to me it’s my dad. How I wish I also paid attention to his cooking while I joined him in the kitchen. :) Australia definitely misses you, so does your mom.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 5, 2010 at 19:48 #

      Oh I KNOW my mum misses me but we will be seeing them in the summer for a fabulous California road trip!

  3. Tangled Noodle March 5, 2010 at 09:13 #

    I’ve spent most of my life in North America but my parents are still in the Philippines. When we went back for a visit, it was all new to me but strangely, it was also quite familiar. It’s deeply ingrained, the land where we are born – and the connection will always be there. But I’m happy that you’re in Canada, too, since it’s so much closer and will allows us to meet! (And it’s my childhood home . . .)

    What an amazing inspiration you had in your mom!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 5, 2010 at 19:48 #

      Yes, being in Canada whilst far away from mum and dad means that I am closer to Europe also which is always a good thing!

  4. 5 Star Foodie March 5, 2010 at 12:28 #

    Your mom’s desserts look amazing! You know my husband is on a flight to Australia right now :) Will go vote for your recipes!

  5. Fuji Mama March 5, 2010 at 13:49 #

    What a sweet post! Your mum and dad MUST be awesome, because they produced an amazing daughter. Off to vote… XOXO

  6. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction March 5, 2010 at 15:47 #

    Your mum and dad are lucky to have such a wonderful and talented daughter! Voting for you right now… You deserve to win!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 5, 2010 at 19:46 #

      Thanks Jen! I think that growing up they probably had a few moments where they wondered if I was wonderful….

  7. Gourmantic March 5, 2010 at 18:03 #

    This post has just the right dose of nostalgia to give me a lump in the throat. But I had to laugh at the ridiculously cold weather statement. Just give me beach weather every day and I’m happy.

    And I say Tim Tam marketing is evil for supplying them in packs of 11 and not 12! Who wants to split that last one?!

  8. My Man's Belly March 5, 2010 at 19:32 #

    Awesome post Mardi. Been back from Oz for 2 weeks now and have finished a pack of original Tim Tams and a pack of the cherry Tim Tams – love those and Cherry Ripes.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 5, 2010 at 19:45 #

      Funny – I just got back from a trip to Target – I am in Minneapolis – with some Tim Tams! Excited to find them and they were even on sale!

  9. Pam M March 5, 2010 at 20:56 #

    Thanks Mardi, for all the sweet things you said. Miss you too. Looking forward soooooo much to summer ( your summer ).
    P.xx

  10. Cat March 5, 2010 at 23:44 #

    what a lovely tribute to your mom and her inspiration! i too wish i had paid more attention when my mom was in the kitchen. as she’s gone now, i treasure her recipes, especially the ones with the little handwritten notes in the margins and the little food splatters on the cards.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 6, 2010 at 06:22 #

      I have a file of recipes like that too which I swore I would organise, you know, like 15 years ago. It’s not organised and some of them are very faded but they are still my standby tried and true recipes!

  11. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella March 6, 2010 at 01:47 #

    Hehe don’t worry we won’t take away your citizenship :P Your mum is suhc a star, those dishes sound amazing as does the tartiflette brûlée!

  12. Geoff March 6, 2010 at 02:47 #

    Yeah well, what can I say – it’s like eating in a restaurant most nights. Very privileged, very well fed, very lucky.
    Geoff (or Dad to Mardi)

  13. penny aka jeroxie March 6, 2010 at 06:15 #

    Can understand totally how you feel. I have been away for over 10 years too….

  14. Mr. Neil March 6, 2010 at 10:50 #

    I always thought I was Mardi’s inspiration……

  15. Tami March 7, 2010 at 17:19 #

    Mardi, don’t give Arnotts any more ideas. They think we haven’t noticed that their yummo flavours like honeycomb, black forest, chewy caramel, etc. have already reduced to packs of 8 and 9!!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 7, 2010 at 18:20 #

      WHAT! Bad enough that they are tampering with the excellentness that is the original, but putting LESS in the packet??? A sin.

  16. Mr. P March 7, 2010 at 18:00 #

    OMG, tartiflette. Que j’adore!

  17. Lori Lynn March 8, 2010 at 10:37 #

    Very sweet Mardi.
    When is mum starting her food blog?
    LL

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 8, 2010 at 10:40 #

      Haha! Well she is getting much better at photography and I am sure she will help me write some posts through our California road trip this coming summer!

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