Monday, June 7, 2010

Beer, and Behind the Scenes

It's Sunday evening, the night before we begin our Australian week.  Australia is both hard and easy.  Their diet is largely Western...burgers, steaks, chips, cookies, etc...  But...just a little bit off so that it's HARD to find the right ingredient or recipe.  Smoked sausages -- here we just get a pack of Johnsonville Brats or something...but we read things about lamb and mutton being in the sausages.  Yeah, we're not going to find that at the local Meijer's.

And there's the British influence on the Australian menu.  Essentially, it seems like Australia started with the Aboriginal people's diet of kangaroo, grubs and indigenous plants...which was shoved aside for a British invasion of treacle, puddings, tea-time, mutton and meat pies...which has in recent years been melded with Asian, Mediterranean and, well, everyone else's culture.

We wanted to find a real Australian beer, too -- not only for beer-battered fish, but because...well...we at the Eating Like The World offices just like beer.  If we're to believe the TV ads, Foster's lager is Australian beer.  Right.  A little bit of research shows that Victoria Bitter is THE beer of Australia...and it's available in exactly one bar in the United States...in San Francisco...and they don't ship.  Luckily, I visit a college town every other week and was able to find some Cooper's ale, and hopefully it doesn't taste too much like the average mass-market swill.



The Eating Like The World Kitchens


The above photo is of the Eating Like The World kitchens in an ultra-rare clean state.  I wanted to show my loyal reader(s) that they don't need any kind of special setup to do what we're doing, or anything adventurous in the kitchen, really.  This is it, the standard kitchen of a spec-built house circa 2004.  There's no granite countertops, or stainless-steel anything, and certainly no Jenn-Air or Viking ranges.  Nope, standard stove and fridge bought at the local discount appliance store.  Microwave that came with the house...built in 1996, according to a sticker on it.

We do have a nice set of Anolon pots that my dad got Angel for Christmas a couple of years ago, and they're a welcome replacement for the mix'n match set of Kmart pots and 10-year-old T-Fal that we'd peeled most of the Teflon out of, even if I do have to wash them by hand every evening.  But you know what?  Angel still cooked food that tasted as good in the old, crappy pots.  The rest of our utensils were bought at dollar stores and discount outlets -- we don't have expensive cutlery, or boutique measuring cups, or...well, anything. I think we still have the toaster we got for our wedding, 13 years ago this August.

What I'm saying is that you don't need the total Emeril, Alton Brown, or All-Clad kitchen to be able to make original, good-tasting food.  If you have an itch to do something like we're doing...don't say "I can't, because I don't have the stuff to cook real food."  Just do it.  Your kids will thank you.  Well, our kids don't...their attitude is more like open rebellion...but I'm sure your kids would be different.

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