Well, I thought it was time to do a blog about me, so you could get to know a little bit about the blogger! I am pretty new to this blogging business, but really I have been blogging about food all my life, just now on the internet! I seem to be the go to person in my friend circle if anyone needs to know anything about food and I am always sending text messages of advice about food and recipes. If I don’t know I will find out, but usually I will have some idea!
At 17 I chose to pursue my love of singing, instead of taking the apprenticeship at the Brisbane Hilton, thinking I could always come back to it after, but fortunately my love of food has continued to grow and evolve while I was teaching singing and being a performer. My love of food overflowed to my singing students as I tried to teach them that what you put in your body affects the way you sing. Julia (who took over my job) Check out Her amazing New EP, HERE! has an incredible love of food as well and is passionate about good healthy eating, so in a way I think that without me realising it, my love for good food and my passion for singing went hand in hand!
Lets start from the beginning with a few of my very first food memories. I remember the first time food was fun, sitting down with my nana before Christmas and making rum balls, and not being able to lick my hands till the end. I still remember reading out the recipe and nana going, oh that’s not enough rum, I think it needs a little bit more Elizabeth (It was always OP Bundaberg Rum and I still always put a little bit more in). I remember my Pop teaching me how to carve the ham and the first Christmas that he was unable to do it because of his Parkinson’s. I remember my Pop telling me about the war and about how when he was in Changi he had a crate of meat that was maggoty, so he just put it in a big pot and cooked it all up because the maggots were good protein too and the men needed everything they could get because they were dying of starvation!
I remember the very first time I learnt something about where my food really came from and I killed a chicken on my Aunties farm! We got up really early (before the flies) and killed the meat birds that Jen had ready. We plucked them and gutted them and got them ready for the freezer, then sat down to what can only be described as the most heavenly chicken livers, hearts and kidney’s fried in butter and served on toast (I was only about 10). I learnt that day, there is something so very satisfying about growing your own food. This has stayed with me to this day, so I honestly have to thank my wonderful Aunty Jen for this revelation that has undergirded my food life.
I remember the first time I cooked for a group of people. There were 7 of us on holidays at Jen’s and I cooked lunch, I still remember Jen yelling at me, “Elizabeth, don’t bloody boil the S#@t out of the eggs like that, just simmer them and stir as you go and the yokes with be perfect and in the middle of the egg.” Great tip which I still do today!
I remember making dough boys (basically damper wrapped around a stick) and cooking them over a campfire, and when they were ready, taking them off the stick and filling the hole with butter and honey. When you eat it the honey and butter drips down your hand, but there really is nothing better!
I remember the first dinner I cooked for mum and dad, it was a roast chicken (I think I was 12), I’m so glad I didn’t have to clean up after! I remember many afternoons making cheese platters and dips with the Trembaths so they could sit and have a drink on the “Great Wall of Tom” (dad’s fence that took 2 years to complete) I must say it was a sad day for me when the fence was finished because I really enjoyed putting those platters together of a weekend afternoon!
I remember making my very first covered fruit cake at school in cooking and as I got it down from the top shelf, Sonya (My BFF) bumped me and I put my thumb through it! It wasn’t funny at the time, but it is now and I managed to fix it with beautiful flowers and still top the class!
I remember at University that our house, was always the place to go if you needed a feed because Liz could make something yummy even on a student budget! Living in that house with Linda and finding out that she loved lamb’s fry and bacon as much as I did and it was even better on a piece of buttered bread with mashed potato for breakfast in the morning.
I remember Ballyshannon! (enough said)
I remember eating the very first tomato I grew warm straight off the vine along with the very first Basil I grew and it was like heaven in my mouth.
I remember every meal I made for every boy I liked, hoping that there was some truth in the saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach (I’m still single so it can’t be true).
I remember when food WAS my enemy, my crutch, my evil, my comfort!
I remember making food for my SCA family, the dinner parties, the Christmas parties, the BBQ’s, the birthdays, the wine… lots of wine, the special occasions… (I’m getting very teary now) I remember YUM CHA and Chicken Feet!
I remember arriving at Jeff and Julie’s with a few boxes of produce. Jeff let me in then went into his studio to do some work. When he came out a couple of hours later, all the food was ready! I remember him being in awe of the spread that only a few hours earlier had been in a couple of boxes. It always makes me happy to create fresh food for people I love!
I remember when Jeff and Julie made a birthday dinner for ME with some of my very special friends!
I remember 3rd year Breakfast/Lunch’s at Hendo’s then at the Bedoukian’s!
I remember the very best home made Pizza parties at Linda’s always with slides and how her home is always open and my 30ish birthday party where all my friends came together and the drinks were in the wheelbarrow.
I remember Snow Camp, cooking for 40 people for 7 days at Falls Creek!
I remember organising rosters and making food for people in grief… it is amazing how the one act of making a meal for a person that is in so much pain can help in such an unfathomable way… but some times it’s the only thing you can do because words just don’t cut it!
I remember travelling to friends houses for holidays and taking over their kitchens and leaving with their freezers full and their Tupperware cupboards and pantries organised. I remember movie marathons and all the food that goes with those two words!
I remember on the day of my 40th birthday having a tasting plate at the Opera bar with Annie before we went to see Sting live at the Opera House. Best Birthday Present EVER!
Honestly I don’t know anyone who is as thoughtful as Annie when it comes to giving, she always searches out the very best and perfect gift for everyone she loves. So for my 40th she combined food and music! I think I cried through most of Sting’s concert because it was so amazing!
Another birthday lunch with Annie I remember having cheese soufflé for the first time and I cried… Annie laughed at me because I was crying, but I’ve always been emotional when it comes to food.
I remember cooking meals for a year for the most wonderful family that took me in and loved me through some very difficult times in my life. I remember cups of teas and shopping lists on a saturday morning. I remember high teas and birthday dinners and desserts. I remember Butter Chicken Parties, Sushi Dinners and Crispy Chicken Tacos. I remember completing my long lost search for The Best Chocolate Caramel Slice. I remember Harry Potter!
I loved having college students over for dinner and giving them a great feed when they were so poor. I remember loving cooking and cleaning for 4 boys for a month while they were homeless and looking for a place to live. I remember the first time a shared my secret family recipe with someone who I wasn’t related to, but was family!
I remember decadent dessert, the first time I tried it in Hervey Bay I thought my mouth was going to explode from joy!
I remember every amazing food experience in my life and how it has shaped who I am as a person.
I remember Joan’s Christmas Eve Birthday Parties and the one that Janelle and I had to carry our Nana to bed. I remember cooking all the food for my nana’s wake. 🙁
I remember that at Christmas in our family we always make everything from scratch (I come from a long line of great cooks) with most of the produce coming from someones garden, including the chickens and ducks. I managed to not cook at Christmas for years, but Jen (who usually did most of the cooking) figured out that I could really cook and put me in charge of organising and cooking for Christmas. It happened about 7 years ago when she saw me cook a roast dinner for 12 people without breaking a sweat! I saw the exact moment it happened in her eyes and I thought ah well, that’s it for me now, I got a phone call about 2 weeks later! :)))
I remember the degustation dinner at what was then Rockpool in Sydney (2004) that transformed the way I thought about food!
Kylie Kwong cooking dinner for Mum and I at Billy Kwongs and tasting her Crispy Skinned Duck with citrus sauce for the very first time!
Honestly I don’t know what to say about this restaurant??? I remember every mouth full like it was yesterday and I think I must still dream about some of the dishes that we ate because I wake up with taste sensations in my mouth and thinking about the (not enough superlatives) food!
High Tea at the Opera house at Gullaume’s with its beautifully presented food combined with a stunning afternoon of singing and a spectacular view.
I remember cooking to get into Masterchef and never being more nervous to make food for someone in my whole entire life (got through to the round before TV, they already had another single 40 year old).
Singing and cooking kangaroo with Maggie Beer on the celebrity stage at the Brisbane Good Food and Wine Festival.
Even right up to my birthday this year with lunch at The Fishhouse in Burleigh on the Gold Coast, where I tasted a raw scollop with fennel pollen that changed my world and the best tartare sauce on the face of the planet (I dare you to try it and say you have tasted better).
I even have a list of restaurants that I want to try before I die (I’m so waiting for The Fat Duck in Melbourne) as there is so much food and not enough time. 🙂
Thank you to all the wonderful people who have been a part of my food journey so far… You know who you are and which stories you were a part of! I look forward to many more and also making new foodie friends online!
So most of my best and most wonderful memories are linked with food. I hope now you understand why there is always a story that goes along with every recipe I post, because someone I love has eaten it and enjoyed it and helped me to make it better, ALWAYS!
I have also realised that I have been taking photos of my food long before it was fashionable to do so, as some of these photos are before 2007 🙂
Thank you for reading and getting a little more insight into why I love food!