My friend Kira and I have known each for quite a few years, but as is so often the case, we don’t have the opportunity to get together much anymore, due to both of us having super busy, super hectic schedules. I know we are not alone. This is a common tale between friends and relatives all over. However, yesterday, we actually did get a chance to enjoy some good quality time together, catching up over a fantastic homemade lunch Kira prepared for us. She knows I am half Aussie, so she surprised me with a very authentic Aussie lunch that was fabulous. She made some delicious, very light and flaky traditional meat pies or “pasties” as they are called down under, as well as some wonderful carrot, pumpkin and apple soup, with ANZAC cookies and custard for dessert. We were so busy talking and catching up though, that we completely forgot about the cookies. That was perfect OK though. I ate so much of everything else, and I was really very full at the end of the meal, so I would not have had room for the cookies anyway. They will just have to wait until next time. All she wanted me to bring was an Australian wine. The Aussies make many varietals of delicious wines, but they are really known for their wonderful Shiraz or Syrahs, as we call them here in the US. We talked about this and that and everything under the sun, and in what seems like a blink of an eye, it was time to leave and call it a day. Once again, both of us had places to go and things to do.
ANZAC is an acronym for the Australian New Zealand Army Corp, originally devised to honor all those from both Australia and New Zealand who fought and died in the Gallipoli Campaign during WWI, between 1914-1918. Today, it honors all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacemaking operations” and “the suffering of all those who served”. My dad lost quite a few uncles in the Gallipoli campaign. He himself was an enlisted man in the Australian Army, and served in North Africa during WWII. Last time he went to Australia, many years ago, he was honored and invited to march in the ANZAC parade as well.
Kira proudly displaying both her culinary and entertaining skills.
Pasties are traditionally served with tomato sauce (pronounced toemawtoe). Here we would use ketchup, but neither of us are big ketchup fans, so we decided to forego the sauce.
The fabulous soup.
And for dessert, the custard.
All of these wonderful recipes were created in Kira’s new kitchen toy, her Thermomix (I think that is the name). These are very popular cooking machines all throughout Europe and Australia, and are just now becoming available her in the United States.
Kira, thank you for a fabulous lunch and a very long over-due and enjoyable visit. Until next time, au revoir mon amie, aur revoir.