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Advance Australia Fare

This Apron Strings contest submission comes from Jennifer Beer who reminisces about her Dad’s taste for Australian fare that has forged a place in her heart for blood pudding and kippers. Be sure to check out the rest of the Apron Strings contest submissions and rate them. The lucky winners will receive gift certificates to shop at Fiesta Farms.

 

My dad tended to be the distant sort. When we were growing up, there tended to be a lot of “hush, your father is sleeping” or “hush, your father is reading the paper.” But somehow that made the time we did spend with Dad more precious.

Usually it came in the form of Sunday mornings, when we’d make breakfast in bed for Mum. We had an intercom because their room was fairly distant from the kids’ rooms, and we’d put a pillow over it so we wouldn’t disturb her (it was only years later than she let us know she could still hear every word we said).

Because Dad was Australian, our breakfasts were sometimes a little “different” from what my friends would have… for example, I don’t know many other people with a lifelong love of blood pudding, kippers (both of which I’ve bought at Fiesta Farms), and fried tomatoes for breakfast. But because these were the foods I shared with Dad, they have a special place in my heart and stomach – I have so far failed to pass these loves on to my son, he strangely prefers pancakes and maple syrup.

He did have some more kid-friendly breakfast specialties as well: pikelets (a sort of pancake – or griddlecake, as he would say – but smaller and thicker and puffier), crepes sprinkled with sugar and lemon juice, apple fritters (apple rings dipped in cinnamon sugar, then pancake batter), porridge, and scones.

Usually it was crepes or scones for Mum’s Sunday breakfast in bed; I seem to be the only one in the family who developed a fondness for blood pudding and kippers.

So many memories of him involve his particular tastes: french bread with apricot jam and old cheddar, sardines on toast, beerwurst, buttering the bread before you slice it, marmite, and tea by the gallon.

Seeing as there was not much available in small-town Ontario in the 1970s, he would often bring strange treats home from the city: crusty chewy kaiser rolls from a Swiss bakery, star fruit, passion fruit, all kinds of things we couldn’t get close to home. He used to experiment in the kitchen (I remember the first time we made pesto alla genovese – all that raw garlic was a bit of a shock to the tastebuds), with sometimes mixed results. Like the time he put all of our dry goods into unmarked cannisters, and then made an apple cake, accidentally substituting icing sugar for flour. Or those hamburgers with the chunks of raw onion and bits of not-well-beaten egg (and sometimes even shell).

It’s four years now since he died, and I commemorate his birthday and Australia day every year with a big breakfast fry-up in his honour. I might pick up some blood pudding tonight. I will leave the marmite for someone else to enjoy, though.



Grandpa Bob’s carrot cake

Teva Harrison’s submission to the Apron Strings Contest has me salivating (or is it just close to lunchtime?). Teva calls herself a “rogue chef”–sounds pretty cool. Thanks for the submission. We salute Grandpa Bob! Be sure to check out the rest of the Apron Strings contest submissions and rate them. The lucky winners will receive gift certificates to shop at Fiesta Farms.


I’m the youngest, so it was a long time before I was allowed to help grate the carrots for Grandpa Bob’s famous carrot cake. I remember watching, fascinated, as the carrots turned into lofty grated haystacks.

Grandpa Bob would always let me steal a little piece of pineapple before it went into the batter, and he’d let me clean up the bowl after he made the yummy cream-cheese frosting. The best part, though, was always the first bite. I watched him bake the cake every time, and there was nothing magical about the recipe or the process, nothing to account for its deliciousness.

These days, I hesitate to eat carrot cake, as it’s always a disappointment against the memory of the special ones Grandpa Bob would bake for us when we visited. And sometimes, even though I know that it won’t be the same, I enjoy a slice because it brings me closer to his memory.



Turkey Stuffing Surprise

Love this entry from Toby Collins revealing his dad’s culinary challenges. Have you entered the Apron Strings contest yet?

 

He’s probably be mad at me for bringing this up, but one Thanksgiving dinner he was in charge of preparing the turkey. I guess you can figure out what happened, everyone was horrified to discover he had left the whole bag consisting of gizzard and giblets…oh, yes, he did! LOL



Sunday Mornings with Dad

Lisa Waines submitted this familiar memory of Dad cooking Sunday Brunch for the Apron Strings Father’s Day Contest.Thanks Lisa!  Be sure to check out the rest of the Apron Strings contest submissions and rate them. The lucky winners will receive gift certificates to shop at Fiesta Farms.


 

My Dad loved to cook Sunday morning brunch. It usually consisted of waffles and/or pancakes, bacon, eggs, grated potatoes, onions, carrots fry up. Mom did most of the cooking but Sunday brunch was Dad’s event. So good and fun. He loved to make it and we would spend much time at the table after eating joking and laughing.

Now, whenever I need some cheering up, I cook what my Dad usually did on the Sunday mornings.
Thank you, Dad, for loving us up with good yummy Sunday brunch!!!



Memories I’ll Never Forget

Birthday cakes. Such a simple gesture with such profound impact. Thanks Janett for this important reminder as part of the Apron Strings contest. Have you entered yet? Be sure to check out the rest of the Apron Strings contest submissions and rate them. The lucky winners will receive gift certificates to shop at Fiesta Farms.


When I was younger my dad and I always cooked and baked together. my favourite thing we did together was baking birthday cakes. We made everyone in our family a birthday cake every year. We had our secret ingridients and ways of doing things. It was especially important to me because my dad was paralized from the arm pits down and even though it was difficult for him to use his hands he still taught me a incrediable gift that i use to this day. My dad passed away at home 2 days before chirstmas when I was 16.