Tuesday, December 13, 2011

She brings a smile to his face

Gwenyth and I are engaging in volumes of correspondence about her needs for the Christmas cooking.  She is a woman of determination and single mindedness - and is a sailor which gives her a particular edge over most of humanity in that she is accustomed to engaging in death defying feats which would be considered insanity by most of us.

Anyway she has in mind that she will cook a number of Australian delicacies for Christmas. These will include Anzac Cookies, Lamingtons and of course – the previously discussed Pavlova - and I have been foraging for local ingredients to meet the precise needs of these traditional recipes - plus her particular recipe for Turkey stuffing. With not much success.

Well – as you can imagine – food as subtle and delicate as these Antipodean delights require the very best ingredients. Just as La Tour d’Argent requires the finest Ducks in the land – Australian native cooking requires genuine Australian ingredients to bring out the best flavours.

There are a few items that have caused us difficulties – and I must admit this is probably because of my lack of knowledge of local conditions.

Gwenyth needs clementines and up until she told me she needed clementines I had never heard the word before. So I asked Cate and she said she had never seen a clementine in Vienna  and I conveyed this to Gwenyth who said OK we will use Limes.

Lo and Behold I went to Spar yesterday and there is a big basket of clementines! Starve the lizards!

She also needs Copha which I know does not exist here (It being uniquely Australian) and there is nothing like it in my shitty little Spar but Merisi tells me something like it is available and she has given me some brand names so that I can find it.

But Gwenyth tells me she is bringing Copha anyway because there is nothing quite like it.

And passionfruit? Surely they have it in Vienna but I cannot remember seeing it – ever. But Gwenyth has some in a can. She has a boatload of other stuff for us as well.

Each time Gwenyth comes she brings a black sports bag full of stuff for us. It is her intention to leave it with us. What usually happens is that she visits Robertino the shoe man in the Wollzeile. She says she does not have time to buy shoes in Sydney.

Once she bought seven pairs of shoes. He knows her. He loves her. As you can imagine – she brings a smile to his face. 


  1. Badger,
    you really leave in a bad neighbourhood,
    sorry to say that.
    100% genuine cocos fat,
    clementimes, mandarines,
    tangerines, passion fruit,
    papaya, kiwi (!),
    last minute chicken breasts
    on a Saturday evening -
    all yours, where I live.
    When are you finally moving? ;-)

  2. "live" not "leave" - Freudian slip, methinks. ;-)

  3. Since the state of Kansas is nearby, and it is part of the Wizard of Oz tale, I will see if I can find something unique from Kansas for my Christmas dinner. My mother lived in Wichita for a while and my step siblings are still there as well, so then I can have an "Oz-Tale-ian" dinner.

  4. I was wanting to use Oz-Trail-ian which sounds closer to Australian, but decided to go with the Tale instead.

  5. Hope that you can find dessicated coconut for the lamingtons.

  6. I am certainly hoping for food pictures, this is getting better everytime you post.

  7. @ nzm:
    Of course, there is dessicated coconut here in Vienna!
    Alas, poor Badger lives in a bad neighbourhood, and it is quite possible that he won't find a shred of it at his not-so-super market.

    I might just go ahead and rent a truck and dump a load of dried flakes of shredded coconut meat at his doorsteps. White Christmas of the other kind. ;-)

  8. Merisi: Well I can't see any of that stuff in my Spar. I will have to go looking elsewhere.

    esb: You could try a roasted Bunyip - but they are hard to catch.

    nzm: Apparently I just have to visit Merisi's local shop!

  9. Badger: you should only go to Merisi's local shop if she can guarantee that you can find dessicated coconut. ;.)

    (Or it may be simpler to get Gwenyth to bring some with her in that huge sports bag!)

  10. This post clearly proves that Australia evolved quite separately from the rest of the world.

    I'd send you something from Oklahoma, but fried pork rinds and 'dip' might make lousy stuffing.

  11. Our local version of the bunyip is the jackalope. Several restaurants in our region have taxidermied heads of a huge variety of animals, usually wild game. My favorite is the jackalope, I believe they have one at The Salt Grass steakhouse in Amarillo. I will try to get a picture of one for you, but it may be after the New Year before we go there again.

    WordVeri: ocurshin - the bad words you say after hitting your shin.

  12. I am not Romney, so I won't wager $10,000. However, I'll decorate Badger's Christmas tree if there is no desiccated shredded coconut at my local SPAR. And while you are here, I'll invite to a cup of coffee Melange at Café Dommayer. People around here really know how to live (we even have dozens of mallard ducks at the local pond in Schönbrunn Park!). *dah*

  13. I could mail you some freshly opened up wet coconut that I put in a box with plenty of dessicant, and then by the time it makes it to Wien, it will be dried out. You may have to flake it to the desired consistency.

  14. If the postal system was better I could maybe post you some things - the dessicated coconut would be even more dessicated but I think that once dessicated, maybe it won't dessicate any more ????
    Sounds like you are in for a great time !!!

  15. nzm: I am hot on the trail

    SK Waller: Look at the Kangaroo

    esb: I bet they taste the same

    Merisi: A safe bet

    Me: I just wish I did not have to cook and could just watch (I think a glass of two of white wine might be needed)