Continuing our culinary journey through the eyes of others here is Tim Hand’s light hearted look back at 60’s food. Fortunately, for his family, Tim’s tastes have moved with the times.
My lack of culinary skill can be clearly sheeted home to my mother. Don’t get me wrong she was a good cook; a good ‘60’s master of the Women’s Weekly recipe selection courtesy of whatever packaged food company was paying for their column inches that month.
Most meals of course were still meat and three vegies. Mum wanted to prove she was a good housewife (something of a badge of pride for any country mum then), by ensuring our meals were balanced; even the veg was colour balanced red/greens/yellows and the occasional white (cauliflower-au-gratin).
And as any good housewife knew the best veg was either out of a tin or if one could afford- a frozen packet. The only exception was the potato which was lovingly handcrafted and fashioned into mash or come Friday night Chips! But IXL, Rosella, Edgells and Birds Eye were staple sources of all things our growing bodies needed (look at me now). Then there was the frozen fish finger or battered SPAM…
Desert was equally inspired usually Ice cream, originally made by mum, but with increasing affluence and freezer capacity bought from the corner store. Again this would be accompanied by either canned fruit, jelly or Junket (yes Junket that forgotten comfort food for any ailing kid).
To be fair though she did a cracker baked Dinner. After an abusive school cadets session each Monday arvo, all I could do was stand in the face of the sadistic duty sergeant and think of that beautiful lamb and mint sauce with crispy spuds I’ve long since given up trying to replicate.
Then there was the (very) occasional take away from Joe’s Bamboo bar (remember this was a country town), either sweet and sour pork or fish & chips – a good Chinese could always offer ‘Australian’ meals.
Ah how much my kids have missed out on growing up in a decade where food has become an art form crafted from fresh ingredients and possibly even executed by the Miele loving father.
PS: happy to share any of the finer points of ‘60’s culinary abuse over a local Chinese, washed down with a fine Porphyry Pearl- cheers.
Tim Hand, 2016
Hand Out –Social media strategist