Australian + Scottish + Cypriot + Korean + Chinese = Australia Day

Image One of the things I love about multicultural Australia is the abundance of different cuisines, cultures and customs we have around us. I am Australian. It says so on my birth certificate and passport. But being Australian isn’t something I was born with. Many of you will know and many more won’t know that I am adopted.

At four months old I was brought over to this great country from The Republic of South Korea into the arms of a somewhat controversial coupling (even in 1984) of an Australian mother married to my Chinese father.

Today, we are celebrating this day off with a Cypriot lady married to an Australian man, a Cypriot lady (yes, they are sisters) married to a Scottish man, an Australian couple with an adopted Thai son, me and my Mum and Dad. Our Lebanese neighbours popped by and so did our Irish neighbour and her Lebanese husband.

I like to think of us as doing the United Nations proud.

Yes, there is still racism in this great country of many cultures. Fortunately I’ve not experienced enough to even talk about but I know people who have and I’ve read the stories of people who are. I admire Dr Teo for his courage and wisdom in speaking openly about its existence today. It would be a foolish person to think we had overcome this shameful belief that cultures different to ours deserve to be spat on. And we must acknowledge it exists between all cultures, not just the obvious anglo versus ‘ethnic’ in the Cronulla/Brighton-Le-Sands riots sense.

But I did not start this post with the intention of bringing up racism. Instead, I would like to celebrate the value of having such a diverse society. I count many different ethnicities among my friends, and family.

I like to celebrate our differences and embrace the customs we share.

I wonder how people can be so cruel and make such inaccurate assumptions about that which they know little of. And it saddens me.

So let’s celebrate this great nation and it’s cultural melting pot with a curry pie, minted peas, tzatziki and some lycees.


Trivia Night and a Home Made Slice

Last Friday night I went to a trivia night – a school fundraiser for my friend’s little boy – and we had a ball! It’s not my usual Friday night but the company was wonderful, the mood light, the questions varied and the table set with all kinds of yummies each of the guests at our table brought. I was in charge of sweets so, to accompany a n apple walnut Baker’s Delight log and Lindt choccies I whipped up my famous ‘Robyn’s Norfolk Slice’. And it went down a treat if I do say so myself.

The slice is ridiculously easy to make and I’ve posted the recipe on one of my first blogs that has been abandoned but not forgotten – Madame Cuisine it’s called. But here it is again (taken from my MC post) with a new pic from last Friday’s batch which I made at 9.30pm the night before in no time at all:


(Robyn is one of my Mum’s friends who gave us this recipe – it’s never fail and SUPER quick and easy. I like to double the batch for a big one.)


Base: 1 cup plain flour, 1 cup coconut, 1/2 cup sugar, 125 grams melted butter

Topping: your preference of any mix of dried fruit diced or cut in slivers (I like apricots, dates, sultanas) and nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds), 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk


Combine flour, coconut, sugar in a bowl and pour in melted butter.

Press mixture into a greased and lined (with baking paper) slice tin – I use a rectangle smaller baking tray – bake at 180 (or 160 for fan forced) degrees celsius for about 10-15 minutes. When ready it will be slightly golden but not completely cooked and still feeling soft and a bit squishy.

Take out of oven and chuck on your fruit and nut topping evenly; don’t forget the edges! Careful not to burn yourself as I have done in the past!

Drizzle condensed milk over the whole slice. I like to use a spoon or you can just drizzle it from the can. I don’t like to use too much (and I tend to use light for less fatty mc fat fat version) but make sure there is enough so, when you cut it into squares, there is some on each piece.

Return to oven 15-20 minutes until golden on top.

Wait until cool then cut up then share with your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and anyone else who says how clever you are!



Casa Iberica – Spanish Supermarket in Fitzroy

As we’ve been learning Spanish, last weekend mi amiga Khara took me to a Spanish supermercado on Johnston St, Fitzroy. And it is very Spanish with lots of imported yummies from Spain and South America.

They also have a massive stock of herbs, spices, and raw ingredients which is great to know – quinoa, beans, dried herbs, pastes and more. You can also pick up giant paella dishes and smaller more house-friendly sizes, and dishes for cooking on an open flame then serving.

The aromas, sights and tastes were a delight and it was fun to remember the time in spent in Spain … if only I knew some Spanish then, the shopping would have been so much faster!

There was a long queue – we went at around 2pm – but worth waiting for the beed empanada which they heated up for me. I will be going back to stock up on some olives, cheese, hams and other delicious morsels.

Worth checking out.

Costco, Trippy Tacos, Pajama Men, Red Door Antiques, ANZAC biscuits

Last weekend I was blessed with my sister’s company. Alex came to see shows at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and, of course, to see me (reads: use my apartment for free accommodation).

On Saturday morning we kicked off with a trip to Costco and it delighted just as much as I expected it would. Luckily for me, it lived up to the hype I have created about how good it is. Alex indulged in American brand bulk sports socks (which took her over the hand-luggage limit!), velvet non-slip coat-hangers and a huge packet of connector pen textas which we bought for our artfully skilled younger cousin.

That afternoon we headed to Trippy Taco on Smith Street, Collingwood. We shared the Original Trippy Taco and Bean Nachos. Both delicious and we loved the onion table identifier instead of table numbers so the staff could deliver our food. It was also just a short walk from my place, a welcome rest after the big Costco shop.

That night we joined some of my sister’s friends also from Sydney and went to see the Pajama Men – Shenoah Allen and Mark who brought to spectrum of different characters to life in their sketch comedy piece that was high energy, sophisticated, hilarious, intense and just downright clever. It’s a must see if you get the chance (I think they are in Sydney at the Opera House next). We met the boys outside the Melbourne Town Hall – my sister and her friends from past MICFs where they have performed as The Delusionists. They were delightful, down to earth, appreciative of the audience and perhaps trying to pick up my sister….

On Sunday we went to Red Door Antiques for Yum Cha with some of my lovely Melbourne friends. The shop is decked out with antique furniture and stunning handcrafted pieces. We shared a mix of dumplings, pork and chicken buns, spare ribs, green tea ice cream and custard buns, washed down with Jasmine tea. The food is beautiful and the quality reflects the pricey pieces. Each dish is slow to emerge from the kitchen as we (I) was losing my patience, especially when only a third of our order had come out and they asked if we were going to order anything else…

It is not your typical yum cha where the food is fast and plentiful so I don’t recommend this place if you are ravenous and want the onslaught of food. But I would recommend this place for somewhere quirky, quiet, quaint, amusing and high-end; a long lunch of yum cha dishes.

Last night Alex saw a few more shows and hit a few more bars while I played housewife cooking a minestrone and baking ANZAC biscuits which I packed for her 6:50am flight and brought to the parkyoung/The Ledbetter Agency office today. All enjoyed. All gone!