While in India at the Little Rann of Kutch we met Australian traveller Myrene and Indian guide Mark. We kept in touch with both of them so when we heard that Mark was coming to Australia for 3 months with his girlfriend, we made sure that we met up again.
As it turned out Mark and girlfriend Ellen stayed with us for 5 nights and Myrene for 2 nights.
Now my old adage is that food is the meaning of life. Whenever we meet people or have visitors the first thing is “Would you like a drink?” or “What would you like to eat?”. Think about every human contact you have and how often food is involved.
So it came as no surprise that food was one of the foci of the visit!
We tested Mark on how much Australian food he had tasted and it turned out that he hadn’t had a pavlova. With only one week left in Australia we put him to work immediately and he cooked a very decent pavlova. The process began in the evening so we weren’t eating it until about 10:30pm but it was well worth the wait!
Not sure how we got on to the topic of windsurfing but Mark mentioned it and I said that I had a windsurfer so a trip was hastily organised to Milang on Lake Alexandrina. It has been a few years since I have used the old girl, a “One Design”, but after the initial hiccup of leaving a vital part home and having to do the trip back to pick it up we were up and away. Using some friends’ shack as a base, Mark quickly got up and moving. We did notice that when he fell in he got back up on the board pretty quickly. When I went out for a surf I quickly realised why! The water was freezing and took my breath away the one time I fell in. I was very pleased to know that I still “have it” and had a few good rides before my hands turned purple with cold.
And back to food again! I had a bet with Mark that there was still some typically Australian food that he hadn’t tried after we ate the pavlova. He didn’t believe me so the penalty for the loser was to cook a requested dish by the winner!
I won! Thanks to Balfours Frog Cakes! So Mark cooked, on my request, a lamb biriyani. It was a good two hour process of chopping and frying and tasting etc but that night we ate the most lip schmackin’, finger lickin’, lamb biriyani I have ever tasted. I took copious notes during the process and so hope to recreate the dish one day when I have a few spare hours and lots of friends around to eat it.
Food again! Mark loved fresh crunchy crusty bakery bread so one morning I got him on to the job of making a fail-proof focaccia from scratch. It turned out so well we ate it hot straight from the oven.
And so to the Frog Cakes. I tracked a supply down at the Adelaide Airport at the “Icons of SA” shop. Managed to get a classic green one and a pink and brown one. So we shared the booty before mark and Ellen flew off to NZ.
On the Balfours website I noticed that you can order special white frog cakes…for weddings no doubt!
So…an amazing week of cultural exchange…and ideas for a return trip to India in the future…maybe Laddakh…or Darjeeling…