We had a gathering of the clan last weekend to celebrate a lifetime of memories at my wife’s family home.
It was a wonderful occasion where close family had the chance to relive and reconnect in one of the most welcoming homes I know.
If only the walls could talk. It has been the central family connection for nearly 60 years. There have been births, deaths, engagements, marriages, business meetings, lunches, dinners and gatherings for family and friends. It is one of those homes where the front door is always open and upon entering via the most beautiful garden, you sing “yoo-hoo,
anyone home?” knowing full well there is. You inevitably head straight to the kitchen for a cup of tea and a conversation.
Now this discussion could be about politics, art, science, friendships, children, school, university, business and sometimes even a little gossip. Ideas are thrown about and opinions sometimes even hurled straight at you. Words I will always cherish
and none more so than an eloquent speech given by my mother-in-law yesterday. In thanking all who attended, she made special mention of her children and how they had cared for her; an oblique reference but one which will stay with the family forever.
Given my occupation, I was often helping with the provision of food. On the weekend, however, we decided to use Sarah Roe’s catering service, and in particular her “Boxed Bites” menu. I am often asked to recommend a caterer and my go to endorsement is Sarah and her team. Based in Ocean Grove, she is offering a comprehensive range of finger food, cakes, salads and ready to eat meals.
Our idea was to order some finger food and cakes appropriate for a garden party buffet. It worked perfectly with people appreciating the look and taste of an elegant afternoon tea served with a minimum of fuss. They also liked the idea of taking home a little slice of their favourite cake for dessert. Thanks again to Sarah who can be found at sarahroecatering.com.au.
My father-in-law hosted many business functions at the family home and in the early 70s was at the vanguard of creating new relationships with mainland China as it began reconnecting to the West.
We have all possibly heard stories of Australian business delegations attending grand banquets in China where rather
unusual offal dishes are presented. The hosts beaming with pride as their offering
is served and the guests secretly praying not to be told which unusual body part of the animal they are eating. It does, however, occur in reverse.
Spare a thought for the Chinese delegation that arrived in Melbourne to be greeted by roast lamb with all the trimmings. A highly prized meal in our society at the time, but one which the Chinese palate thought thoroughly abhorrent. Times change and thankfully so have our acceptance of different cuisines. Following is Ottolenghi’s recipe for cauliflower cheese – an Israeli twist on an English classic to be served in any Australian home.