We keep running out of food. Seriously.
This isn’t a plea for community donations. Just an observation of something that we hadn’t really prepared for in our move to Australia.
The thing is, when you live in one place for a long time, or move short distances from home to home, you take all of your stuff with you – those jars of spices that lost their flavour in 1997, that tin of chopped tomatoes with Mexican spices that you can never quite find the right dish for, or that freezer full of extra portions, chicken legs and all the bags of frozen peas that a family accumulates over years of weekly shops.
The CBRbound food cupboard belies the myth that Australia is the land of plenty.
But move to Australia and you have to give or throw all that stuff away, which means you start from scratch with an empty cupboard and freezer and little in the way of food reserves to fall back on.
We noticed it a few weeks ago when some friends came to stay. Those normally reliable additional stocks that help you to feed any descending horde were, well, in this case, not so reliable at all.
That cupboard full of “let me just whip something up” had been whipped away and whisked into thin air. So we ordered pizzas instead.
And when you’re a new arrival, you’re usually on something of a budget, so the idea of shopping for what you need plus a bit for emergency guests is anathema to us at the moment.
So, the big freezer that came with us from Europe remains empty – the tiny top box of our fridge suffices for now. And the pyramid of tinned saviours is more of a cluster. Herbs? I think we have three small jars. Bottles of spirits? Nope. Spare bottles of wine? No such thing.
These are the things you don’t think about when you make the trip down under, the things that take months, even years to remedy.
Back when I was a kid, we had a bottle of advocaat at the back of our drinks cabinet. It was there for years, just in case anyone – particularly at Christmas – fancied an obscure Dutch cocktail. I’m not sure anyone ever did, it just sat there, just in case.
If we had it now, we’d have found a recipe for it, rest assured. Perhaps as a pasta sauce, or a substitute for hollandaise sauce. That’s what it’s come to.
I feel the sudden need to become a member of Costco, buy some things in bulk and see if they can airlift them to Canberra’s northern suburbs. Things are getting so desperate that I’m eyeing that tin of Spam we bought a couple of months back.
“Come in, welcome. We were just about to have some Spam fritters.”
“You can’t stay? Oh.”