Thursday, 26 September 2013

Tastes like home

Remember how I mentioned that food is one of the things that make me feel home-sick? 

Mum told me she made bagels the other day, and I immediately wanted to be lying on the floor with her in the bright red kitchen like we did at Christmas. Thing is, I don't think I've ever even had a bagel, but the fact that mum made them linked them to home. So, I've been googling bagel recipes and think it may be the perfect way to use up excess flour. 
But while that is on the horizon, I thought I'd share today two things that I have baked A LOT that kind of sort of remind me of home. 

1. Biscotti 
I am a huge fan of rusks, and mum was hardly ever surprised when I visited and the rusks would disappear faster than usual. Ouma Rusks are the 'quintessential South African Rusk' and they are pretty great. I miss them. However, Cape Cookies has almond and honey rusks, and chocolate and cherry rusks, so I might even miss them more.
Ouma rusks

Here, there's nothing on the shelves that is comparable to rusks, which has lead me to discover this biscotti recipe from a recipe book sent to me by my lovely in-laws for my birthday. I'm not sure what the great-biscotti-laws are, and I may be 'ruining' them, but ignorance is bliss, thanks!
I love these biscotti things, and although I haven't tried making them chocolate and cherry, I have made them almond and honey which was delicious. But mostly I make them look healthy by adding raisins ;)


These don't usually last too long, but definitely make me feel at home.

2. Milk tart 
I don't even know how many times I've made milktart in the last 4 months. The funny thing is that in South Africa I probably only made milktart once? And I can't remember mum making it either, actually. Malcolm isn't complaining though, seeing as this is one of his favourites and I think it reminds him of tea-time at his grandparents house. His gran would often have made milktart despite our insistence that she needn't. I never left their home hungry! But, when trying to be proudly South African, this has become my go-to, though sometimes I add rooibos tea for an extra SA-kick ;)
Anyway, today I think I've probably made the best milktart yet, thanks to my discovery of pudding with 'sahne gesmack' which makes it less custardy and more milky. I'll be sad to say goodbye to it tomorrow as Malcolm takes it to the CDC for their farewell party! (that's why it's in a cake tin, makes it easier to carry on public transport...)


I defintitely feel like a patriotic wife when I make either of these things! 
There are also Christmas cookies on the shelves now, and although I'll probably be tired of them by Christmas, I'm so excited because they remind me of the parcels we used to receive from relatives over here when I was small. And they're delicious. 
As you can see, we're pretty well covered for comfort food, and we're finding ourselves missing the aisles of Pic n' Pay a little less these day. 
But not home-cooking, that I still miss. 

This also explains my weight that has been fluctuating within 5kgs. Hardly surprising, seeing as I used to dance just about every day and there's been a huge change in our lives and little routine at all. And I comfort-eat for sure. (and actually I don't mind so much, seeing as I'm not prancing around in a leotard for the first time in a while, it's quite liberating having this period where I'm NOT scrutinising myself. But I can't wait to dance again!!! EEEEKKK!!!)  
But, hoping that once we're in Marburg things will settle down. 

Have I made you hungry? What's the kind of food that makes you miss home, or that makes you feel patriotic? 

30 comments:

  1. I think for me, a Victoria sponge. It reminds me of my Mum making this for Sunday tea. Our Italian friends make me laugh. When we go to Italy, some friends and neighbours view British food (or essentially any food outside of Italy) with suspicion. However, one couple we are friends with, love British things. I am making this for them at Christmas! xx

    Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

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    1. Sounds like the perfect English cake to me! I have a recipe book with a 'Victorian Sponge' on the cover but I don't feel qualified to make it, and if I do, I certainly need cake forks and a tea set with pretty flowers on it! :) It's so interesting that they are suspicious of different foods, but I guess it's understandable!

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  2. I hope nobody thinks lying on the kitchen floor at Christmas is part of our tradition!! :) Miss those moments too. Your melktert looks super yummy.

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    1. Haha... isn't it? The other day I saw a photo of me in the kitchen and I was sort of confused for a moment trying to place it, the red is still a surprise when I see it! :)
      Miss you!!! <3

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  3. Next to family, food is also the thing I've missed. That's lessened some as we've lived over here for as long as we have and doing more cooking from scratch. Things that I thought I craved were a bit of a let down when we went to the US last year, but there are restaurants that I definitely miss and crave!! And yes, I'm definitely hungry now! ;)

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    1. I agree that cooking from scratch lessens it - it's not really super-market food that I miss as much as home-cooked stuff which I can then make myself, which is great. I guess it's easy though to amplify how great something is when it's inaccessible, so let-downs are inevitable!

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  4. I live 20 minutes from my parents house where I grew up.. and I STILL always get home sick. Food makes me home sick too. I miss a good home cooked meal. My Dad is the best cook. I wish I could cook like him! This post was nice to read today. Made me feel nostalgic of my childhood! =)

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    1. I'm pretty envious right now that you live so close to them! Home cooked meals are the best, I agree! It really is so special when Malcolm cooks for us because then I get the 'home-cooked-meal feeling' without having to cook it myself!

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  5. The milk tart looks delicious!
    http://liveitinerantly.com

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  6. These look tasty! I've never had either one, but I'd be interested in the recipe :)

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    1. I'm glad you agree! :D milktart is SO simple to make, and maybe I'll post the recipe here, but it's online too if you want :)

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  7. Those look really good! I'm definitely wanting to make bagels (and both these other recipes!) now. ;-)

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    1. Bagels have been on my mind WAY too much...

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  8. It amazes me how good food can remind a person of home and happy times. For me I always feel back in New England with a good apple pie, a pot roast, lobster roll, or my favorite bad health indulgence - poutine.

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    1. Oh yes! Apple pie and pot roast are so delicious! Lobster roll I have no idea about, and poutine? What is that? :)

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  9. You have most definitely made me hungry!! Biscotti is one of my favorites- the flavor is unbelievable! Whenever I'm feeling patriotic, I usually gravitate towards McDonald's as funny as that sounds...when I was studying abroad in London, that was my go to comfort food whenever I missed America. Whenever I missed home, I always dished on some paneer curry haha!

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    1. Mission accomplished ;) I do love biscotti, though I think I've murdered the recipe so badly by now I'm not sure if it's even allowed to be called that ;)
      You're fortunate that McD's is just about everywhere, easy to find! McFlurries definitely hold some memories of home for me and are always great!!!
      I guess the curry you had to make yourself though?

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  10. The milk tart looks so good! I love lemon tarts and creamy tarts, so I should try making that.

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    1. It's so good, you won't be disappointed! Thanks for coming by and reading!

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  11. Yum! I love making Tex-Mex, particularly tacos, chile con queso, and King Ranch Chicken Casserole, for my friends in Germany. Every time I am home I am sure to bring back all the necessities.

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    1. Those all sound amazing! Can't you get the ingredients here? I've noticed after having curry-wurst for the first time yesterday that it seems like Germans aren't into spice much so it must be quite a treat when you make it!

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  12. erica, the biscotti and milk tart make me want to come hang out in YOUR kitchen. sounds so good and delicious and perfect for snacking on during long conversations/craft projects/movies/all times :)

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    1. aw you're so sweet! I certainly agree - sweet stuff is perfect for any occassion ;) :D

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  13. Mmmm, that milk tart looks delicious! I've never had one before.
    I think the foods I miss most are roast dinners and English breakfasts! So bad but so, so good!

    Kate | Diaries of an Essex Girl

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    1. Ooh when I think of "English food" I really do think of the breakfasts and roasts!

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  14. I've never had either of those to eat! What makes me homesick is Indian food! There really is no American food that I am strongly attached to.

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    1. I guess a lot of american food is too ubiquitous to miss ;) Which, when it comes to peanut butter, I'm really glad about!

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  15. I can't believe I 've lived in the US for almost a year and haven't yet made milktart!! It's on my to do list for sure... do you have a go to recipe?
    I did however make soet koekies for Christmas last year and was just thinking the other day that the weather is starting to call for more of that and rooibos tea! It's time...

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    1. Oh dear! To be honest it was never really my favourite thing, but now I really like it because it is so simple to make and if it goes a little wrong it's ok because people don't always know how it should be ;) Yep, there's a recipe I usually use, would you like it?
      Soet koekies are so good! I used to bake German cookies for Christmas, but I'm thinking that's kinda pointless now because they're available so easily!

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