Monday, November 22, 2010

Of Milo, Vegemite, Cheerios - and Hummus

All right, mates. At some point you people have to be pulling my German leg.

I'm all good with the Milo. After all, MY people came up with Nutella, the chocolate spread that's a vital part of any nutritious breakfast. (But CANNOT be eaten for dinner, CANNOT be eaten for dinner, something I am still at a loss to understand. Besides, what else was Ryan going to whip up for us as a six year old when I was busy with two newborns?!)

I looked, the first two ingredients in Milo are barley and milk solids (not sugar and vegetable oil like Nutella). Then again BARLEY and milk SOLIDS? Good thing the third ingredient IS sugar!

I was forgiven for the Milo. Bighorse, ''some people have never even tried Vegemite!''

Can YOU imagine?!!!

Now coming from the land of Leberwurst, detesting French pate and no big fan of peanut butter either, I was still game to give Vegemite ago.

Until I tried some of the processed meat. Now I KNOW why bar-be-queing is so big here. And why we drink so much.

I can't even stand the smell of it cooking. I'm putting on a brave face for the kids – because they DO need protein – but I'm snacking on the hummus myself while they're not looking. (Aisles full of hummus and pita bread! Yay me.)

The 'cheerios' aren't too bad. Known as deli hotdogs to the rest of the world. And apparently as ''small boys'' in Western Australia. Never let it be said that the Australians don't have a sense of humor. But it still doesn't particularly make me want to bite into them. I peel off the outer coating for the kids – although I have been assured that you can eat that as well it looks awfully plastic and bright red to me – and am happy that they are easy to cook up. And a source of protein.

The meat here makes me realize that that this was once a British colony.

(Although French meat made me realize why they are the chefs of the world – you need good sauces to swallow it. And a plateload of French fries besides. Lots and lots of ketchup. For the fries of course, for the fries.)

It might be my German snobbishness after all. Bratwurst and Weisswurst and Schweinehaxen. Although I LOVE American beef. All of those growth hormones might not be good for you, but they sure do taste delicious.

Damon reassures me that we just need to learn how to cook it up.

Right-o mate.

In the meantime I am being saved by Australia's migrant culture. (Did you know that Australia was the second-most international country in the world, next to Israel? I didn't. Didn't know Israel was the first either.) INDIAN FOOD! Curry and nan. Hot and spicy. Not Germany hot and spicy but INDIAN hot and spicy. And you don't have to drive forty minutes to find it. I was a little taken aback that the full meal at the mall came with curry, nan and a slushy. Is that some Indian thing I didn't know about, the slushy? No. The Indian guy who ordered behind me was just as confused as I was. ''Don't you have a coke or water or something?'' I'm guessing the owner got the slushy machines for a good price and now feels impelled to use them. I get the chai-tea instead. CHAI TEA. YAY ME!

Damon's been torn between the choice of REAL SANDWICHES, American-style. Or bar-be-que. Or Nando's, out of respect for our South African friends who can't be here with us. Then there's the Chinese – menu in Mandarin and Cantonese as well as in English. The Japanese. Vietnamese. Samoan. So that we can be excused for not sticking to the ''cheerios.''

The twins still prefer McDonald's. Ryan gets Subway. And Andrew goes to KFC.

Tonight we're trying a meat pie though, for the first time.

We'll let you know how that goes. Or if I'm eating hummus again!


  1. Hi

    Milo also goes well on vanilla ice-cream .. just saying you know.

    And I am pretty sure lamb is the meat of choice there :)

    Have fun

  2. Dude, I was and am the hot dog kid, but those things over there were GROSSSSSSSSSS!!!!
    And remember, McDonalds there is called Maccas ... Which is what my Aussie girlfriends lovingly refer to Mackenzie as ;-)
    AND you can (could) get a yummy Sundae real cheap there with a chocolate crisp thing (the name is escaping me right now) ... VERY WORTH IT! I had it many a night returning home from the bars which were open ALLLLLLL night long (college was a blast in Australia!)