In the 1970s, my very best girlfriend was a lass I had worked with for years, and one of the things I liked about her was that she was just as quirky as me, if not more. We shared a love of food and our lunchtimes turned into 'hunt and gather' adventures of sorts, that included walking miles for whatever flavours took our fancy that day.
Sometimes we'd line up for Italian and she would order lasagne, which she always said (loudly) as 'lasarnee' for reasons that still remain a mystery to me. Other days, we'd pick up curried chicken and rice from Chicken Gourmet (which is still on City Walk and, despite the fact that their web site says they've 'been proudly serving Canberra since the 1980s', I can say here without an ounce of doubt that this store was trading in the late 1970s... I know this because I was a very regular customer). Anyway, I digress... having bought the main course, on the way back to the office we'd also hit the Safari Room, which was a trendy cafe in Garema Place which sold THE BEST and BIGGEST chocolate eclairs and cream-filled vanilla slices! Thank heavens we walked everywhere, and also I was playing competition men's basketball a few times a week, otherwise I might have been the size of a house.
At the base of the escalators in the Monaro Mall (which is now the Canberra Centre), there was a little takeaway that was happy to indulge out of the ordinary orders for sandwiches and rolls. The man behind the counter didn't bat an eyelid when my bestie ordered a cheese and chicken chip sandwich (yes, you read that correctly... sliced cheese with chicken-flavoured potato crisps). Another of her strange favourites was peanut butter and lettuce on a roll. Weird, huh!? I chose to stick with chicken and avocado sandwiches, reasonably gourmet back then. Every so often I'd ask for a grilled bacon and banana roll - a combination that I learned in home economics class with Miss Ovens (her real name), when she taught us how to make an outstanding 'mixed grill' (complete with grilled tomato and pineapple rings).
Now, if you're going to indulge in my grilled bacon and banana on baguette, please use the best bacon you can find. I keep a good stock of award winning
So, tell me about your favourite unusual flavour combinations, dear readers.
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.