Creature Comforts

I’ve been a bit quiet on here lately. Not for any other reason they I just didn’t feel like I had anything important or worthwhile to say.

Brad and I have been out for breakfast a few times in the past few weeks and I have still been cooking up a storm in the kitchen, namely clean eating stuff but a few treats also.

My writers block got me thinking though…..why was I struggling so hard to write? Was I concerned about what others would think? Is what I want to put down on this blog important and worthy of others reading and enjoying/hating/not caring what was written and then it hit me…..I go through moments every now and then (and they are gradually getting less and less and don’t stick around for as much time) of “homesickness”

Now I have written homesick but really it’s just a craving for creature comforts I grew up with back in Wales. 5 years ago when I first came here I craved three things so badly!

  1. Hellmanns Mayonnaise
  2. Unsmoked bacon
  3. A proper good Indian curry

About 3 years ago, Brad and I drove out to see some friends for a lunchtime birthday party. We arrived and found out it was BYO so Brad shot off, like the dutiful husband and went and bought me a beautiful bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (Drift NZ) there was a Bi Lo in the complex where this bottle shop was and someone, a while before, had told us that they had seen Hellmans mayo in a Bi Lo. Brad decided to quickly pop into this shop and what did he find? Hellmanns mayonnaise! I was elated when he came back to the restaurant bearing to gifts, one of wine and one of mayo! Of course being imported from the UK we now paid a premium of nearly $7 per jar – but we have not bought any other mayonnaise since


Next was the curry, Brad and I decided that we would venture out into Hamilton and find someone where to eat, midweek. We walked for a few moments down Beaumont Street when we stopped and looking into a shop front window, this is how we found, Indiana Raj.

From the outset it looked like someone’s living room, but we decided to give it a go and walked in to literally be greeted by the whole family. We were seated and ordered and oh my goodness did my taste buds do a little dance!!! This food was amazing and the experience didn’t stop there! After dinner, the music paused before following on with a loud bollywood track and the staff/family members encouraged all the patrons to get involved with a makeshift bollywood dancing class! Well, what fun I had, but I’m pretty pleased I’d had those 3 glasses of red wine prior!

And lastly my search for British, unsmoked bacon.

When Brad and I went back to the UK for our wedding, I had been in Australia 11 months. My mum asked me what I wanted in her flat food wise for when we were there. Hellmans and Bacon were on the top of the list.

Once Brad had his first taste of unsmoked British bacon there was no turning him back. He was a convert and walked miles every morning just to buy more bacon for us to have for breakfast.

We have not stopped searching for butchers in Australia who would leave this cut in it’s purest form and yet we constantly failed. I have been in Australia 4 years and 11 months and I had all but given up hope of ever achieving final tick on my list of three.

Last weekend I needed to go to a different shopping complex to pick up my engagement ring that had been in for a clean. I decided as I was there I would just do my weekly shop in the Coles. I was slowly pushing my trolley around as I had never been here before and I was concerned I would miss important food items, when a reduced sticker on a pack of pre-packaged bacon caught my eye!

Usually I get my bacon from the deli counter, but if there is a deal to be had I love getting them, so I walked over to the fridge and picked up this packet bacon to study it further. LOW.AND.BEHOLD the label read “Authentic British Bacon” Oh wow did my heart start racing, I checked the bacon itself and YES it was raw! There as a deal on the “not coming up to used by date” two packets for $10 so I through the reduced packet down and grabbed two fresh packets. How I couldn’t wait to get home and show hubby!


We actually froze the two packets and had it for breakfast the following weekend and it was DELISH!

So there you have it! I have achieved everything on my tick list for things I really would like in my life here in Australia and less than 5 years have achieved them all. Yum yum yum! I just think it’s going to make me very poor buying $7 mayo and $10 for 500g of bacon!


Friday Booze Lunch

I love how I work for a wine company and yet when we (me and the colleagues) venture out for Friday Lunch we all end up drinking beer! Maybe it’s the fact that we think, speak, and look at wine all day that drives that need for a fresh, crisp bubbly beer or in fact could it be the need for something you can gulp down and feel some what “thirst quenched” by?

As the sun was shinning here in Newcastle, NSW we (well me and two others) decided the best place to go would be the Honeysuckle Hotel as you can sit in the sun – needless to say although the sun was out and the skies are blue, the wind was wild and we ended up sitting inside.

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Most places around our office offer a good lunch time special. Sometimes we opt for $20 pizza and a pint, if we are feeling flush we go to the very popular but pretty pricey James Squires. Today was a non flush day (even though it’s pay week) and we opted for the Honeysuckle Hotel where they offer $12 Steak and Chips, Schnitzel and Chips, Calamari and salad or battered fish and chips. They do of course have an array of other dishes available which are pretty $$$$ but for lunch $12 is great for a good feed, not mentioning the beers are nearly $7 for a scooner! (for those of you not from Australia this is less then a pint!) So we opted for a cheap feed and saved our coin for two scooners!

I ordered the Steak and Chips. I like my beef still “mooing” but because of being out with colleagues I didn’t want to gross them out with blood so ordered rare. Slight disappointment on the rareness of the steak as it was barely pink in the middle but still a gorgeous cut of meat and melted in my mouth. All the other options were a little disappointing. The calamari, although delicious, lacked the all important chips and the fish and chips were apparently frozen shop bought sticks of fish that did not satisfy the Red Dog (Christian) one bit.

Aside from that, I, as always, enjoyed my colleagues/friends company and of course the witty remarks and copious laughter that echoed from our table.

Cheers to a great working life!

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