Kitty and the Pav

Pork chops. For years I hated pork chops – or at least I thought I did. Then, recently, my brother announced he was doing pork chops on the Weber for me whilst I was staying with him and my sister-in-law at Sisters Beach – their place a little piece of heaven on this planet for me. Turns out the chops were a little bit of culinary heaven as well. But, I must admit, immediately after his announcement, I was a tad worried as I couldn’t really blurt out my up until then presumed abhorrence for what he was offering. But I knew I could put on a brave face and feign pleasure in the consumption. What Kim served up, though, was barbecued perfection.

So now, methinks, parsnips and walnuts are the only items of tucker I cannot truly abide. Pumpkin was a vegie I disdained for years too, like the pork chop, but now I love it. But there are some foods I think are totally overrated and if a choice is on offer they would take a back seat. One of these that I can’t particularly take too – sorry Kitty, sorry Australia – is pavlova.

I am not in any way akin to Ms Flanagan’s acquaintance who couldn’t keep quiet in mixed company about his similar opinion of pav. After all, it is a cherished national dish – and there are very few of those we can call our own. It’s up on a pedestal along with vegemite and chicko rolls. I am not overly fond of those either. With the pav I cannot see – or, should I say, taste – what all the fuss is about. I’ll consume it if it is served up, but, if there are alternatives on offer, I’ll bolt to them. To me the lauded pav is a bit like the strawberry, they are berry much the poor cousin when compared to blueberries and raspberries. I feel the pav will never match a cheesecake, a trifle or my dear mother’s sago plum pud. And sadly, pavlovas and strawberries seem to go together.

To me the confection that is a pavlova tastes little more than being of air and sugar – in other words, tasting of very little. Besides which, these days, sugar is the enemy. Our abode, to my sorrow, has been declared a Tim Tam-free zone. See there is a certain patriotism in me after all, tucker-wise. Super-market shopping takes much longer, these days, due to me checking out the very small print re sugar content. Brownies, Kitty, are also a no-go area for the same reason. As far as pork crackling and anchovies are concerned, I am ambivalent, but not totally opposed.

It’d be a dull old world if all tastes were exactly the same, but with some food I also wonder, well, how he/she could possibly not like that? I guess our individual collections of taste buds are all arranged differently. I once loved placing whole bunches of coriander in my stir fries. My buds would pulsate in ecstasy at the result. Unfortunately my lovely lady cannot abide my enthusiasm for this pungent herb. Everything with a bit of subtlety is her motto. So these days, with my Asian cookery, I substitute other flavours for it for fear of getting carried away. And I thought nobody could dislike the luxuriously delicious unctuousness of the avocado. Recently I gave my beloved mother her first sample of this fruit of the gods, now smashed worldwide, only to see her precious face screw up and I could tell she was doing level best not to spit it out. Safe to say she will not become added to its legions of fans. To her the magnificent av is what the walnut is to me.

Now don’t tell anybody Ms Flanagan, but, just quietly, I tend to agree with you on your other topic. More and more these days I prefer winter beaches to their summer mode when I now, in my dotage, escape to a strand nearby or far away. It’s all swings and roundabouts, swings and roundabouts in this life of ours.

The Kitty Flanagan opinion piece in question =

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