Wednesday 17 October 2007


For those of you that have any vague interest in why I use some of the terms I do:

I'm adopted. And apparently my heritage is Greek/Spanish (according to the record). I was raised by 2 beautiful, but totally non-food obsessive Aussies. As a kid, we lived next door to and Italian family, the Arstoni's (sp?) and I used to love climbing throught the hole in the fence, behind the lemon tree, and watching Mrs Arstoni cook. She'd feed me canolli's and gnocchi's and brodo and all sorts of luscious thing. And then I'd return home and wonder why Mater Beige didn't use garlic??

Mater Beige is the strongest, most resilient woman I know, I love her dearly. But a cook she aint. She does a fab lamb roast, an insane pav that I could never emulate. Her lemons snow is da bom, and her corned beef is my yearly birthday dish.

But she's also famous for her Cat's Vomit Stew (don't ask).

Her quote in the kitchen is "your great grandmother didn't live to 102 eating strange food with herbs in it. Good, plain, wholesome (read stodgy English and soups flavoured with Vegemite) is what made her healthy"

So my innate wogginess was apparent to me from very early on. My mother and wonderful father, The Hobbit, gamely smiled when I insisted on cooking crepes Normandy when I was 6. I had mastered Welsh Rarebit by 7. By 12 I was asking for ragu instead of bolognese (which I knew was NOT Mater Beige's ubiquitous "spag bog").

So, to one of my personally-coined terms: "over-wog".

Furry and I were hosting a wee get-together for 6 friends a few years ago. I had prepared bruschetta, stuffed mushrooms, pasta salad, Furry Balls , home baked bread, dolmades (sweet and traditional), bibi, san choi bow's, home made icecream, goi cuon (with bai), an antipasto platter, deep fried olives, baked ricottas, a stuffed cob loaf, a fruit platter, several dips, flattie tails and home-made mayo. There might have been some gremolata-stuffed chicken breast and a cous cous salad in there as well.. I can't remember rightly.

And I set the table, and saw it groaning under the sheer weight of food, and I did the mental calculations ( number of people x my innate need to feed + the embarrassment factor of people going hungry to the Nth power of my ego) and turned to Furry and said:

"I don't think we've got enough food, I'll just nip and and grab something for a cheese platter".

And he stopped cleaning the bench tops, wiped his hands, took my face lovingly in his hands, looked deep into my eyes and said:

"Darling, stop over-wogging"

I knew, in that moment, that genes will out, and I was destined to become a grandmother who pinched children's cheeks and moaned "you're too skinny. Come. I will feed you"

And I was perfectly alright with that.

(umm... I still went out and got the cheese)


grocer said...

further evidence for the nature vs nurture debate!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to pinch your vocabulary and now use at every opportunity, goddess. I've got spanish in the genes from way back mixed in with the mongrel mix of bog irish, scottish, scandinavian and polynesian (something else but I cant be fagged remembering it at the moment) so i think that'll be ok.

stickyfingers said...

If John Howard had said that this country's future will become dependent on over-wogging to evolve to the next stage and that we will be all the richer for it, he might have got himself a nice big fat worm in the debate with Rudd.

I think you should add it to Urban

Goddess Leonie * said...

babe, i totally adore you
(and your mad ninja kitchen skiilllzzz)