A taste of Harmony!

One of my favourite parts about living in Australia is the diversity of people, food, and culture.  Just look at The Runner and I, and our American-Irish-Australian trio of passports.  As you know by now, one day I’m whipping up a classic American dish like Sweet potato casserole and the next trying Irish soda bread whilst eating Vietnamese takeaway.   PS, I’m not sure how the soda bread actually went down, there’s still a rather large, now rock hard hunk of it left!  Hmmmm…. 

Anyway, did you know that over 1/3 of Sydneysiders were born overseas???  Crazy when you think about it – another city with similar stats?  London!  So, it’s no surprise that Australia and most Australians (unless you count the horrible taxi driver we had the other day) embrace and celebrate the diversity that surrounds them.  I have to say our office has always been ahead of the curve, we’ve had International Food Day for years!  International Food Day is definitely a highlight, most people get involved, even if it’s just sausage rolls or meat pies or fish and chips!   It was such a good idea, that it’s now being rolled out across Australia under the brand “A Taste of Harmony”, http://www.tasteofharmony.org.au/, a week which “ celebrates diversity in Australian workplaces by encouraging colleagues to share food and stories from different cultural backgrounds.”  Great idea!

So tonight, instead of going to yoga or going to bed early, I’m cooking.  It was tough at first to think of what to make, but in the back of my mind, I think I always knew I would make something from my favourite cookbook for American food, yes, you guessed it Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine- (and no, I’m not related to the authors). 

It was a pretty easy choice really, the recipes are simple and I know The Mom loves the cookbook so it definitely represents by heritage and culture.  Plus, it’s sort of tough to pin down American food…. I mean, what’s American food to you?  Bagels?  Apple Pie?  Burgers?  Crabcakes?  There’s a lot to choose from, but I chose Macaroni and Cheese.  And no, not fancy Mac and Cheese like I’ve made in the past, it won’t be three or four cheeses meant together, it’s going to be comfort food.  Basic, homey, like a big Mom hug.  I’ve made the recipe before so I know just how simple it is.

Boil water with salt, cook the macaroni (about 2 cups) and cook for about 9 minutes.  Drain it and run under cold water.  Put it in a casserole dish with ½ a stick of melted butter and mix in 8 oz of sharp, grated, cheddar cheese, 2 eggs, and 1 ½ cups of evaporated milk.  Add another 4 oz of cheese on the top and bake for 30 minutes.  I might even get fancy and sprinkle breadcrumbs on first.  Easy, simple, serves 8! 

I toyed around with Martha Stewart’s recipe, which looks yummy, http://www.marthastewart.com/271998/perfect-macaroni-and-cheese, but I figured I should stick with The Mom’s favourite Mac and Cheese recipe instead.  I’ll save Martha for another day!  And I’m even making some extra for The Runner and I for dinner !  YUM!

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