Three words made me very happy this week as an old lover came back into my life. Corn. Relish. Dip. Yes, this gooey golden spread is back on the supermarket shelves. Look, maybe it has never gone away and I have just been too stupid cheating with sushi and sweet pumpkin and kale salad to realise those circular tubs of heaven have been sitting in the dip section in their full glory.
My mum bought the corn relish dip to my house as part of a spread of goodies for happy hour. It made the hour very happy indeed and reminded me we all need to learn from our mums, no matter how old we are. Now we are having corn relish dip on toast in the morning and the kids are having it in their school lunches to dip carrot and celery sticks into and I am having it at night as I debrief about the day and de-stress as I eat my weight in dip.
Yes, my shake diet is not going so well. But the return of corn relish dip into my life has made me think about other goodness from the ’70s that I should embrace.
Case in point: egg sandwiches. How could I have turned my back on such a simple pleasure? Life gets seemingly overcomplicated sometimes and to keep it real I plan to make a good old-fashioned egg sandwich with lashings of mayo and salt and pepper for the kids and just lie back and think about lava lamps and listen to The Eagles.
And I may get super crazy and throw some pickled onions and gherkins into the kid’s lunchboxes this week. Forget the Swiss cheese and pumpkin and dried cranberry seed crackers they love. I plan to substitute the thin wisps of sliced cheese with square little chunks of cheddar heroes. I will go totally over the top and skewer a toothpick into each chunk of cheese. And for dinner I am going to serve curried prawns followed by a Vienetta ice-cream log. Bliss!
I feel life is going full circle for me and I am going back to my roots. Remember when your birthday party food was garlic bread, coconut ice, jelly cups with a Freddo Frog in each one, trifle, and quiche Lorraine? If you were rich you had Sunny Boys and Jelly Tips as well.
Christmas and Easter were usually celebrated with tuna mornay, apricot chicken and a spinach cob loaf. I have spent the past years cooking dishes from the Middle East, including desserts with fancy names such as ‘labnak pudding with Persian orange blossom fairy floss’.
Don’t worry – I hate myself more than you hate me for being such a total try-hard. You can take the girl out of Queensland, but you can’t take Queensland out of the girl.