Friday, January 22, 2016

It's that time of year again.

Tyler's tolerance for being away from the US lasts 6-7 months. Every year. Consistently. We return from our winter vacation, have a couple of weeks, maybe a month, and then Grumpy McGrumperson moves in for the rest of the winter. Any number of things can trigger his homesickness, but it consistently arrives around the end of January/beginning of February.

That usually is when I'll kick into gear with some distractions. Favorite recipes find their way onto our menu. I'll involve him in the trip planning for our spring break vacation. We start booking our airbnbs and plane tickets for our Summer Reunion Tour. Usually it just means I'm gonna have a grumpy Gus on my hands until my patriotic homebody of a husband touches down in Nashville. Gus is starting to peek through my husband's usual gentle disposition, but this time we aren't going home for the summer. We likely won't see Nashville again until some time in 2017, possibly 2018. Sooo I'm not really sure how this is going to go.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Tyler and I find comfort in food, and one thing that has kept me going in the past is finding solace in the fact that we are only a few weeks away from our favorite flavors from home. Our most frequently played game around this time of the year is "Know what I miss?"

Tyler: Know what I miss?

Me: What?

Tyler: Good barbecue


Me: Know what I miss?

Tyler: What?

Me: Biscuits.

Tyler: Ugghhhhh yaasssss

Tyler: Know what I miss?

Me: What?

Tyler: Southern style sausage

Me: ::wipes mouth::

Tyler: Know what I miss?

Me: What?

Tyler: Sausage biscuits.

Me: Yeah, I could have guessed that.

Previously our most missed foods have been the haram flavors of bacon, barbecue, country ham, and beer and that was because they were not allowed in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. We could, strangely enough, find Southern foods like grits, Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce, and Jello products any time we wanted at the local Lulu Superstore.

Thanks to the fact that we no longer live in a theocracy, we can find pork products in the grocery stores and some REALLY great beer quite easily. There are lots of small things, though, that just can't be found in Australia that I never realized I would miss so much. These are the items that we haven't previously had to go without and have been absent from our usual rounds of "You know what I miss?"

Pillsbury products: I never realized how dependent I was on whop biscuits, crescent rolls, cinnamon rolls (omgimisscinnamonrollsfromacan), and frozen pie crusts until the holidays rolled around and NONE OF MY RECIPES were possible anymore! I mean, I could make monkey bread using handmade biscuit dough, but ain't nobody got time for that!! You don't realize how much of the recipes on Pinterest are Pillsbury-based until you just can't find the refrigerated dough anywhere.

Potato-based lazy-person foods: Monkey bread is Tyler's family's traditional Christmas morning breakfast. Hashbrown casserole is my family's. Guess what? Frozen hashbrowns cannot be found here. I know, I know. I can shred potatoes by hand, but please see my previous Sweet Brown reference for what I think about that work around. Tater tots are also not a thing here, which would really help with our Sonic withdrawals that are going to hit very soon.

Tex Mex: Mexican is super trendy in Melbourne right now, so we have several options for burritos and tacos, but they all have an Australian twist. Turns out Australians haven't evolved far from their British ancestors as far as cuisine is concerned because the general Australian population doesn't appear to like flavorful food, and their Mexican food is no exception. No free salsa and chips at the Mexican restaurants. When you do get the salsa, it comes with no jalapeno. No spice at all in the enchiladas. It's rare to find black beans or green chilis in the grocery store! Thankfully Ro-Tel can be found that the USA foods store, but if we want flavorful salsa to mix it with for some queso dip, we're out of luck!

Hershey's chocolate products: Y'all. I am a Hershey's snob! I know it is generally snubbed internationally as being too waxy, and I'll admit that is the case if the chocolate has been sitting on the shelf for a while, but dang chocolate chip cookies without Hershey's chips and ice cream without Hershey's syrup is just SO disappointing! Cadbury does not cut it, sorry England.

There are other things such as American style bacon, good peanut butter (Australians prefer CHUNKY! What!?), cheddar cheese, and ice cream brands like Edy's and Blue Bell that we have found acceptable substitutions for that will get us through until we go home again. But if we're in this level of homesickness with only 6 months under our belt, I have no idea how we are going to survive the remaining 18 before Tyler graduates and we can go home again!

Vicariously yours,

No comments:

Post a Comment