Global Wanderings in My Kitchen Learning Lab

The brother-in-law, @llocklee, refers to me as the Librarian – and I guess I do like to collect / organise information for fast finding & later re-use. That includes my foodie interests. The books are all catalogued in LibraryThing and the cuttings piled, then filed in bulging folders.

It’s something I inherited from my mother – she tells me that she was forced to give up Asian food when pregnant with me – but ever afterward she has enjoyed experimenting. I remember her favourites seemed to be the 1960’s Flemings supermarket magazines & the 1950’s Aerophos cookbook (both of these early Australian foodie ref’s were surprisingly international in coverage compared with the Commonsense Cookery Book & can still be picked up on Ebay from time to time). She also did traditional Aussie style including a mean Devilled Sausages, that I’d almost forgotten until I came across the remarkably similar ‘Mrs Adams’s Savoury Sausages‘ in Kylie Kwong’s “Recipes & Stories” (p 40). Coincidentally amazing is that Mum is a Mrs Adams too.

I can’t say that Mum specifically taught me how to cook, rather, I absorbed from her the enjoyment of  experimenting with new ideas. Now in her 70’s, she’s still experimenting with newly discovered surprises, brought over for our regular Sunday night family dinners. I do the mains & Mum does the desserts plus “sweet treats” for the week, for my teen, Kat.

And of course Mum also has numerous cookbooks, folders & cuttings stashed around her home. I sometimes say that Mum was born before her time – with the now exploding global foodie scene. Last weekend we took her to the Mecca Bah in Canberra after the twilight viewing of the Masterpieces from Paris Exhibition at the NGA. Tonight it’s Nam’s Vietnamese in Wollongong (one of the many Vietnamese), after the Wharf Theatre Revue’s “Pennies from Kevin“.

A few of my favourite foodie websites :

And some of my favourite foodie blogs (in no particular order …  )  

These lists are eclectic – like my cook book collection at LibraryThing & even more so, my folders.


Why we need to record – Mrs Joan Adams’s Devilled Sausages – a childhood memory inspired by Kylie Kwong

I had previously scoured Mum’s decades old recipe clippings, but had not located her “Devilled Sausages” recipe, and so I was hoping that when Mum tasted my improvisation, that she might be able to shed some light on any specific ingredients that I had missed.

Over dinner, Mum admitted that she certainly recalled the dish, and thought my improvisation was fairly close – but sadly explained that although she had been searching her recipe clippings collection, so far she had not found her original recipe.

How many family treasures could that scenario apply to ?

So important to document them isn’t it ?

Otherwise lost forever…Records matter … otherwise knowledge sharing can be limited

PS …

Sausages are fairly basic, traditional family fare – although it is easy to pimp them with trimmings. 

One of my fav memories is the trimmings used by my friend & caterer, Irene Tognetti, and also mother of one of Australian’s Living Treasures : Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Richard Tognetti.

It was local government election time, where Irene was doing the catering for 100+ folk at a Trivia Night fundraiser. Although I was fairly distracted being both a candidate & the campaign director, I was still so impressed with how Irene transformed what could have been just another mundane sausage sizzle.

How ? So easy really – with generous sprays of Rosemary on the platters of sausages for each table – so simple and so effective.

KerrieAnne’s Devilled Sausages Recipe

– 10 sausages (ours come from our local Harvey’s Gourmet Butchers in the NSW South Coast seaside village of Thirroul – their meat is so absolutely superb! )
– 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (sliced or grated or finely chopped – I used finely chopped from the excess I had prepared for the birthday party)
– Worcestershire Sauce (I use Lea & Perrins which is quite runny and not as thick as some brands)
– 4-6 Basil leaves (I used fresh from our Vege Patch – David is amazed how big the Basil leaves are this year – with all the warmth, rain & humidity ! )

– 1/3 cup tomato sauce
– 1/4 cup brown vinegar
– 3 tbspns brown sugar
– 2 tspsns Keens Mustard Powder

1. Preheat oven to 190oC
2. Grease rectangular baking dish
3. Combine sauce ingredients
4. Slit sausages lengthwise – but do not cut all the way through – then place them in baking dish
5. Spoon mixed sauce ingredients into slits in sausages
6. Arrange cheese (slices – grated or finely chopped) over the sauce filled slits in sausages
7. Sprinkle Worcestershire Sauce over the cheese – but do not be heavy handed
8. Bake in oven for approximately 25 minutes
9. Remove from oven – lift with egg slice or BarbieMate tool.

To serve :  Garnish with fresh Basil leaves & serve with potato mash & steamed vegetables 


– Kylie Kwong’s “Recipes & Stories” p 40-41 version has a Bacon slice placed over the sauce on each sausage, before the cheese is added – and did not have the Worcestershire Sauce sprinkling

– my Mum doesn’t recall using Bacon in her version but reckons it would work quite well
– also, neither Kylie Kwong’s nor my Mum’s had the Basil leaves)