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Falling In Love and Daydreamin No More

Today is a sombre day as those of us who called Daydream Island home, received our termination and redundancy packages, thanks to Cyclone Debbie. There are well over a hundred staff all coming to grips with not just the loss of our jobs, but also the loss of our beautiful little slice of paradise that we, (just 2 weeks ago) called home. If there are any positives to this whole devastating debacle, it is that the next time we see Daydream Island in mid 2018, she will have undergone a complete refurb.

So, what’s next for Anna I hear you ask? The truth is…. I don’t really know exactly just yet, but I do know that somehow I’ve fallen even more in love with the Whitsundays and it’s people, so, I’m stickin’ around! For now, this is my home.

Home is where the heart is!

These tough North Queenslanders have experienced their fair share of destructive storms and developed an admirable resilience about working together as a community to mop up and rebuild; and they also have an incredibly healthy attitude and acceptance towards the downtime and grieving process after disasters like this. They don’t deny it or keep it hidden, they do something really rare – they talk about the malaise and necessity to be still, to be quiet, to regroup emotionally, to be close to family, to sit in the sun and have long meaningful conversations with loved ones; to rest and to cook and to eat LOTS of comfort food. It’s truly been a beautiful healing time and a fine way to get back on our feet.

Life is returning to normal – first cruise ship back to the area post Cyclone Debbie

There are lots of memories I’ll take with me as life post Cyclone Debbie resumes to full speed again, but the long chats while cooking with my Momma is certainly one of them. Hearing the simple story of a family spaghetti recipe we’ve taken for granted all my life is a memory I’ll treasure. It’s crazy, but I always thought my Mum invented Mums Spaghetti, but it turns out it’s literally generations old. My great grandmother first presented it to her family, (a bunch of burly sheep farmers) with mixed reactions nearly 80 years ago. There are even rumours that an old Italian grocer would do the rounds of the properties back in the 1940’s who shared the pasta recipe! Apparently meat and 3 vegetables was the order of the day back then, so this new fangled pasta business was not an overnight success as you can imagine, but the kids loved it, so the recipe stood the test of time. My grandmother changed it around a bit using tins of Campbells Soups and dried pasta, all the rage in the 1960’s I’m told, and my mother tweeked it again with fresh vegetables and lots of sharp vintage cheese.

So, now it seems the onus is on me to maybe one day soon create this much-loved recipe with a little organic gluten free twist; who knows!

But, for now, lets just stick with my go-to comfort feed, “Mums Spaghetti”.

Happiness is…. Eating Mums Spaghetti

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • 500 grams pork mince
  • 500 grams veal mince
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and diced
  • 2 cups corn, blitzed or whole
  • 4 cups mushroom, blitzed or sliced
  • 2 cups tomato, diced
  • 1 tin cream of tomato soup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharpe vintage cheese
  • 500 grams spaghetti
  • Seasoning to taste

Grans spaghetti recipe – note the tins of tomato, mushroom and corn

  1. Heat oil in large saucepan and allow to melt.
  2. Saute onion and garlic until translucent, add mince meat and cook until brown.
  3. Add tin of tomato soup, diced tomato, blitzed mushroom, corn and Worcestershire sauce and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Boil water in a large pot. Salt the water with at least a tablespoon—more is fine. The salty water adds flavor to the pasta.
  5. Add pasta, stir the pasta and allow to boil for 7 – 15 minutes.
  6. Pour the pasta through a strainer. Shake it to remove excess water.
  7. Add pasta to minced meat mixture.
  8. Add cup of grated sharp vintage cheese and stir through.
  9. Serve with more grated sharpe vintage cheese and parsley garnish.

Tell me dear reader, what comfort foods do you make or eat when you are resting and recouping? And do you have a family recipe like Mums Spaghetti that has been passed down generations?

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