Something very strange is occurring.
My accent and passport may still be British but recently the part of my brain which controls my cravings has gone a little bit Aussie.
It started with some toast.
For as far back as my memory takes me, one of my ultimate comfort dishes has been peanut butter toast and a cup of breakfast tea. After every trip, not matter what time of the day or night I got home again, I’d step through the door and pop on the kettle and shove bread in the toaster, sometimes (I’ll confess) before I’d even showered.
This comforting ritual is one of the things I love most about coming home. I would always stock the cupboards before going away or stop at the Co-Op on the way home if I needed fresh milk. This was my coming home thing.
But the last couple times I’ve been away travelling I’ve landed in Sydney with different cravings. In what is the most blatant example of my becoming Sydney-fied, I landed back from my last jaunt overseas and really, really wanted – wait for it – sourdough toast slathered with avocado.
Gasp. Who is this woman and what has she done with the original me??
I still love my ritual cup of tea. It’s the first thing I have every morning and my first priority when I get home from a trip. But shortly after I finish my tea I now find myself drawn to the local cafe – gasping for a decent latte with maybe just a slither of toasted banana bread topped with melted butter.
I know. So shockingly unBritish.
It’s happening with chocolate too. Don’t get me wrong I’ll always be a Galaxy girl but when it cost $6 a bag for the imported Minstrels in Coles I’ve had to make some substitutions. I made friends with Caramello Koala shortly after moving to Sydney and now they’ve become my go-to pick-me-up. I didn’t even use to like caramel chocolate.
Some things won’t change though. I’ll always prefer a good British biccie. (Sorry Arnott’s but you can never be McVitie’s. Also note to Coles: it would be great if you could stock the whole of Fox’s range and not just the cookies?)
I wail on a weekly basis about how I miss Marks and Spencer and recently found myself longing for a night at Pizza Express. (Garlic dough balls get in ma belly).
But I guess I’ll let myself long for the odd latte and avocado with sourdough whilst living in Sydney. Because at the end of the day I know I can always rely on my Mum to have a giant Cath Kitson mug of tea, tin full of biscuits (Hobnobs ideally) and Farmhouse bread* with peanut butter waiting for me when I come for a visit.
*Not so subtle hint. Yes Farmhouse bread from M&S please, mum. And chocolate Hobnobs. Lovely, thank you. See you in a few weeks!