REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: Going even further back in time for dinner in 2020

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Among the silver linings of 2020, meal prep has become the task the whole family can share. Picture: SHUTTERSTOCK

Among the silver linings of 2020, meal prep has become the task the whole family can share. Picture: SHUTTERSTOCK

Remember when chicken was as rare as hen's teeth?

Supermarket shelves were stripped of tenderloins, breasts, wings and drumsticks.

You could be even hard pressed to find a packet of chicken mince in the paltry, poultry section back in March.

Trying to shop for my teenage daughter's home economics practical assessment, I had settled on a whole bird. It was organic to boot, as the more affordable free-range chooks had already flown off the shelves!

My 13-year-old daughter would have to learn how to break down the whole chicken to get the breasts/thighs for her Thai green chicken curry recipe.

Initially repulsed, she warmed to the idea when her teacher applauded her resourcefulness. She had hoped Sir would let her off the hook.

But instead he commended her for thinking outside the box. Yes Sir! Thank you very much, Sir!

After a few false starts, she managed to break down that whole bird at home during the national lockdown.

Despite the crunching of bones and a few "offensive-much" chicken feathers, she didn't get into too big of a flap. She was grossed out by the process but proper proud to get through it.

Watching Further Back in Time for Dinner on ABC TV recently brought the whole experience home again.

In the first episode mother and daughter Carol and Sienna Ferrone are forced to prepare a mock turtle soup made from a calf's head. (The dish was served at a banquet to celebrate Federation in 1901.)

The sight of the calf's head, complete with eyes, teeth and tongue left the teenage Sienna distraught and ready to quit the show.

I believe you'd have to go a long way to find a teenager who did not feel totally confronted by it.

Having grown up on a NSW Riverina sheep station, I'd still struggle with that level of cooking from scratch.

Yet as ethical omnivores we should be prepared to consider where our meat comes from, use cheaper cuts and minimise food waste.

South Albury producer Byron Gray and Wodonga chef Michael Flemming will highlight homegrown produce in a 12-course degustation this spring. Picture: MARK JESSER

South Albury producer Byron Gray and Wodonga chef Michael Flemming will highlight homegrown produce in a 12-course degustation this spring. Picture: MARK JESSER

And if you haven't put in your tomato plants yet, Jackie French can help.

Among the silver linings of 2020, meal prep has become the task the whole family can share.

If your teenager can break down a whole bird, they're well on the way to feeding the flock in the uni share house down the track.

That said, mock turtle soup won't be making a comeback at our place any time soon.

What's for dinner at yours?

Jodie Bruton is a journalist at The Border Mail

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