I have spent most of my Christmas vacation at home on my parents’ cattle farm, which obviously involves a retrospective trawl through the family albums. Mum showed me this one photo of me where I had dyed the tips of my hair pink with food colouring, had this blunt front fringe plus bob combo, acid wash jeans and one of my brother’s shirts on. It was nineties grunge at its purest, without even the slightest hint of irony. I laughed so, so hard at this picture. Until I cried, because I literally have not changed one single bit since then. My life has gone full circle. I still wear acid wash jeans and old boys tees (mostly a collection pilfered from my short string of ex-boyfriends), my hair is still pink and I have been going to the same hairdresser for the same hairstyle for, like, a long time.
My favourite movie is still Parent Trap, followed closely by Mrs Doubtfire. I lust over Savage Garden and my secret outfit muse is Avril Levigne. So while I was home crying over 9 year old me, the whole time I was thinking “oh dear god, am I in a rut? Am I in a 23 going on 24 year-long rut?”
But, I mean, I am sure everyone carries some generational baggage throughout their lives. As much as my dad has gone on to do very respectable things in life, he still thinks Fawlty Towers is the most hilarious show ever. My mum vacuums to ABBA – not in a satirical way – and my brother has the characters from Adventure Time tattooed to his thigh in some kind of permanent homage to his dorky childhood. I guess all of this is ok if we aren’t clinging so hard to the past that we can’t see the present. Yes, I still love Darren Hayes too much, but I have now also vehemently embraced Taylor Swift. I am still friends with my best friend from Kindergarten, but I have made a bundle of new ones along the way too. My dad still thinks Basil Fawlty is God’s gift, but also dabbles in Big Bang Theory and Game of Thrones and Mum is often asking me if I have heard of that cute red haired singer “Ed Sheeran.”
So I guess the point is, I don’t really think I am in a rut, because I am certainly open to change. Admittedly, it may be time to leave my androgynous dress sense behind. But, one thing I will never, ever, cast away, are those incredible kitsch dishes from my childhood – aka this curried salmon and veggie pasta bake.
- 1.5 cups fresh or tinned salmon
- 3 cups chopped miscellaneous veggies (whatever is left in the fridge!)
- 2 tablespoons Keens curry powder
- 5 cups ¾ cooked macaroni
- 2 cups grated cheese
- 1.5 cups evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon cornflour – prepared with water
- 4 gloves grated garlic
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chicken stock
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- Juice of half a lemon + grated rind
- ½ cup butter
- In a large pan, fry onions, garlic and vegetables in butter. Add curry powder and stock.
- Add finely shredded salmon, lemon and evaporated milk.
- Stir in macaroni and 1 and ¼ cups of grated cheese. If still runny, add cornflour mix.
- Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs and bake until golden brown.