It’s a lovely thing to open up a garage door and be scared silly by a horde of dear friends yelling SURPRISE at the tops of their lungs. That’s just what happened to me my first day in Australia, and I loved it. 🙂 Before I could even catch my breath, I was enveloped in big squeezy hugs from folks I had only ever known online, and who are now like family to me.
We laughed, we cried and suddenly I was blindfolded as they led me to a “surprise” they’d been alluding to for months. When I opened my eyes I couldn’t believe it!! Knowing my love of cooking they had planted an herb garden months before to be ready for my arrival. It was beautiful! Full of delicate cosmos, fragrant allysum and cheery nasturtiums in lovely old pots alongside basil and rosemary and a whole slew of mint. I couldn’t help myself, I cried again. 🙂
We had such fun poking about in there, my friends pointing out this and that, giving me ideas on what to do with a thriving sorrel plant (more on that another day!) and how to cut back the mint just right.
They even set up a little wrought iron chair and table for me where I could do my writing. Such incredibly loving people. I learned so much about selflessness, kindness, and love from them.
After our wander we settled on the back porch with cold drinks and dug into my first Aussie barbecue. Mmm, mmm, good! I was introduced to the most bizarre hamburgers I’ve ever seen in my life – that deserves a post all its own – and devoured my friend Robbie’s deeeeelicious potato salad.
It was NOT your average potato salad, not by a long shot. He started out with a tub of regular ol’ potato salad from the deli, then folded in a dizzying array of delectable additions: toasted walnuts, caramelized onions, bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh parsley, toasted almonds, kalamata olives, and who knows what else. All I know is that it was fantastic, and I happily ate leftovers for the next few days without ever tiring of them.
What is the best surprise you’ve ever received?
Aussie Potato Salad
1 tub store-bought potato salad
1 cup chopped bacon
1 onion, halved and sliced thinly
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
large handful parsley, chopped
- Place potato salad in large bowl and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in frying pan and add bacon and onions. Fry until bacon is crispy and onions are soft. Add to potato salad.
- In same pan fry walnuts and almonds until toasted. Add to potato salad.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir until well incorporated.
- Let sit in fridge 2 or more hours to let flavors meld.