Desert Island Food – Fuel for the body


Ok Almanackers, over the past few weeks together we’ve  nominated our favourite fuels for biding away our time on a desert  island: fuel for the soul, the mind, and now it’s time to consider fuel for the body.


Your challenge this week is to nominate a meal, if it was miraculously possible to have, you’d enjoy consuming marooned on a desert island.


I’ll start the ball rolling: mum’s Sunday roast, what a joy!



90% of the time it would be roast beef, occasionally roast lamb, very rarely roast chicken.


The meat always cooked to perfection, tender and juicy, the benefit I suppose of buying your meat from your local butcher. Potatoes crisp and golden on the outside. Peas usually, sometimes beans, pumpkin, cauliflower, carrots, parsnips (dad’s favourite), and one of her specialities for whatever reason she only produced occasionally, onion rings in breadcrumbs with sliced tomato. And of course, mum’s home made gravy liberally poured on.


These meals are mainly remembered from my late 50s through to the early 70s when I left home. The majority of the roasts were cooked on a wood fired slow combustion stove, that also heated the kitchen and family room as well as the hot water and it was my job to keep the fire going. Mum also said this stove generated the best cooking heat of any stove she ever cooked with, and her pavlovas were sensational from this stove.


Mum was typical of her era, she was an excellent cook. We were also spoiled with her magnificent cakes and sponges, and other desserts though I wasn’t keen on the junket or ground rice pudding.


I digress, back to the meal. After the roast on my island I would like something simple for dessert and a favourite mum served up was Regal Rainbow ice-cream sprinkled with 100s & 1000s.



I think Almanackers, after that meal, I would be quite contented.

Now, over to you; nominate your meal!

(Hold drinks until next week)


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About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. Col – my best meal is the next one.

    The chilli prawns at RST in Fitzroy North are magnificent.

    The prawn balls at Ocha are magnificent.

    The home made meat balls at Mr Bianco are magnificent.

    My wife’s roast pork with the roasted cauliflower in cheese is magnificent.

    Mum’s plumb pudding is magnificent.

    Can I take all of these?

  2. Colin Ritchie says

    Without a doubt Dips!

  3. My 2 greatest meals were linked by Croatia and their simplicity. Location as important as taste. 1985 as a guest of the Yugoslav government travelling with our Health Minister in the hills above Dubrovnik. Eaten alfresco under grape vines next to a rushing creek. Roast lamb cooked on a spit over hot coals that cooked the buried whole fish. Served with potatoes and olive oil. Advance to 2007 now married to the Croatian Avenging Eagle (if at first….) who migrated when 3 – on her first return visit. Sitting on a porch in the hills above Makarska (her birthplace) with a cascading view across the myriad Adriatic islands. Travelling with her oldest family friends at the home of his sister and her brother who were also married (you couldn’t get far to find a spouse in the Biokovo mountains in the 50’s when no-one had a car). Whole fish grilled over vine cuttings served with blitva (potatoes, silver beet, loads of garlic, lashings of olive oil). Hladno pivo and bjella vino. (Cold beer and white wine). Lunches and days I wanted to never end. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

  4. The missus has just whipped up some nice food.

    Some spicy Thai vegie burgers, with avocado, jalapeno & peppers. There’s also a nice salad combining lentils, kumera, tomatoes, mint amongst a nice mix of ingredients.

    With Melbourne’s weather reminding me of being on a hot, desert island this tucker hits the spot today.


  5. I have just returned from a Christmas lunch with a friend at Bar Lourinha so on this desert island as fuel for the belly, I mean body could I recommend the following because it was a palate f**k.:

    Grilled lambs heart & salsa agrodolce and Grilled sardine & sorrel pincho and Spiced chickpea & spinach and Slow cooked lamb, fenugreek & labneh washed down with a 2016 Bodega Roda Sela.

    Now for a nap.

    Hey PB, was that the Federal Health Minister, Neal Blewett?

  6. Daryl Schramm says

    Dad’s fried beer battered fresh Spotted King George Whiting at his dining table in Tumby Bay looking at the changing colours of the sea out the window. All food my partner cooks. Love a crumbed lamb chop or four!

  7. Yep Rick, was lucky to work for Dr Blewett in the 80’s. Rhodes Scholar (as were Hawke and Beazley). Son of a Tramways Union official from Launceston. Most intellectually intelligent person I’ve met and fiercely compassionate. The great thing about those times is that PM was first among equals. Now its the dictator of dolts (both sides of politics). Keeps the narrative simple but we are dumbed down to our boots. I keep feeling we want someone to raise us up (either side of politics). To find the better angels of our nature. Instead we have our pockets pissed in by opinion poll driven appeasement.

  8. I’d prefer a good old T bone steak with baked potatoes, carrots and peas but i don’t think that would be practical on our island. Instead i would opt for Daryl’s choice of King George whiting, fried in beer batter (my son David is a master in preparing this dish). If no whiting were available, my next choice would be fried garfish fillets, fantastic.Chips would round off this meal nicely and would be washed down with coconut juice (after all we’re on a tropical island).

  9. Shameless plug for two of my favourite eateries here in Traralgon Colin…

    I’d like an endless supply of garlic prawn spring rolls from Little Prince and to ensure a balanced diet, the Chile con carne from Arriba Cantina.

    This island is becoming a pretty impressive holiday destination!

  10. Sounds just like my grandmothers kitchen, Col!
    Naturally, rural community, she cooked regularly for the shearer’s throughout her life.
    Those shearer’s would have been blessed with meals equal to and beyond that of all our top notch chefs today.

    Country women were the best cooks.

    My desert island meal is really simple.. crepes rolled up with fresh lemon juice and sugar. Ice cream nice, but not essential.

  11. Schnitzel and chips with plain gravy thanks

  12. A Mexican Parma from the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse in Apollo Bay.

  13. Snowy from Busso says

    Veal Shnitzel and chips with plain gravy as well.And throw in a pizza from Pizza Riviera out of Rivervale in Perth

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