Memories in a bowl

When I was abroad, at university in Sydney, I lived at a college that had a dining hall. I would not call the food haute cuisine, but it was included with our board. Sometimes the food was almost inedible. Sometimes it was laughably bad, when we could see both the original frosting and the chocolate frosting in a jelly trifle because the sponge cake was a third (or fourth) incarnation of something that had been sheet cake and lamingtons before.

One thing that the kitchen did really, really well was roasted pumpkin. Sometimes it was roasted butternut squash, but it was always delicious. The best part was that the next day, at lunch, we would get the leftovers as soup. It was just leftover pumpkin, water, salt and pepper, with perhaps a dash of nutmeg, pureed and served with sour cream and toast soldiers. It was my favorite, so I made a quick batch and pretended that I was back in Aus. Thankfully, I didn’t have to endure an awful jelly trifle for dessert!


  1. I always prefer food that is simple and we can taste the vegetables that compose it. I love the flavour of pumpkin and usually start my pumpkin soup with olive oil and onion/garlic and thought that was “tasting the vegetable” but this soup takes it one notch above. By the way what are “toast soldiers”?

  2. Ana – Toast soldiers are made from buttered (or cream-cheesed) toast that is cut into strips. They’re perfect for dipping.

  3. Thanks for the explanation Nic. And yes, I loooove toast soldiers. That’s such a cute name. I’ve learnt so much since I started blogging!

  4. Lol! I lived at a college at Melbourne University and had the same food experiences. I loved the tradition of the meals; hearing the bell, pulling on my academic gown and strolling through the cloisters to the hall, but the food was just shameful. There was never enough either, so my friend and I would started gathering kitchen applicances in our room and experimenting with food; it’s where both of us became really interested in cooking! It’s amazing what you can do with a toaster and a bar fridge (have you seen the blog The Adventures of the Tastebuds – a uni student in a Sydney college doing just that!)

  5. Niki – Yeah, I like Gwenda’s blog. I didn’t try to cook in my room (unless by “cook” you mean making bagged coffee), but I did see the need to head down to the dining hall as soon as dinner service began – which was the unpleasantly early hour of 5pm!

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