The world’s best

Is it just me or is any time you see “The World’s Best Cup of Tea/Coffee/Meat Pie/Apple Pie/Pizza or even Service as you drive through Australia, you know you’re in for a pretty ordinary meal.

Doesn’t seem to matter where you are, you could be passing through the most amazing farmland, with bountiful produce, rolling hills splashed with grass fed waygu and chickens that dine on organic corn fritters and avocado salsa, but the minute you see that sign: World’s Best Hamburger, well you just know it’s going to be a flavourless, stodgy affair, complete with grizzly bits and damp lettuce.

I don’t know if it’s just a matter of a straight oversell. I mean World’s Best, Australia’s Best is a pretty big call. I’ve noticed that some signs now starting to self edit their bestness, and are calling themselves The South Coast’s Best or Lismore’s Best. This may be reducing margin of error by a factor of about, say 20 million, but somehow it still seems a big call, even if we’re only talking about Lismore.

I have a new driving food stop strategy. If it says best anything I’ll give it a miss. Even if it’s world’s best scones at 3pm when I’m starting to feel like a sugar carb cream hit served grandma, I’ll give it a miss. That’s where junk food truly comes into its own – it makes no claims to be the best food in whatever town you’re driving through. It just  gives you your hit – whatever your poison (sugar, caffeine, salt, carb, chocolate) and although it might make you fat and mess with your blood sugar levels, at least it doesn’t mess with your head.

Summertime and the living is uneasy

Summer holidays in Australia come at the wrong time of year. Summertime in most countries is a benign, warm, pleasant time of year – perfect for getting outdoors, hiking, soaking up the rays, but here in Australia, it’s beginning to mean bushfires, shark attacks, dangerous rips and temperatures out of Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen.

There is nothing relaxing about bolting all the doors and anxiously listening to bushfire reports. Or even if there are no bushfires, there’s nothing outdoorsy about four consecutive 44 degree days and there’s nothing good about consuming your body weight in ice cream because it’s so damn hot and well, there’s nothing else to do, apart from wander around a Westfield near you.

In this weather people should be in the office where it’s nice and airconditioned and our big six week holiday should be moved to a more conducive time of year – say Easter. March has the warmest sea temperature, making it ideal for swimming, it also has sunny days and cooler nights (but not to cool) and if you want to go outside and walk or picnic – it’s around 25 degrees in most parts of Australia which is the UN sanctioned perfect picnic temperature.

And there’s no holiday stress build up like there is with Christmas – Easter is easy. Just pop a few chocolates and then drive off in the car – a perfect start to the holiday.

So, forget about the republic, the flag, the national anthem – let’s concentrate on the big issues – our holiday enjoyment is at stake here.