Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Laraine Leyland’s Food for the road

Laraine Leyland’s Food for the road by Lorraine Leyland.  Hardcover book published in 2002.

When I first perused this book, I didn’t get what it was that I was looking at.  There’s a lady holding some bread on the cover and it’s a cookbook… It was easy to tell that she wasn’t Jamie Oliver, Maggie Beer or Madhur Jaffrey and judging by her happy care free friendly demeanor, I reckon that she probably swears a lot less than Gordon Ramsey… but I may be wrong.  So who is she?  Laraine… mmmm… doesn’t ring a bell.  The front cover indicates that she has “camping and caravanning cooking secrets which she made famous on television” and she wants to share them with us… which is very nice of her, but who is she?  And then the penny dropped.  “Leyland” is the key word here.  She is Mrs Leyland married to Mal Leyland of the Leyland brothers.  If any one overseas is reading this, the Leyland brothers and there is position in the Australian Psyche is far too complex for me to explain in this brief blog (check out this disappointingly short article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leyland_Brothers).   You can’t buy this sort of credibility, this woman is practically royalty of the road, duchess of the campfire and queen of the caravan kitchen.  Besides being part of the legend, she fed the legends.  The recipes are quick and easy.  Lots of canned products as we all know that being remote in Australia, its not always easy to get to the Supermarket for the quick purchase of fresh…mmm…anything.  The contents of this recipe are a great example of the simplicity this woman has perfected:

Laraine’s Minced Meat:

500gms mince steak
1 chopped onion
1 teasp Parisian essence (Parisian is made from Sugar)
Salt and pepper
Plain flour

…and here’s what you get.

On legend alone this book is of incredible interest to all of us who have pondered over the years about how the Brothers (and families) sustained themselves whilst traveling all over the country side.  There is no need to ask…its all here.


  1. Mmm mmm, that dish looks so...um...well...
    Maybe you could sell this book to the same person who bought the "cooking for your dog" book.

  2. Hi Julie,
    When i see this photograph, i see a meat pie... without the pie... I'm sure its very tasty.

  3. Where is everyones sense of adventure... listen, if the Leyland Brothers ate it, it must be good.