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Tiffin - a website

"So, as you can see, a tiffin can be many things to many people. To me it’s about bite sized food and adventures." Fiona Ryan

It's been a busy day - my niece and her new baby son came to lunch with the Dearman clan, and they have only now all gone home. So (a) I'm a bit tired and (b) there's not much time left in the day before the nightly collapse in front of the television. So I thought I would do the next foodie website on my list. And this post will be bite-sized too.

The first thing I want to say is that I think this website is now defunct. The last post was on November 16, 2019 - just before COVID hit. It had been going since 2009 - so around ten years, albeit at a leisurely pace - a post or so a month. But consistently. I wonder what happened. The creator of the site - Fiona Ryan - is from Brisbane and had recently returned from a trip to far north Queensland. Her daytime job was in the public service, so one has to wonder whether she has been flat out working on COVID related things. Or even worse, she has succumbed to COVID. Or maybe she just got fed up with the whole thing and the date is just a coincidence. But you'd have to think that it's something to do with COVID wouldn't you?

So I searched a bit more and found that there is also a Facebook site and this has at least one item that was dated a year later - November 2020 - so maybe she has simply migrated there. A bit more research - you can see I dip into Google every now and then when I'm writing a post - and I found her LinkedIn entry. Indeed she is still working for the Queensland government in the Department of Housing and Public Works, and according to her is still contributing to her website. Which she isn't.

Anyway you're probably not interested in all of that. So back to the site, which is still there, just not added to for some time. This Spring onion hummus was the last recipe that she contributed to the site and illustrates one of her particular interests, which is given a section all of it's own - and particularly relevant after yesterday's post -

Reduce your Footprint.

It's in this section because it makes use of the green tops of the spring onions, which are often discarded. Not by me I hasten to say - unless it's really daggy and that bit goes into the compost.

This is just one of her special categories - there are also Recipes, a section on what to do in her home town of Brisbane, a section on markets and a section on the recipes of Yotam Ottolenghi, because, she realised she had presented so many of his recipes on the website, sometimes adapted a bit, sometimes not. And not all from his cookbooks. Some are from his newspaper columns. So if you are an Ottolenghi fan you might find something there.

It's a nice clear website. The layout is simple but attractive, and each recipe is accompanied with a few thoughts about it - how to cook it, where it came from, connections to other things, and so on. In the Facebook version the posts are much, much briefer it seems to me, but then I cannot log in to it as I am not a Facebook member.

I guess blog writers get tired after a while from continuously coming up with something new to write about, although that, of course, is what any kind of journalist does. I know I definitely have my own uninspired days, and this, I have to confess is one of them. She is obviously much younger than I and holding down a full-time job which may have become even busier in these COVID times - but in Queensland?

Anyway - it's out there - and it's a nifty title. Most appropriate because of all my recent ramblings around colonial India. The British adopted the term tiffin to mean the meal of tiffin - a second breakfast or a light afternoon meal and comes from English slang 'tiffing' meaning to take a little sip or drink.

"In the British Raj, tiffin was used to denote the British custom of afternoon tea that had been supplanted by the Indian practice of having a light meal at that hour." Wikipedia

Although that really doesn't explain the Indian use of the word for those glorious tiffin boxes that are delivered to offices by the dabbawalahs in Mumbai.

I said I'd be brief. I will try and do better tomorrow.


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