Runaway Meat Patties Worth Stealing


Runaway Meat Patties Worth Stealing


A couple of years ago, Mum allocated time from her regular cooking schedule to prepare Dad’s supply of meals before she headed to Greece for a five week holiday.

She had spent hours in her kitchen in the garage, gingerly morphing four kilos of mince into patties with her buckled arthritic hands.  Ever so gracefully she would pat and turn the meat, gestures worthy of summoning the gods of taste.   The simple repetitive action was Zen-like.  Any observer would be mesmerised.  This was her place.  Her space.  Her temple.

Why four kilos of meat for one person?  It is her determination to feed Dad or anyone else for that matter, five times over at any one sitting.  I guarantee that Dad had a sufficient supply of meat patties to see him through a natural disaster – and still there would be leftovers.

Such reassurance gave Mum peace of mind – but little did she know.

Soon after the meat patties task was completed, mum left her cooking space for her second favourite activity after cooking- bulk buying food expeditions at Mediterranean Wholesalers.

These experiences often left Mum on a spiritual high, ready for levitation.  She would come home, wearing expressions of both pain and glee.  Her damaged workers’ compensation factory shoulders tingled, bearing the weight of the specials of three tins of 20-litre olive oil containers with the Spanish lady on the front.  And the extra 10 kilos of flour for spanakopita she scored half price just before closing.

But on this day she quickly came crashing down from her high.

I made my customary visit into the garage for a meal.  For some strange reason, I had an intense craving for spaghetti cooked with her delicious meat patties.  With a forlorn look she told me there were none.  They had been stolen.

She began to recount the story, her voice quivering with disappointment.

How could that be?  I never knew my psychic powers were ever so connected to my stomach.

During that morning, my parents left the house to run a few errands.  The patties where laid out on the table ready for freezing.  However upon their return, Mum noticed that things were amiss.

The garage sliding door was slightly ajar, the meat patties, pasta and passata bottles gone!  “Theos kai Panagia!  (God and the Holy Virgin!)”

Mum scanned the environment and concluded that hungry thieves, who were probably homeless or on the hooch came down from a high the night before, and had been walking through the bluestone alleys of inner suburbia looking for munchies or mischief.  They struck gold, just as Goldilocks did when entering the bear’s hearth, at just the right moment.

It didn’t help that Mum’s obsessive cleanliness and Dad’s orderliness, left sight lines for a clear headway, making them unknowing aids to a theft in their own backyard.

The irony was that they did not take Dad’s high-end drills from his days as a welder, nor Mum’s fancy scan pans still wrapped in plastic.

I suppose, who would tamper with items that looked like they were held hostage by asphyxiation, wrapped tightly with doubled up plastic bags and elastic bands? It was as if Mum was trying to protect her own appliances from becoming obsolete.

Rather it was her meat patties. They were just right.  And what else was to accompany the runaway meat patties but the four kilos of spaghetti and a half dozen bottles of passata?

In addition to the food, the thieves stole a feather down sleeping bag Dad used for his night fishing sojourns.  So you can imagine two stowaways in the cool spring nights ahead as they boiled, bubbled and troubled over five months worth of spaghetti and delicious mince.

Whilst Mum was describing the chain of events I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of a “foodie” stowaway, delighting in Mum’s menu from her kitchen in the garage.

My mother learnt to cook before she could read. She is an intuitive cook who never measures the quantities of her ingredients.  I joke with her, saying that her fingers can taste the flavors before she adds the ingredients. However, for reasons of posterity I tried to record her ever changing recipe, trying to elicit amounts and create some order to the randomness. This  is a very hard thing to do with someone who is quick and spontaneous in her kitchen in the garage.


meat patties recipe



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