13 July 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 28 - Road Trip

Week 28 (July 9-15) – Road Trip: Any epic “road trips” in your family tree? Which ancestor do you want to take a road trip to go research?

During the last 27 weeks I have mentioned The Big Genealogy Trip I am going on at the end of the year and I already have a list of Scottish ancestors I need to research while I am there. I'm also going to meet many new cousins and gather their stories.

So really this challenge is one big prelude to my own road trip.

I can only remember one "road trip" taken with my family - I was in my early teens. My family (plus one of the girls who lived over the road from us) made the trip. This was no fun, let's stop when we see something interesting road trip, this was serious business.

We drove all night from Sydney to Melbourne (over 800 kilometres) to visit with my Dad's cousins and their families who had settled down there after arriving from Scotland a few years earlier. Dad's cousins were Alex Dempsey and his wife Margaret Dempsey (Brown) and Margaret McCartney (Mathieson) and her husband Harry McCartney. All of them apart from Margaret Dempsey have passed away now.

Six of us made the trip in a Holden Kingswood, Thankfully the car came with a front bench seat. Mum, Dad and my brother sat in the front and my sister, I and our friend Betty sat in the back.

I don't remember much about the trip, what we did, who we stayed with or if we saw any of the sights of Melbourne - though I think it was in winter - I do remember driving through the centre of Melbourne and Dad having to turn right from the far left side of the road due to the trams. (Apparently this is called a "Hook Turn")

I have one other memory of that trip and that is Aunty Margaret Dempsey's chicken casserole.

Mum really liked the casserole and so got the recipe from Aunty Margaret. Aunty Margaret's recipe called for cooking the casserole on the stove top, but the first time Mum made it at home her casserole dish broke into pieces. She came to realise that Aunty Margaret had a gas cook top while we had an electric one.

But I still have the recipe and make an adapted version from time to time - it was a favourite of my friend Sandra-Lee when we shared a house while working as missionaries in Papua New Guinea.

So here is what I refer to as Mum's Chicken Casserole:

1 cup rice
8 chicken legs (or for ease cooking, diced chicken breast)
2 carrots
1 onion
4 chicken stock cubes dissolved in 3 cups of water (or 3 cups of chicken stock)
Maggi Seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

Cover base of casserole with rice. Dice onion and carrots and add to rice. Place in chicken legs and cover with stock.
Add maggi, salt and pepper

Cover and cook  1 1/2 - 2 hours at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C)


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