Chip Defeat

Got home at around quarter to three this morning. Had a midnight Anzac Day service to sing at in the city, then did the Pancake Manor with all the lovely choir peoples. At least it’s a public holiday – slept to around ten, then had a two-hour nap in the afternoon.  Not exactly helpful in carrying out my wishful plans of spending the day editing.

Back to the Pancake Manor. Ordered a bit less than I normally do – short stack of buttermilk pancakes, basket of chips, and a glass of coke. Twenty dollars for that.  Bit painful, I think.  More painful, though, is that the basket of chips (by chips, I do mean the hot potato french fries-y ones, not potato chips in a packet) defeated me. Suppose it’s a good thing that I can’t eat as much as I used to. But I hate wasting food, particularly chips. Chips are … I have a certain liking for chips.

Used to have a fantasy thought of travelling as a chip connoisseur and writing a book entailing chips around the world – all the shapes, seasonings, and the best cafes and restaurants that serve them.  We’ve already located the best chips in Australia – at least, of all the places we’ve been in Australia.  If you’re ever at the Flinders Chase National Park Visitors Centre on Kangaroo Island, order the chips.  Not McDonald’s skinny, not KFC thick, cooked in sunflower oil (I’m pretty sure that’s what it was) with the most amazing herb seasoning.  We had to order a second basket the moment the first was empty.  Don’t know if they’re still served there, though – this was quite a few years ago.

The chips aren’t too bad closer to home, either. The Pancake Manor, of course, has wonderful chips, hence my reluctance to admit defeat this morning. Another good place for chips is Wordsmiths Cafe at the University of Queensland. When I was eating them more regularly as a uni student, it was a small gamble to order these – one I always took – as sometimes they just didn’t arrive at your table right: oily aioli, lukewarm, or heavily under-spiced. But when they were cooked right – which was more often than not – they’re just brilliant.

Wordies chips are ingrained in my mind as part of a normal uni experience, so much so that they appear in my first novel.  I bestowed student Eva with one of my uni habits – often if I felt anxious about an assignment or an exam, I would go and order a massive bowl of Wordies chips and devour them, all alone at a little round sandstone table.  She does just that in chapter eight – I think it’s eight – only that time, it’s not uni that’s got her feeling a bit tense.

Can’t think of any other moment in my writings when chips get to shine. And I do so love writing descriptions of food.  Maybe I could pop a chips-in-a-paper-cone shop on the Fourth Crossroads in Pulp Runner. They could work in Missing Exhibit, as well – the world is based roughly on late 19th century England/Ireland/Scotland/Wales, so there would be chips around about somewhere.

Probably not important to include chips in writing. Might even be a bit silly. But they work with Eva.

And I do like chips …