This dish is often eaten to celebrate a birth and is also served at Christmas and on New Year’s Day. I came to Australia with my family when I was 18. In Portugal, Mum always set a nice table with traditional meals, and we did the whole loving family thing. Now in Australia, everyone comes to my place for Christmas: I have four children, seven siblings, and about 20 nieces and nephews. It’s chaotic, but we love to celebrate. We sit down for lunch at 1pm and don’t leave the table until 5pm. We also get together every Sunday for a family meal. A dish such as rabanadas is great for festive occasions because it’s so simple. It’s also a cheap one to make because it’s just eggs, milk, bread, sugar and cinnamon. The only trick to the dish is that the bread has to be at least two days old, and has to be a thick and crusty loaf, such as ciabatta. Another good idea is to clean the pan halfway through cooking and add fresh oil, so the bread doesn’t blacken. It’s impossible to dislike this dish.
Interview Carla Grossetti Photography Katie Kaars