Tomorrow is the beginning of the great Brisbane tradition, the Royal National Agricultural Show (like the State Fair), what we like to call the "Ekka". According to the Ekka website:
The first 'Royal' Show was held in 1921, when the Association was granted the prefix under warrant from His Majesty King George V. Since then, the shortened name "Ekka" has replaced "Exhibition" in the Queensland vernacular, indicating locals' affection for the Show. Ekka has since been held every year with only two exceptions. In 1919, Brisbane suffered a Spanish influenza epidemic, and in 1942 during wartime the Showgrounds were used as a staging depot for troops moving north.
I grew up not too far from the showgrounds and we went every year as kids. You could always guarantee August to be windy, warm and dry but cool in the evenings so we'd pop in extra coats and afghan rugs to the cloak room while we walked and walked and walked with Mum and Dad looking at all the exhibits. We'd return to pick up our coats in the evening when we made our way to Machinery Hill for dinner of hot dogs and watch the fireworks before catching the bus home.
August is the start of strawberry season and what better way to feature them in this simple delight of strawberry flavoured ice cream, a blob of fresh cream, topped with a strawberry and filled with chopped strawberries in the cone. I haven't been to the Ekka for a few years (I'm lucky my kids don't know about it and we live a little way out from the showgrounds now) so I couldn't tell you how much they are but making them this cheat's way will satisfy that little craving and take you back to the days of your youth, or it did mine.
|Ekka (c.1936) - enjoying the spoils. Things never change. Show bags were free in these days and known as 'sample' bags.|
|The Ekka in the 1950's (my vintage was about 20 years later but some show bags were still free in those days. Also notice how everyone is holding hands. One of the worst places to get lost.|
|The Chief Taste Tester's after school treat. His favourite fruit, he tells me, is strawberries.|
DIY Strawberry Sundae Ice Cream Cone
- quantity of fresh strawberries
- quantity of vanilla ice cream
- ice cream cones
- fresh cream
Mix with softened vanilla ice cream. Place strawberry ice cream into suitable moulds to fit cones. (I used a small plastic cup.)
Return to freezer until firm.
Fill the ice cream cone with fresh strawberries.
Remove the ice cream from its mould.
Top ice cream with fresh cream and another fresh strawberry.
Brisbane RNA Show (the "Ekka")
9 - 18 August 2012