elissande: (Default)
It's good to be back home again after a Christmas visit with my parents in Canberra. The weather was, predictably, very hot for the first few days - the ones where I was cooking - so I did a lot of the cooking at night. This was not a problem for me as I'm a night owl, but worried my mother who isn't.

My sister-in-law and I take turns at doing the Christmas dinner, and it was my turn this year. As most of you know, I love cooking, but not having all the right tools can make it more frustrating than I would like.

My father and I did a big shop for foodstuffs on Monday morning and I started cooking on Tuesday. Our dinner is traditionally on Christmas Eve and is cold, so I could make everything beforehand and just have a few things to finish off on the day itself. So we had Thai Chicken balls as nibbles (as well as nuts etc.), pork and veal terrine and a potato and camembert terrine, roast turkey with cider glaze and lemon butter, glazed ham (orange mustard glaze). potato salad, pesto penne salad, mexican salad, a garden salad (from my sister-in-law) and for dessert ice-cream christmas pudding and marinated oranges.

I expect my parents are still eating leftovers. :)

I also managed to catch up with various friends while I was there, and miss seeing some others, unfortunately.
elissande: (Default)
I’ve decided to make better use of this blog – one way or the other. Not that this is a NY resolution, mind you – I’m not going to commit myself to anything.

So what should I blog about? Food and books seem to be the obvious choices at the moment. I’ll start on food – Christmas food to be precise.

Last year – err the year before last, when it turned out that my sister-in-law ended up cooking 2 Christmas dinners (we have ours on Christmas Eve while her family has it on Christmas day) we all said that was unfair and I offered to cook for this Christmas just past. I may have gone just a little overboard – but here’s the menu. We have a cold Christmas meal, so there were quite a few things that could be cooked beforehand.

Nibbles: Spicy nuts, bean and rosemary dip, pastry twists (herb and spicy), Thai chicken balls.
Entrée: Freeform prawn pies with salad garnish.
Main course: Turkey with citrus stuffing, glazed ham (well, part of a ham anyway), potato salad, orange and date salad, roast vegetable and chickpea salad, raspberry and cranberry sauce.
Dessert: Ice cream Christmas pudding.
After: coffee and Adora chocolate.

It all turned out well, but the big hits were the Thai chicken balls, the prawn pies (especially without the pastry, which was, imho, pretty ordinary – I’ll use a different pastry recipe next time), the Raspberry and cranberry sauce and the Christmas pudding. I was pretty pleased with the hit rate. And at the end we were, of course, all stuffed to the gills.

Styvyn was my kitchen hand - which impressed my sister-in-law – and did a pretty good job of that and of helping to keep me sane. Cooking in an unfamiliar kitchen added an extra layer of stress, but it all worked out and I got to sit back and enjoy the meal.

And what did I get for Christmas? A new tagine and a pasta maker – as well as a few books of harp music (though I bought a few of those for myself). I think there’s a theme for that Christmas.
elissande: (Default)

elissa2.jpg
Originally uploaded by elissande.
An iPod, a coffee grinder, a statue.

Styvyn and I treated ourselves to the iPod plus FM transmitter so that we have a better variety of travel music and don't tend to leave our cds in the car etc. - and to avoid last years effect when we both managed to buy the other a present they didn't really want.

We'd been going to buy the iPod for a while, but this just seemed like the right time. We managed to spend most of the Sunday before Christmas shopping for it and the appropriate tuner. We'd been a bit concerned about how well the tuners worked as I'd read varying reports. However, I can now report that it works like a charm - at least the one that we got. Sure, if there's a stronger signal it interferes, but we didn't generally find it a problem.

Coffee grinder from my parents. They'd mistaken the model number, so I exchanged it today for the right one and it works beautifully - now we just have to experiment until we find the right coffee blend (coffee wankers r us!)

My brother carved a statue (a bust, really) for me. See the photo so no further description required. Now we just have t find a good place for it. I think outside because it needs space to display to most advantage.

Also got a chocolate fondue set, an outdoor thermometer and Styvyn got a dragon in crystal and a Kingdom of Heaven DVD.

The family dinner on Christmas Eve went well, with much pigging out by all. Champagne brunch the next morning and then flake out for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, I managed to get a nasty bug in the gut (not from the food) and wasn't really happy for the next couple of days. Thinking back, I often seem to get something going wrong with me when I go to Canberra at Christmas - maybe it's the heat.

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elissande

February 2011

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