Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas at our place

Mum's salad of blanched beans with baby tomatoes, boccocini, pine nuts and pesto dressing

Christmas was ultra special for me this year.
My whole family collected in Perth at my parents' house for a fortnight, the house continually overflowing with people, and of course, food.
On Christmas Day itself we decided to celebrate outside, and in the evening. Perth can be extremely hot at this time of year, but we enjoyed between 28 and 30 degrees rather than the 42 degrees they have been experiencing since we came home.

My sister's Nigella-inspired salad of watermelon, lime, spanish onion, feta and black olives

We had a big breakfast in the morning of blueberry buttermilk pancakes and fruit platters, then spending a peaceful day opening presents. The little girl got more presents than she could focus on, but she did seem grasp a little of the concept of Christmas this year. Watching The Snowman on Christmas Eve with all the family was a big highlight.

My salad
 I was happy to be only contributing a couple of things to Christmas Day food-wise. As much as I love spending time in the kitchen, I have no desire to spend the whole of Christmas Day in there.
I simple baked pumpkin in maple syrup and tossed it through a spinach and pine nut salad (yes, there does seem to be a pine nut theme here!).

The main event was my Godmother Susie's Galantine.  Something new for me too. It's a totally boneless chicken stuffed in a duck then stuffed in a turkey. I'd never heard of it before, but apparently it's not new and is very popular in the UK. It was delicious, although I can't say it was always easy to tell which meat I was eating.  

Our festive table

Kevin brought a Christmas pudding that he made himself in the middle of the year. Moist and full of flavour. I only need a little taste of Christmas pud to reach my yearly quota, but I was more than happy to have a few mouthfuls of this. Accompanied by brandy butter.

My dessert contribution was a Donna Hay Cherry Pavlova. Unusually for me, I was forced to take the choice of Pavlova to a full family vote!  As I only made one during our holiday it was quite contentious. The classic mango and passionfruit combo was almost made, but I got a large vote for trying something a little bit more festive. 
Cherries don't exactly add the juiciness of mangoes and passionfruit, so Donna's suggestion of a cherry syrup worked so well. I boiled the cherries in the sugar syrup for 15 minutes until a deep cherry colour was achieved.

We finished up with more than a few plates of chocolates, turkish delight and some gingerbread made by the little girl and I.  A very memorable Christmas and I'm missing everyone so much already.