My First Christmas (Lunch)

A Very Merry Picnic

Well Christmas Day 2009 has come and gone, a fact I can scarcely believe, because not only does the passing of Christmas signal the end to another big year, but it also means that I have successfully pulled off my very first Christmas Lunch. That's right people, my lovely lady friend and I were in charge of Christmas Lunch this year, we wrote lists, made a few confused phone calls to our mothers (How long do prawns keep in the fridge? What's the name of that sauce you make? Are they pine nuts or almonds in that salad?) and after a lot of shopping and menu-planning, settled on a Christmas picnic in the park.

Fresh Fruit & Cheap Wine

Veggies ready for the oven

I'd highly recommend the Christmas Picnic idea: for starters we didn't have to prepare much food - just some salads and roast veggies, the rest we bought from the markets. Because we cut down on the amount of cooking required, we weren't trapped in our teeny-tiny kitchens with our ovens pumping all day, and we even fed our stinky prawn carcasses to some very happy local magpies, no cleanup required. The weather was bliss, the park was beautiful, and I didn't have to clean my lounge room in anticipation of an onslaught of guests. This picnic idea? Total winner.

Cold Ham - Poor Delicious Piggies


The Menu:
- An assortment of cold meats, cheeses, bread and dips bought from Melbourne's multitude of excellent fresh food markets.
- Four big salads (wild rice salad, pear and walnut, tomato and feta, and fruit salad too)
- A kilo and a half of fresh prawns, complete with home made Rouille.
- Roast veggies (the only addition to the menu that required the oven)
- Choc-Ripple Cake (still delicious, even after a rough commute to the park)
- A truckload of red wine, and G&T's in the esky.

I Love Choc Ripple Cake

I'm really pleased at my first Christmas Lunch. The food and drink: plentiful. The fuss: minimal. Weather: Bliss. Plus because we pulled if off, my Lady Friend and I are officially Queens of Christmas, until we either fuck up royally next year, or let our parents take the reins again. How very merry.

Swings, Flings and Tasty Things

Hello my little bloglings, it's been a while!

Between a broken - in fact, somewhat on fire - laptop, overseas adventures and long hours at the library, I'm afraid I have been neglecting you terribly. But there are many whistles and milkshakes on their way to make up for it.

In the last few weeks I traded in my small city in for this island paradise

Waiheke Island: perhaps the greatest proportion of vineyards to landmass that I've ever encountered. Also beaches, jungle, mountains, family, food and hedgehogs.

I saw the marvelous Animal Collective in Melbourne Town

They were as good as this pictures suggests they might be.

I saw this incredible, beautiful film, and then had to run through Melbourne with an unfortunate case of cryface to make it in time for my flight.

It was so worth it.

And I've started making plans for christmas. Like most of my plans on any given day, they involve baking. I am contemplating these delicious gingerbreads

Ruminating on these delicious peppermints

And I am very much enamoured with these salted truffles....delicious? Why yes, I think they might be.

And I'm going to finish watching this charming film - right now, if you please.

I do so love a good con. And a Gentlemanly Rogue or two.

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

Last weekend I paid a visit to the fantastic Melbourne Design Markets. I paid a visit specifically to purchase Cookbook, a darling little collection of recipe cards from Melbourne designers Wolfgang & Shlomo, hand printed using the old letterpress at the Melbourne Museum of Printing.

Cookbook is pretty much the most exciting purchase I have made this year. It combines two of my very favourite things, beautiful design and delicious food. Featuring linocut artwork by four talented Melbourne designers, and recipes from local food royalty, the pages of this beautifully printed collection are just so darn pretty, unwrapping my copy set me all aquiver with excitement.

The traditional letterpress printing used to create Cookbook lends each recipe card an organic, textured feel, entirely in keeping with the earthy homestyle recipes inked on each page. I can't wait to try the delicious sounding "carrots cooked in earth with wild onions and clover" - and I'm eager to sink my teeth into the utterly enticing "white chocolate, macadamia and butterscotch tart".

I am completely in love with my Cookbook, and I urge you to get your hands on a copy, if you can (The Narrows Bookstore is the only stockist I can find). All profits go to The Australian Aids Fund, a worthy recipient of your hard earned, and unwrapping your copy of Cookbook for the first time is so totally satisfying, I promise your money will be well spent.