Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012: Roundup

Christmas Roundup! I've had a lot of fun over Christmas this year. I'm not religious at all, but I do love all the secular aspects of the holiday season, all the ritual and tradition: the food, the gifts, the food, the decorations, the food, the time off work, the food, spending time with family and friends... and the food! (That was shamelessly quoted from the latest episode of Miranda!)

Of course, I'll still be doing my Unblogged Files for December (I'm pretty proud of myself for keeping that up the whole year, by the way!), as well as a "2012 in Review"-type post, summarising my blog this year... but to try and keep December's Unblogged Files to a reasonable length (and because I clearly love round-up posts!) I've decided to do a little Christmas round-up post too!

The Christmas season started with a party at a friends' house, to which I brought my mince pies. I loved the spread of baked goods - super cute!
Christmas Spread

I did get teased for requesting a cup of tea at 10pm on a Saturday night - how very Miranda of me! - but you just can't have mince pies and shortbread without tea!

That evening we were also treated to a fabulous Christmas pudding made by a friend's aunt. It was flambéed and served with a crème anglaise, made by another friend who is a professional trained chef. (Obviously this is where we got the idea to serve our own pudding with vanilla crème anglaise!)

Pretty flames!

Pudding with custard

As you know, my Christmas Cake this year was Nigel Slater's Christmas Cake. That's another thing I love about Christmas: dried fruit and spices galore!
Nigel Slater's Christmas Cake

We had a fab picnic in the Botanic Gardens - it was perfect weather too! (Yay for a Southern Hemisphere Christmas!)
Botanic Gardens
We had a great afternoon, drinking rosé, eating picnicky food (cheese, dips, salami etc.) and generally soaking up the atmosphere. Love!
Spread

I brought a tray of milk chocolate and salted peanut blondies to share - they were super fudge-tastic! (Blogpost and recipe to come!)
Milk chocolate and salted peanut blondies
Mmm... gooey...
One piece
And of course, there was our big Turkey dinner, held on Christmas Eve at my parents' place.
Christmas Dinner
I also wanted to show you some of the cool foodie gifts I got! These cute and pretty ceramic pieces from Kikki K's new home range (I love the little bowl so much - it really makes me smile!), these fab "Delicup Lunch" containers from my brother in Japan, and The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook!
Gifts
I bought this cute Hario Mini-Mill Slim Plastic Coffee Grinder from Sensory Lab for Sandra, as well as a bag of Chompy beans. The guys at Sensory Lab were so nice and helpful when I went to buy it - despite being busy, they gave me loads of time and advice, and even ground up a few samples of coffee for me to take home, so that I could see what the different grinds are supposed to look like for different brewing methods. How nice is that? Thanks guys!!
Coffee Grinder

Christmas also means Christmas leftovers. Breakfast on Christmas day was leftover Christmas pudding, fried in butter (eep!) and served with a little quenelle of creme fraiche.
Leftover Christmas Pudding
I also used the leftover Christmas pudding to make Christmas Puddini Bonbons again. I've been whipping them out whenever people pop in. (As well as some fancy German Christmas biscuits that my Dad bought us, and some coconut rough that I got at the newly opened Yarra Valley Chocolaterie).
Sweetmeats
I made a couple of fun things with the leftover turkey, including the Best Sandwich Ever! White bread, turkey, crispy bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato and cranberry.
T-BLAT Sandwich
And because sometimes even I can get tired of Christmas food: I made Fuchsia Dunlop's claybowl chicken, using leftover turkey. Essentially it's just cold cooked turkey, dressed in a mixture of sesame paste, soy sauce, black vinegar, sesame oil and loads of chilli oil, tossed with crunchy roasted peanuts and sesame seeds and topped with pungent coriander and spring onions. Spicy, low-carb and punchily flavourful - it's the antithesis of Christmas food, and totally delicious.
Claybowl Turkey

Last night, we had a lobster dinner at our place - I do hope this becomes a yearly tradition! Essentially it was a rehash of last year's lobster dinner, but I improved on the lobster salad recipe (blogpost and recipe to come), and I baked my own challah for the bun. (Yes, for realsies!)
Lobster Salad in Challah (And yes I do realise how wrong that sounds!) 
And finally, today we had a little latke party at my friend Jess' house.  I know we were a bit late for Hanukkah, but there's never a bad time for latkes!
Potato latkes with applesauce and creme fraiche

Jess made fab potato latkes, and we had a go making apple latkes too. I'll blog them in more detail soon - you all need fried potato pancakes in your life! Jess does her latkes very simply: just potatoes, flour and egg. So delicious! Just quietly, I like them better than Nigella's latkes from How to Eat!

Hope you all had a great festive season and enjoyed some good food and quality time with those nearest and dearest!! What are your favourite things to do over the break?

7 comments:

Cindy said...

So much deliciousness!

Oh, and I got the Smitten Kitchen cookbook too. :-) We used up a couple of zucchinis in one of the salad recipes tonight, but I'm itching to get baking.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Delicious! And I was hoping to get a little more mileage out of our turkey but alas there wasn't much leftover-must buy a bigger one next year. Eeek, am I already thinking about next year? :o Help! :P

Hannah said...

Merry Christmas, Sarah! I abhor all thinks mincemeat and fruitcake with every fibre of my being, so bring on the blondies. Peanut and chocolate YES.

Winston said...

Awesome stuff! You really know how to put good memories with ppl and food together so well. Exactly what I'm all about. And I love that it consists more of homecooked meal (with your awesome cooking skillz) than at restos. Happy 2012 and cheers to a better 2013!

Gemma said...

Looks great! I definitely need to make lobster rolls this year...

thanh7580 said...

Wow you definitely ate well during Christmas. I'm drooling so badly now and it's 11pm. I feel so hungry now, need to raid fridge for some food.

Sarah said...

Cindy - It's such a cute book! I love her comfort recipes - I want to try the eggplant calzone and her peanut butter sandwich cookies!

Lorraine - Hehe, so organised! I'm sure there's a support group for that somewhere ;)

Hannah - Omg yes, they were fabulous! Everyone deserves a treat at Christmas, even dried-fruit haters!

Winston - Aww, thank-you so much! Happy new year to you too!

Gemma - You've gotta try Smitten Kitchen's challah recipe - it's sooo good!

Thanh - Haha, one of the perils of food blogging! I'm starving too.

xox Sarah