Festive Season 2018 – Wrap Up!

Robin Boyle Miscellaneous, Recipe, Traditions-Feasts

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On the last day of December 2018, with New Year’s Day pending, we thought a summary of some of our Christmas and New Year food experiences might be in order.

The Lead Up

Our local farmers’ market fell at the right time, mid-December. So we stocked up for pending functions. Our purchase of Swiss chard and baby leeks led us to try search through our sources where we found a recipe for “Leek, Swiss chard and feta tart” from Gourmet Australia, August 2014.

There were enough vegetables left over for a pasta dish from similar ingredients.

Cheese is the reliable standby for the hungry and a saviour when time is short.

Every year, about a week before Christmas, we catch up with six friends for a special lunch. This year it had a Vietnamese theme and we contributed banh mi and ginger chicken

Christmas Day

Christmas Day for us is spent with Rhonda’s family. The day involves two meals: a light informal lunch for half a dozen or so, followed by a large evening dinner of around 30 (all family members plus valued invited friends).

We have lunch at the Flinders Yacht Club on the Mornington Peninsula. Because we have a large evening meal coming up we keep it relatively light. The main event was a small bowl of mussels each. Before that we had some light nibbles, including some curry flavoured cauliflower florets. They are very refreshing, still with some crunch. You can make them in a number of ways. One is to parboil them, dry them and soak them in quality vinegar for 20 minutes or so, drain then season with salt and pepper and curry powder. Another is to coat the florets with some olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper, then spread out on a baking tray and bake on high for ten minutes or so, then, once cooled, seasoning with some oil, lemon juice or vinegar.

On Christmas Day, our job is to provide the entree. The table is always beautifully set, waiting for our plated offering. This year we served a Vietnamese-style salad topped with hot-smoked Atlantic salmon.

New Year’s Eve

We will spend New Year’s Eve on an eighth floor balcony looking out over the city of Melbourne with a view from West Gate Bridge to Eureka Tower. Our host has asked guests to bring finger food. At midnight we will have an extraordinary view of the fireworks. We will be taking chicken sandwiches using Peter Rowland’s recipe.