Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Melbourne style

I’d began thinking about it over a month in advance, some would say obsessing and just as well too. A few days before the family arrived I succumbed to a lurgy) and my brain went to custard. I had shopping lists written, three in fact, one for a big fruit and vegetable market shop on Tuesday, and another for the supermarket and a last minute perishables run to the market on Christmas Eve. Without these pieces of paper and some careful thought into what I’d be cooking we could have gone quite hungry on the 25th.

At the unseasonal hour of 4.30 am on the 24th I awoke due to a wracking cough and after an hour of tossing and turning decided I’d head off at such a quiet hour to buy the seafood. It was 30c already and as I entered the meat hall at Vic Market was a little shocked to find it full to capacity. Not for the faint hearted and armed with a shopping trolley I forged my way to the nearest familiar fish shop and stood patiently in the queue as I watched the clock work its way past 6am. People were remarkably good-naturedly for the time in the morning and the 15 minute wait. One man asked hopefully if there were any tinnies** in my esky***.

In the end due to my malady I cut a few corners, dropped making the chocolate mousse, left off the smoked eel pate and a few extra nibbles. No one noticed. I spread the food over the day, rather than a multi-course single sitting. A grazing feast, with plenty of cheer in the perfect Melbourne sun!

The menu

Breakfast – mango/tropical fruits

Morning tea – coffee and Noisette Christmas mince pies (I’ve never been a big mince pie fan but these were to die for!)

Brunch/late morning – scrambled eggs, rosti, smoked salmon

Early afternoon – prawn cocktails and antipasto platter

Late afternoon BBQ – char grilled asparagus, Japanese eggplants, zucchini, Portobello mushrooms and corn. Prawns, snapper with coriander and fish sauce, gourmet turkey sausages and marinated lemon/garlic chicken breasts (from Chicken Pantry at Vic market).

Sweet treats/later – organic strawberries, cherries, pineapple, chocolate coated baklava (from Helas Cakes in Richmond) and Christmas cake.

Beverages: Radler beer, Cava (Spanish bubbles), 1997 Minya cab sav/shiraz/merlot (excellent!), homemade ginger beer, homemade lemon cordial and mineral water.

Not many pictures – the day was about family, not food, believe it or not.

Language decoder (for those who aren’t from around these parts)
* a bug/illness. e.g. a cold, flu, URTI
** cans/tins of beer
*** chilly bin/ice box

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Blogger Johanna said...

I sympathise about the cough - I have been waking with a cough lately and trying not to wake the baby is no fun - a trip to vic market sounds a better way to deal with it - and your christmas day sounds simple but elegant - glad it went well

5:09 pm  
Blogger Wendy said...

That's an impressive spread! And I'm hugely impressed that you managed it whilst being so ill. Hope you're feeling better soon.

6:52 pm  
Blogger Ann ODyne said...

Yes, what Wendy above said.
What a divine day you served, and I hope the good feelings it created, went some way to aiding your recovery.
Still Life With Cat had a great
Christmas cake day too.

Re coughing: codeine is a cough suppressant, so take anything ending in 'deine' to get through the night.

11:21 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Thanks for your comments.
Johanna hope your cough is improving - this has been a shocker. It's day 8 and still have a head full of mucus.

Wendy - its all about good planning!

Ann - I once had a dalliance with a doctor's son who poured half a bottle of liquid codeine down my throat when I had a similar bug and had kept him awake half the night. Slight over dose but fortunately I didn't stop breathing :)

9:37 am  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh my. I'm full from a good dinner, but that hasn't stopped me from drooling a bit over your day's menu. It sounds like you had a wonderful holiday, full of family and food.

3:42 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Thanks Christina, hope your festive season has been likewise.

I love it how healthy food can still be delicious. My meat eating parents got their fill of leftover turkey, ham and christmas pudding 2 days after xmas when we caught up with an old family friend (daughter of their best man and family we had many christmases with in NZ). Though dad still said the turkey sausages were a winner. He's talked about them for days.

I think they've had a xmas to remember (and when one of them has Alzheimer's that really is something) which was my aim without going over the top.

9:32 pm  

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