Ok, so I’ll do the where oh where has the year gone thing later in the week, but for now, let’s wrap up this Christmas week which, to be honest, was pretty much about eating and faffing about by the pool.

How we Christmas’d…

Breakfast by the beach…

We started the day with an early walk and swim down at Mooloolaba – early enough that we managed to snaffle a table by the beach (they were all gone by 6am…us Queenslanders are up and about at stupid o’clock).

We took a bottle of bubbles and our potato scones, smoked salmon and creme fraiche with us and breakfasted in style.

Lunch at home…

Christmas lunch was in stages – with breaks in between for swims. First up were lychee-tinis followed by local Mooloolaba prawns and spanner crabs…

While we were digesting that I cooked the roast veggies and let the turkey and pork rest a tad. This year for the first time, as well as putting a heap of seasoned butter under the skin, I cooked my turkey in an alfoil “tent” – effectively steaming it in the oven. The alfoil came off for the final 30 minutes to crisp the skin and we all agreed that we’d never cook a turkey in any other way ever again.

After another lengthy digestion break, dessert was finally served late in the afternoon – hubby’s trifle and my lemon pavlova with homemade lemon curd.

It’s the first time that we’ve spent Christmas with just the 3 of us and while we really enjoyed the day and made it special by dressing the table and turning it into an extended feast, we all missed the noise and chaos of spending it with extended family and/or friends. It was, however, a real treat to cater Christmas lunch.

How we Boxing Day’d…

With friends up at Tinbeerwah – in the hinterland out of Noosa – in an incredible pavilion/resort-style house that they’d rented for the week. We all met nearly 21 years ago in pre-natal classes when our babies were bumps; and have been friends ever since. Our babies will be turning 21 this March.

What I’m grateful for…

The temperatures. In our little part of the Queensland coast, it’s been a relatively mild (for this time of year) and consistent 27-28C.

Yet again I’m grateful that we’re not in Sydney where the temperatures have been over 35 (with a few over 40) in the last week or so with little relief in sight. Even though I know that the humidity we get in January and February is on its way I don’t miss those extreme summer temps in North-Western Sydney at all.

In the kitchen…

Hello, it was Christmas. Other than that it’s been pretty much leftovers for the last week. I did, however, use the last of the leftover turkey in a Vietnamese style glass noodle salad based on this one from Nigella.

I also cooked a pasta con salsiccia di maiale (pasta with pork and fennel sausage) from my new cookbook. How did Santa know that I really wanted this one? Clever Santa…

Where we visited…

Montville – a touristy town in the Hinterland. There’s a German cuckoo clock shop there that sells speculoos presses and rollers – to imprint the speculoos biscuits with traditional images. Unfortunately, they didn’t have exactly what I was after, But I did get one. If you want to know more about speculoos (or speculaas, as they are in the Netherlands, or spekulatius in Germany) I’ve blogged a recipe here.

Plus we got to have a wander through Montville which, although touristy, is a beautiful village and a must-visit if you’re at the Sunshine Coast.

Where we lunched…

Sunday lunch this week was at the Imperial Hotel in Eumundi – a great pub with a colourful vibe in another fabulous hinterland village that’s famous for its twice-weekly markets. There is, however so much more to Eumundi than the markets…perhaps a subject for another time.

Ok, that was my wrap of the last week of the year…I’ll be back on Thursday with my usual end of the year closing thingie, but until then, happy new year!


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