Friday, 27 December 2019

Christmas eating 2019 (including Coburg Night Market)

'Tis the season for feasting.  And indeed I have eaten well this festive season.  Here are some of the seasonal eats.  Let's start with one of the cutest foods I have had this year.  My mum visited my sister in Dublin and came home with a packet of chocolate brussels sprouts for me.  They looked so cute and green but tasted so good.

Every year we love going to the Coburg Night Market in the last four Fridays leading up to Christmas.  This year they changed it to four days in a row in the last weekend of November.  It wasn't the same.  We missed having dinner there each Friday.  And the weather was up and down.

Yet we made a few visits.  The first night I was tired after work, the next Sylvia was sick and it was raining but I had arranged for my dad to visit, and the third night the weather was beautiful and I took Sylvia who hung out with a friend.

The market has lots of food trucks and craft stalls.  It wasn't close enough to Christmas to fancy much present buying but I did want to taste some of the food on offer.  The vegan kebabs were fascinating but when I tried them it was raining so much I took my kebab home and found it a bit cold to appreciate it.  But the eggplant was lovely and so was the pita bread on the side.  I quite enjoyed the areapas with cheese in the middle and guacamole on top but they were quite pricey.  Sylvia and I shared some panzerotto (fried cheese and tomato pasties), potato and cheese pierogi and a potato twist.

We also went to Saint Gerry's to share doughnuts - one with salted caramel and popcorn and one with nutella and fairy floss.  They were fantastic.  It was a fine ending to our time at the markets.

We took a picnic to a carols service.  For the savoury food we had home made garlic pizza, dips, vegies and crackers.  I made some gingerbread and Sylvia decorated some of it.  My mum was away but my dad went to a bakery to buy a selection of sweet goodies.  I was excited that grapes and cherries had come into season in Australia.

My workplace had a big workshop at the Arts Centre.  The catering was great.  I was so pleased that much of the catering was vegetarian in an effort to go sustainable.  Lots of nice salads and some cute little pumpkin quiches.  I loved the cute desserts, with even some little Christmas tree cakes.

It was great to catch up with a friend and partner from Adelaide in Geelong before Christmas.  We met at a cafe called Untitled (Yarra St, South Geelong), where I had what I think was called The Falafel.  It was delicious with falafel, hash browns, carrot hummus, roasted tomatoes, spinach, fried mushrooms, chilli jam and sourdough toast.  After lunch we had brownie at That Place (Mt Pleasant Road, Belmont) and then off to see my parents lovely garden.

Sylvia was quite taken with these Festive Gingerbread Cones with a Caramel Ripple.  I didn't taste them at all but am happy to take her recommendation, given she is a bit of an expert on gingerbread tasting!

I resisted a lot of festive products until the weekend before Christmas when we came home with a haul.  The Festive Flake Cakes are so light and airy that they disappeared quickly.  The Cadbury Dream White Christmas is so sweet we are still making our way through it.  The Candy Cane Popcorn is quite moreish (with caramelized strawberry and peppermint popcorn) but we still have plenty about.  And Santa had one mince pie but the rest are still about.  Hmmm slowly but surely we will get through it all.

Another Christmas treat I could not resist was this really cute Walkers gingerbread tin.  I had no energy for making a gingerbread house this year so this was the next best thing!

I also had a bit of farmers market shopping.  The mince tarts were a bit of a mess once they got home but tasted lovely, and Sylvia was a fan of the ginger trees from the Celtic Bakery.  The fresh produce is also pretty amazing at this time of year: asparagus, cherries, apricots.  Though none of the produce as amazing as peaches straight from the tree at a friend's recent potluck dinner party.

On Christmas Eve I spent some time baking, though it felt it was less than usual.  I still had brown rice salad leftover from the peach potluck dinner party.  It went well with the pizza I made for tea.  I also made nut roast, panforte and cranberry nut rolls.

The cranberry nut rolls were great on Christmas morning with swiss cheese and cranberry sauce.  Sylvia made us a special Christmas morning mocktail of spiced ginger beer and orange juice garnished with mint, ice and orange wedges.

And on Christmas day we had lunch at my mum and dad's.  I took down nut roast as usual and ate it with cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, roast carrots, peas and a cauliflower cheese with a really crispy cheese topping.  Then I had a piece of plum pudding with custard and was so full and tired I had a nap.  I rarely nap during the day but this Christmas had really tired me out.  So now it over and we are into the blissfully quiet period between Christmas and New Year.  Time to rest and revive!  Hope you are enjoying the festive season too!


  1. Hi Johanna, thanks for sharing all of these great Christmas treats with us. The chocolate Brussels sprouts look so real - cute. My mother bought the gingerbread cones and I can also vouch that they are good. Wishing you and your family a very happy 2020.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - if we buy any more gingerbread cones I will try one.

  2. So much tasty food in this post! I have that candy cane popcorn but haven't opened it yet. Tell me about the chocolate coated Brussels sprouts. Are they real Brussels sprouts?

  3. Chocolate brussels sprouts definitely are attention-getting items. Like your other commenters, I want to know more. Do they really combine the cabbagy flavor of the sprouts with chocolate? Or are they just look-alikes?

    Have a happy New Year!

    best... mae at

  4. The chocolate brussels sprouts are the cutest thing ever. And the Walker's gingerbread tin- how adorable. I love their shortbread biscuits and buy big packs every year to give as holiday gifts to the mail lady and other such helpful people in our life.


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