Hasn't it been an odd Christmas! Covid has made us so aware of how others are doing around the world. It was not a pretty sight. I consider myself lucky to have be able to attend Christmas parties and celebrate Christmas day with extended family out of town. Nothing is taken for granted in this pandemic. Gathering with colleagues and friends. Going out of town to see family. Swimming in the sea, These are precious freedoms. Sadly the year has not left me with much blogging energy but a week into my month of annual leave, I am hoping to post a bit more while I have more time. Above is my Christmas day lunch - a roast dinner and punch on a mercifully mild day.
This is a Strawberry and Lemon Soda (muddled strawberry, lemon and cranberry shaken with house-made rhubarb syrup, garnished with fresh mint. $8) at the Rooftop Bar at the end of a work Christmas party. I had a lovely Christmas party with my Centre at Fitzroy North Bowling Club, the Edinburgh Gardens and Panna Thai, followed a week later by a Christmas lunch with my team at The Arbory Bar and Eatery, which ended up at the Rooftop Bar.
I didn't take photos but I ate well. The lunch of corn, sweet potato and chickpea patties and the roast portobello mushrooms stuffed with quinoa, roast vegetables and pesto were both fantastic at the bowls club. The desserts platters were even more impressive with bite sized brownies, macarons, slabs of cheese and seasonal fruit. (I was so delighted to have cherries instead of boring old watermelon!) I was pretty full but still enjoyed slurping noodles in my Pad Thai in the evening before riding my bike home just as it was darkening. Then at the Arbory we had lots of delicious finger food such as hummus and bread, pea arancini and chips before getting stuck into what I could of a huge green risotto. However the drinks were pretty ordinary if, like me, you didn't fancy alcohol. So I was pretty happy to find mocktails at the Rooftop Bar. And it was just lovely to spend time with colleagues face to face after working from home most of the year.
There was very little baking before Christmas. I didn't seem to have either time or energy for it. When we went to my parents to help decorate their Christmas tree, Sylvia and her cousin Ashy had great fun on the bunjee trampolines at Geelong's Eastern Beach and decorating gingerbread. We stayed the night and the next morning I walked at the water's edge of the beach in Torquay with my brother and nephew, followed by a swim at the pool with Sylvia.
It was only on Christmas eve that my baking mojo returned, though I could have done with a bit more energy. Making familiar recipes is always easier. I made some of my favourite Christmas recipes: nut roast, panforte and cranberry nut rolls. When I took the above photo, I had made fruit mince but not yet started the panforte. You can also see some pizza dough so I could make pizza for dinner to have with lime spiders. Sylvia was keen to make and decorate cupcakes so we made a favourite vanilla cupcake recipe with added mixed space and choc chips.
Sylvia's plan for the cupcakes was to leave some out for Santa. He was quite spoiled with cupcakes, gingerbread, a mince tart, all washed down with spiced ginger beer. The carrots were for the reindeer!
On Christmas morning, Sylvia, E and me had a festive breakfast of cranberry nut rolls, swiss cheese, cherries, and orange juice combined with spiced ginger beer. As always it was not a meal to relax over as we had to leave for Geelong to arrive in time for the present opening!
Christmas lunch is never early so my mum often has nibbles about to keep us going. Crackers, nuts popcorn, gingerbread, marshmallows and turkish delight. Washed down with punch. Great while opening presents.
At the top of the post I have a picture of the main course for Christmas lunch. Of course it doesn't stop there. Afterwards we had pavlova, cheesecake, Christmas pudding and this amazing cheese platter that my aunt brought with her. Kudos to my aunt and oldest brother for doing the dishes for a big meal for 20 people after the dishwasher broke on Christmas Day.
I am back home now with leftovers of pizza, nut roast, roast vegies, panforte and Christmas cake. Above is some of my presents. We are in that odd time of year when not much happens. Actually in 2020 you might say that not a lot happened all year. I have much to catch up on before the end of year: swimming, cinema, bike service, cleaning rust off the verandah and mopping the floor. And on and on and on. I hope there might be some blogging too. I hope you had a good Christmas and have a relaxing and safe break as the end of a difficult year is in sight.