Saturday, December 31, 2005

The belated Christmas Post (quick get it in before 2005 finishes!)

** Sorry no pics yet due to problems with blog bot**

The extra long Christmas weekend was lovely in Sydney. It was wonderful not just because of the food but the fact that we got to spend time with each other, the family and friends.

We drove straight after work on Friday to Sydney, arriving at about quarter to 11 pm, not bad at all a time. We labelled and hung candy canes on the tree for ourselves and our guests (some friends from Richard's parents church, Hornsby Baptist who had no family around that day to celebrate with).

The next day (Christmas Eve) we lazed around, then braved the crowds at Westfield Hornsby to gather up groceries to be used for the 2 dishes I would be contributing to the lunch/ dinner the next day. Sometime in the afternoon, in the scorching hot heat, I decided that would be the time I would make my potato salad. It was probably a touch of heatstroke but I prepared and cooled, cut the potatoes, fried and diced the bacon, hard boiled the eggs and smashed them, diced the onion and when everything had cooled (but not refrigerated) I mixed it all with mayonaise, dill and mixed herbs. It started out looking good but I kept noticing that the salad wasn'at adopting the "creamy" look and kept adding more mayonaise. All of a sudden, it hit me, especially looking at the oil that was starting to gather on the bottom. The mayonaise had *separated*. I gave a squeal of horror and Richard came running. He comforted me that the taste was the same even though the texture wasn't. But I felt like that was my biggest cooking faux pas of 2005.

I was quickly cheered up though as we went to Hayashi Teppankayki at Castle Hill. Its been a while since I had teppanyaki and it was the first time we had an "interactive" chef. We chose a banquet type option with a prawn course, a chicken course, a steak course and fried rice. All had different seasonings and all were cooked to perfection. We could even choose how we liked our beef and the chef would tilt our plates to his own code and timed it all wonderfully. I chose mine medium rare and all the 11 of us got our beef exactly the way we liked. Then, the fun began. We had to catch raw eggs in rice bowls (which were later beaten for omelletes and the fried rice), catch omellete in our mouths and catch our bowls of fried rice expertly tossed to us. My egg caught on the lip of the bowl and it cracked itself half in my bowl and I got some on my hands and the table got the rest of it. We all had a very good time but the big surprise was that Richard's parents had mentioned in passing that we were celabrating their birthdays belatedly. Well, guess what!? They were presented with their fried rice packed tightly in the rice bowl and then removed and placed upside down on a plate with a candle and "Happy Birthday" sign on the front. They put on the usual cheesey canned tape and we all sang happy birthday to them. It was a really nice surprise and was a very enjoyable evening. The staff were attentive to our needs and extremely quick to clean up any of the messes we made.

On the actual day, we went to church, came home and I made my other dish, sushi rice rolled with smoked salmon, avacado and japanese mayo. This one was edible *phew*. We had a blue and silver theme. Since Christmas in Aus is so hot, we had cold meats and a large variety of salads for Christmas lunch.

The hot weather got to me and I got a really bad sore throat so Richard and I stayed at his parent's place while the rest of his family drove an hour up the coast to his Aunt at Umina. We nibbled on leftovers, watched DVDs and played one of his christmas presents, Jenga.

On Boxing day, we went to my friend Js house a bit earlier. The boys caught a snooze (I notice lots of men tend to do that, especially married men) sitting on the sofa, while J and I prepared some food for the night. We were treated to a perfectly roasted turkey and stuffing. J had wrapped the turkey in rashes of bacon to retain moisture and the trick worked a treat. Yes, it was indeed a good night and I find it is always a perfect party when people chat late into the night, after the coffee and dessert. Some of them played mah jong, while I and a few others caught up. I smiled when I saw some people start to stand around the kitchen and pick on leftovers after midnight. It was indeed a wonderful end to Christmas 2005.

Happy New Year one and all !!!


At 7:29 PM, Blogger milgwimper said...


The Christmas sounded wonderful, and it is quite nice when you have a sweet husband to comfort you when culinary disasters happen. HUGZ Christmas is definitely a winner when you can talk into the night, but I am getting old now... ;P

At 3:40 PM, Blogger KirkK said...

Hi Rachel - That sounded like a sonderful time! Happy New Year!

At 9:24 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

Hi Milly !
Yes we did have a really good time. I think because we had a longer rest than usual. I'm sure everyone can relate to having to travel somewhere for the holidays and having so much packed in that you come back not feeling like you had a holiday at all!

Hi kirk! Thank you it was v good. Hope yours was just as nice.


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