xmas wrap-up

newkitty guards the gifts

We had a brilliant christmas late lunch / dinner with Joan and Ajax. The company was excellent, very thoughtful gifts were exchanged, and the food was very good indeed (if I do say so myself).

Well, okay, the chicken was just a touch dry – but I suspect this may have been because I was distracted (by champagne and chatter) and probably had given it an extra 25 minute increment by failing to cross it off the check-list. I think next time we have roast chicken, we’re going to give brining a crack.

chicken timing methodology – baste after 25 minutes

Accompanying this were roast vegies (capsicum, baby tomatoes, zucchini, fennel, celery, carrots, chillis), kipflers roasted in duck fat and gravy made from scratch. The making gravy from scratch (rather than using gravy from a packet) is a relatively new thing for us and we’re completely sold.

We enjoyed a very minimalist table-scape:

It would have been even more minimalist if I had not scored the two bits of pre-cut Christmas Bush from the side of the road while on my Christmas morning run.


And my pavolva? Outstanding success!

It was all much easier than I imagined and I will definitely be making another. I used the recipe in marie claire: kitchen which required both cornflour and white wine vinegar, but I reduced the temperature a little and kept a VERY close eye on it.

Phases of pavlova:




Topped in whipped cream and macerated berries. So full of nom.


And then it was time for a complicated family jigsaw puzzle – this is #40 on my 50before50 list. We’re not puzzle people really, and I haven’t really ever been able to see the point, but I thought it would be a nice change from a board game. 

I picked a world map because I figured it would be of interest to everyone and picked 2,000 pieces because that was all I could find.

I was a bit of a tyrant and insisted that we should put together all of the land areas without consulting the picture on the box because I thought it would be a good test of our geographical knowledge.

I dragged out an bit of Don’s old desk as a puzzling surface. Unfortunately when I was bringing it upstairs I scraped my rude finger1 on the garage door and tore a quite big slash into my knuckle. It bled rather a lot and still hurts like the proverbial – I suspect this is going to interfere with the seamless pursuit of some of my projects.

By the end of the evening Joan, Ajax and I were ready to throw the whole thing in the bin, though Don was still enjoying the process.

status at end of day one

Actually now that I am back to it this morning, I’m finding it quite soothing sitting with my coffee and finding bits of Africa.

1As the babies called it when they were small.


I am trying to resist all temptation to go crazy in the Boxing Day sales – now that most sale items are available online, it is quite difficult to avoid! Dresses! Teapots! Homewares!

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