Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas done and dusted

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Mine got off to a mixed start when I opened my eyes to brilliant sunshine peeking through the blinds...and realised that I had a crashing hangover from a little too much celebrating of our youngest's birthday the night before. Ugh.  

Too bright! Someone turn off that sun.
With only four hours to get everything set up for lunch for our extended family, I did what any sane person would do: took two Panadol, chugged some water and went back to bed for half an hour. Bike Boy brought me coffee in bed and I valiantly struggled upright, ate some breakfast and downed a bottle of Gatorade. By 8:30am I was feeling human but was under the pump to get everything done before everyone arrived...

I flew into domestic goddess mode, prepared potatoes, mixed cocktail bases, and began setting up our outdoor area to cater for lunch for twenty-three.

Random (mostly borrowed) tables & chairs: Major transformation required.
The addition of some discount fabric from Spotlight, some candles, plus all the spare dishes, cutlery and assorted glassware did the trick:
Things got a little busy and I forgot to take a photo of the finished product, with coordinated serviettes, Christmas bon-bons, etc, but you get the idea...

Amazing what you can do with $5-a-metre dress fabric. 
My mum arrived early to help with preparations and I *may* have still been in my pyjamas, but other than that, everything went to plan.

The bar, as always, was the centre of activity before lunch.
I whipped up my favourite Campari & orange cocktails, which were a hit - and got the party started.

Recipe: 1/2 cup Campari, 1 cup orange juice, 1 tbs castor sugar, orange slices. Mix to dissolve sugar,  add 1 cup sparkling wine, top up with soda water. Yum!
Mum's seafood entree was a winner, as usual. I swear those prawns are so fresh, they're trying to crawl off the plates.

The roast beast(s) were popular. Did anyone even feed these kids all week? We put the food on the table and it was like feeding time at the zoo... Bike Boy did an amazing job on the ham, turkey and pork. My sisters, sister in law and I also did an amazing job on the salads.

My pumpkin & chickpea salad was so good, it's almost a meal on its own. I could eat the dressing as a dip. And may do just that... Recipe is in December Home Beautiful, if you're interested.

As usual, we over-catered with desserts. Hmm. Is it even possible to have too much dessert? Surely not.

Death by Chocolate. Zuccotto. Snowflakes. Trifle. Lemon Tart. Plum pudding. Leftover birthday cake (a purchased marbled mud cake).  Raspberry & white chocolate ice cream cake. And some other stuff.
 This is possibly the easiest dessert ever:

Raspberry & white chocolate ice cream cake. Better Homes & Gardens, January issue.
The sun shone, plates were emptied, nobody fought or cried, presents were exchanged, somebody may have had a snooze on the daybed. I call that a good Christmas.

Food coma setting in.
After lunch, a few of us ventured out for a short walk to shake off the stupor from possibly eating several desserts. I'm naming no names.

The weather gods heard my pleas this year. Perfect.
Today, we're kicking back and relaxing. Bike Boy and I got up earlyish and went for a bike ride. I was a bit tired and almost gave it a miss, but the views along the way made me glad I made the effort.

Australian summer perfection!
The new mountain bike is a ripper, and I'm getting the hang of it now.

Mine's the pretty aqua one.
The nearby parkland offers some good riding, with easy gravelled paths, plenty of grassy tracks and some harder sandy or rocky bits. There's always something to see - kangaroos, all kinds of birds, the occasional echidna or wombat or blue-tongue lizard and today's wildlife of the day: a snake. It was dead, but still made me squeal.

Bike Boy has been supervising me on the MTB, but says I'm off my "L"s now.  Yay, me!

Appropriately, my Christmas loot included bike shorts, a bike computer and some pedals and cleats.

The rest of our Boxing Day has featured leftover prawns, some champagne, a bit of cricket watching and much sitting around. Can it get any better than that?



Sandra said...

You are one domestic goddess, Kek! Well done. Just catching up on Blogs and FB after a few days of self imposed no internet...I took it a bit too far though and took hardly any photos of Christmas etc...O_o

Pip said...

Wow Kek, top food porn there for your xmas :-)! By the way I LOVE your balcony/patio outdoor plants too. Guessing there was great xmas day weather everywhere! I know Perth hit around 40 as per norm, swimming at the beach then drinking beer was always great, - however Edendale, Southland NZ turned on an absolute stunner! We hit about 28 with sun, no wind, - temps only reach the high 20's a couple of times a year here generally and that's the hottest it gets.

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