Righty.

I survived Christmas #1 [Barbecue at my house]
I survived Christmas #2 [Christmas with the in-laws]

All I have to do now is survive Christmas #3. Which begins at about 1:30AM on Boxing Day morning, when I will be rudely awakened to get my act together before I get picked up. To go on a boat. Which sails at 3AM.

The start of Christmas #3 is not looking good. The start of Christmas #3 is not far away.

Ergo, the end of this message.

[Oh! And Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it; Happy Presents Day for those a little more cynical; and Happy Gluttony day for those with a soul! (:]

Xmas Eve Dinner

I’m having the family around for a Xmas Eve Barbecue. The menu is looking like this:

Grazing Platter

  • Boursin style cheese (Made myself!)
  • Kirima (A camembert style cheese)
  • Kikorangi (Gorgonzola, by another name)
  • Muscat raisins
  • Dried mango
  • Dried cranberries
  • Cherries (Gorgeous, gorgeous red cherries. They commanded to be bought)
  • Macadamias
  • Cashews
  • Crackers
  • Baguettes

Then, for the main event..
Manuka smoked salmon (Cured with citrus)
Grilled mixed vegetables (Red onion, capsicum, broccoli)
Asparagus
Mushrooms with garlic oil
Rocket/Walnuts/Pear salad, with White truffle oil dressing

And for dessert..
Pavolva (It’s an Australasian thing. Like a cake sized meringue, with a marshmallowy center)
Orange blossom cream anglaise
Nectarine jelly
Brandy snap-style biscuits (Maybe.. depends if I run out of time..)

Photos will surely be taken as it all comes together, and will be posted tomorrow some time, most likely!

Curd Cheese!

I just finished making curd cheese for the first time ever. It appears to have turned out kinda similar to ricotta in texture. I am both astonished and pleased. Astonished; since I didn’t expect it to turn out at all, and pleased since it’s extremely easy! I would have included photos; but alas, my digital camera is out of batteries. Next time, perhaps.

I made just a little bit of cheese using these quantities (it was just a proof of concept – didn’t want to waste lots of ingredients if it didn’t turn out okay)

About 250ml of whole milk
A couple of tablespoons of cream

Which are then heated until they begin to boil.

To the dairy, add the juice of 1/2 a lemon; and gently stir until the dairy curdles.

Once curdled; transfer to a sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth, sitting over a bowl. Then, wait for most of the whey to drain off, leaving the cheese behind.

Todo

I’m going to have to head to Melbourne sooner or later, I think. I’ve got my eye on a couple of places which offer courses – Chocolate & Pralines (and other patisserie type things); and Cheese.

Not least of all; it’s the perfect excuse for going on “holiday” for a few weeks, depending on the scheduling of courses.