We must have the largest turkey and ham imaginable, so pushing them into our impractically narrow fridge has been quite a feat. The butcher (Sir Loin at Bicheno – good name for a butcher) actually apologised to my husband John for the size of the turkey as he said they grew suddenly. I think that means their appetites increased and put on extra weight in just one or two weeks. He said this has happened in other years but not every year. I doubt it is the fault of the turkey. I am sure it is up to the people who are feeding them to increase the feed! If I had been at the butcher I might have drilled him a bit more about this snippet of information. So now I am thinking it will take all day to cook and maybe I better get up earlier on Christmas Day. How sensible it is in much of Europe where they have the whole day to prepare the big celebratory meal for the evening of Christmas Eve.
We have all the traditional trimmings and as a nod to being Australian we are having prawn cocktails for starters. Yikes, I don’t recall when I last ate one, let alone made one. I worked in a restaurant – as a waiter – way back in 1969 and I recall they were always on the menu, whether it was seasonal for prawns or not, they just served them day in day out. Anyway I have been inspired lately by some retro food ideas and mine will be served with a sumptuous real cream based sauce, made in my kitchen, not that preserved confection you buy in jars in the supermarket.
We are having some friends in for a Christmas Eve drink so serving local raspberries in a champagne cocktail ‘Kir Royale’ made of French raspberry liqueur, Chambord – if you cannot get Tasmanian then go for French is what I say. We are serving some Tasmanian cheeses. I have made a roasted walnut dip with Tassie’s local walnuts. I have bought some smoked salmon from south Tasmania of course. A bruschetta made from the local woodfired oven potato bread and sour dour will be topped with chopped tomatoes and enhanced with my neighbours freshly picked basil. As usual I am never sure up until the last minute. I just shop and shop so I have heaps of ingredients at hand and then set to work to create last minute miracles.
We have family visiting so we will not be eating lobster as I had hoped simply because I have not caught any yet. Tomorrow if weather conditions are suitable I will be going out to collect my pot full, I live in hope. Next post I will tell you what we ended up having for Christmas Eve. One thing for certain my grandsons cannot touch or sneak a piece of the gingerbread house until Christmas Day. Having unveiled the cellophane for the photo I think this will be impossible for them to resist as the perfume of the biscuit house is divine. Roz