Tag Archives: Christmas

A European Christmas…Downunder

As some of you may know, I was born in Hungary and was four when we arrived in Australia as refugees. To keep some of our Hungarian heritage alive, we spoke only Hungarian at home, and we always celebrated Christmas on the 24th. That’s a tradition the Offspring and I have continued to this very day, so we’ve already had our Christmas, but now I’d like to invite you all to share a digital Christmas feast with us. πŸ™‚

We had duck last year, so this year I decided to cook a whole eye fillet with scalloped potatoes [a la Mumma], and the Offspring made a huge green salad. No turkey [not fond of turkey], and salad instead of hot vegetables because it was hot, hot, hot yesterday. I think it got to about 35 C [roughly 95F].As it was, to counteract the heat of the oven, we had to have the air conditioner on all day.

If any of you cooks out there are interested, I made a stuffing/marinade for the eye fillet by mixing together:

  • 3 large cloves of garlic [mashed],
  • 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard,
  • 1-2 tablespoons of peanut oil,
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh, finely chopped parsley,
  • freshly ground black pepper,
  • a pinch of dried chillies,
  • a heaped tablespoon of breadcrumbs,
  • a pinch of salt.

Next, I lightly scored the ‘skin’ of the eye fillet [just enough to expose the meat underneath] and gently pressed the stuffing/marinade all over the top of the fillet. Then I placed the fillet in a small baking dish, covered it with foil and placed it back in the fridge for about 8 hours [overnight is fine too].

About an hour before we were ready to eat, I placed the dish containing the fillet in a cold oven and turned on the heat [approx. 160 C on fanbake]. I left the foil on for the first 1/2 an hour so the meat would cook gently.

After 1/2 an hour, I removed the foil and continued baking the fillet for another 1/2 an hour until the ‘stuffing’ on top turned into a crust. I allowed the fillet to rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Baking the fillet for an hour created a moist, juicy roast that was just a tiny bit pinkish in the middle. That’s how we like our beef. If you want your beef to be more rare, reduce the amount of time the fillet stays under foil.

I have to say that the fillet was literally melt-in-the-mouth tender, and the tiny bit of heat from the chillies went perfectly with the full cream goodness of the scalloped potatoes and the tart freshness of the salad.

Everyone has a scalloped potato recipe, and mine comes from my Mum. It starts with pink, Desiree potatoes. I cooked them, in their skins, along with the eggs. The eggs came out first, obviously, and went straight under cold tap water. The cold water causes the inner membrane of the eggs to slightly detach from the whites so the eggs are dead easy to peel.

Next, I tested the potatoes with a bamboo skewer. As soon as the skewer just managed to go through, I drained the water and plunged the potatoes into cold water as well. Again, this made it much easier to peel the skin, plus it stopped them from cooking further.

Finally, I sliced both eggs and potatoes and layered them in a baking dish with a generous drizzle of cream and a sprinkle of table salt between in each layer. I drizzled more cream over the top, then placed the dish into the same oven as the fillet. When the potatoes turned a golden brown, everything was ready to come out of the oven:

To say that the potatoes were rich would be a monumental understatement. To cut that much richness, you just have to have a big salad:

The Offspring made the salad with Romaine lettuce, sweet red capsicum [peppers?], cucumber and spring onions [scallions?]. The dressing included oil, Balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and freshly chopped parsley [about 1 tablespoon].

But, of course, no feast would be complete without dessert. The Offspring made Gingerboys, lots and lots of Gingerboys:

…and I made chocolate mousse cupcakes:

These cupcakes were made using the exact same recipe as for Chocolate Mousse Cake. The only difference was in the banking. I made ten little sponge cupcakes [approx. 7 minutes in the over], glued two together with about an inch of chocolate mouse and shaved dark chocolate over the top. Bite sized versions of death-by-chocolate. πŸ˜€

Wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, The Offspring and I wish you all a very happy Holiday with oodles of delicious food and even more good company.

-massive hugs-

Meeks & The Offspring

Christmas 2018

 


The Christmas Curse – update

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know about my kitchen sink. Well, after doing the dishes in a bucket last night, then needing the Offspring to lift the bucket out of the sink [coz I put too much water in it], I was not a happy camper. As soon as I woke this morning, I was on the phone to a plumbing company called H2Pro.

‘Is 8 am tomorrow okay?’

Oh god, yes! Babbling my thanks, I did a jig around the kitchen. I really did think I’d be without a working kitchen for Christmas.

I won’t know the cost until tomorrow, but I’ve used H2Pro before and found them to be reasonable in price. More importantly, they come when they say they will and always do a good job. To me, that’s even more important than price because I’ve had so many bad experiences with plumbers in the past.

If that sounds like a plug for the plumber, you’re right, it is. These guys do good work. If you’re in the general Warrandyte area, give them a try:

H2-Pro Plumbing

9844 1444

h2pro.com.au

Oh, and this is my kitchen ‘sink’ at the moment:

I had to race out to Bunnings yesterday to buy it. At least the colour is nice.

The end is in sight!

cheers

Meeks


The Christmas Curse strikes, again

For a number of years now, I’ve noticed that on or around Christmas, something major always goes wrong. Sometimes it’s to do with the cars, but mostly it’s to do with the house. One year it was a blocked toilet. Another year, my fire-fighting pumps stopped working because the idiots that did the servicing filled them up with 2-stroke petrol. That was a very bad year. This year, it seems the kitchen is taking its turn.

The Offspring and I had planned on doing some baking today – cupcakes and gingerbread men – for a pre-Christmas visit to family. Not gonna happen because the kitchen sink has sprung a leak, a big one. We found out when water started flowing from the cupboard under the sink.

Being the daughter of a mechanical engineer, I mopped up the water and started experimenting. Yup, the connection from the sink outlet to the pipe below isn’t just leaking, it’s spraying water. What’s worse, because of the way the two sinks are plumbed, we can’t use the smaller sink either. No sinks, no dishwasher, no baking or cooking. And it’s Sunday, less than 10 days before Christmas. I wonder how long it’ll take for a plumber to get out here…

I did consider calling an after-hours, emergency plumber…for all of about 5 seconds. Then I remembered the last time I’d had to do that. It was over twelve years ago and cost me $500 back then. Nope, definitely not gonna happen.

So here we are, up the creek without a sink. Sometimes I really wish I’d been born a plumber’s daughter.  😦

Meeks

 

 

 

 

 

Inevitably, this major something ends up costing a major amount of money.


Ani’s Advent stories – my Christmas Roast

Apologies in advance but the timezone differences always trip me up. I hope I’m still in time to point you towards Sue Vincent’s blog where Ani [the 2nd cutest dog in the world] is hosting a different Christmas related story each day. Hence the ‘Advent’ theme. πŸ™‚

Today, it’s my turn and Ani very kindly agreed to host my sci-fi short story – The Christmas Roast. You can find it here:

Ani’s Advent Calendar 2018! Just chilling with a story from A. C. Flory

Huge hugs to both Sue and Ani. I’ve enjoyed the Advent stories others have told and I hope everyone enjoys mine!

Meeks


Christmas in a Teapot. :)

As an antidote to all the marketing I did over the last few days, here’s something that’s just for fun:

Yes, it’s a bright, red teapot on wheels and it sells Mulled wine, Eggnog and something called a Maple Warmer. At those prices I doubt you’d want more than one, but the concept is so lovely I think I’d splash out on an Eggnog just for the fun of being able to say that I ‘bought it from a teapot’. πŸ˜€

I don’t have much information about the photo, but you can find it on http://www.jigsawplanet.com, under the category of ‘Christmas’. The puzzle creator is known as ‘puzzleaddict2’ and the photographer is on Instagram under the moniker of @nellcavallo.

Hope this brightened your day. πŸ™‚

cheers

Meeks


Innerscape Print Sales….THANK YOU!

I know who bought one set of the Innerscape print set, and I thank her most sincerely. Huge hugs going to you my friend. πŸ™‚

But who bought the second set????

Given how expensive the print books are, I truly hadn’t expected any sales at all. To find that there have been two is…phenomenal. Whoever you are, please know that you’ve given me the best Christmas present I could ever have asked for. Thank you.

Now I’m going off to have a little happy sniffle.

love

Meeks


Christmas 2016 – Hope not Hate

meeka-thinking

The lead up to Christmas 2016 has been grim, but I hope that from here on in, a little of humanity’s brighter side can shine through.

I don’t believe in any religion, but on a good day, I still believe in humanity. Let’s show that the Naked Ape is capable of more than just hate. Hate destroys. Only Hope has to power to build a better future.

May this Holiday Season be full of Hope, Charity and most of all, Joy.

love

Meeks


Best #cat commercial EVER!

Had to post this so I could watch it again and again. I feel so much better now. πŸ˜€

I wonder how long it actually took those cats to completely wreck everything? mwahahahaha….


Merry Christmas to all and to all a Merry Christmas!

Here in the Antipodes, Christmas Day has dawned bright, hot and very windy, perfect bushfire weather. That’s one reason the Offspring and I did Christmas the European way – last night on Christmas Eve!

Masses of food, oodles of presents and a couple of games of Scrabble with the Offspring’s partner, David, rounded out a lovely evening…with not a digital device in sight. It was the most fun I’ve had in ages!

Today is for enjoying the presents, gorging on leftovers and keeping an eye on the weather.

For all of you, wherever you are, we wish you a safe and happy Christmas!

-hugs-

Meeks and the Offspring


Christmas postmortem

Now that Christmas 2014 has come and gone, I can safely say I’m glad it’s over. I tried to eat normal amounts, truly I did, but I doubt anyone will be surprised when I say I failed.

It started with Christmas Eve dinner. We spent it with relatives, and seeing them all was lovely, but I could easily have made a meal of just the antipasto! That was followed by turkey, pork and ham, and rounded off with pudding and Strawberries Romanov.

The next day, Christmas Day, was relatively quiet on the food front but I did make this….

christmas 2014 cake 1

Chocolate Mousse cake with dark chocolate shavings on top

A closeup of the layers

A closeup of the layers

Yes, you guessed it, a chocolate mousse cake. For those interested, I’ve updated the recipe with these photos, together with a description of how to mold it up. The actual cake, however, was all gone by Boxing Day. -sigh- Then last night, the Daughter and I made the apricot cake out of Silvia Colloca’s fantastic ‘Made in Italy’ cookbook. Delicious.

So there you have it, a gastronomic extravaganza that’s left me feeling like the Goodyear blimp! I swear I’ll do better next year. -wink-

Meeks

 


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