Festival of food

 Greetings for the new year :)

I seem to have made my way through this time of feasting without any noticeable effects on my health, digestive system or belt size. Hooray!

Struggling at times to find a true meaning behind all this seasonal nonsense that we inflict on ourselves each year, there was always food. Underneath the layers of consumerism, staged cheer and at times, most irritating carols, there was yes, you guess it, always food.

I try hard not to be a scrooge, really I do. 

Much thought is put into gifts for loved ones with the focus being on the joy that they will experience from the gift, rather than it's size or monetary value.

But sometimes those festive blues hit hard and finding myself deep in festive expectations and ethical dilemmas, food can be a constant. That reliable friend who will always comfort, if one chooses to ask that of them.

Welcome to my festival of food..

Foody gifts are always well received from friend's gardens. It's a nice thing to try purple potatoes before deciding whether or not you will grow some yourself!

My old standby, chicken bone broth remains ever present in my kitchen. Imagine my delight this year to make a batch with turkey bones leftover from our roast!

 Having teenage daughters on holiday means they make exciting creations for dinner that I once remember having time to make myself! 

 Is there nothing more nurturing than receiving a bowl full of handmade ravioli from your 13yo, made with homegrown eggs and local pastured beef? Nope, that's love in a bowl, right there, I say..

During a festival of food, tarts are not uncommon. Sweet, savoury, it really doesn't matter, as all good tart eaters know. It's all about the crust. Always the crust..

Mince pies. Each year I confess to liking them a little more than the previous year. Soaking the fruit in a generous quantity of butter, sugar and brandy may have something to do with this. And again, the crust...always the crust.

During this time of year, my mum (aka Oma), makes wonderful little treats for the family. When I was growing up these offerings were THE treats to be had. Marzipan balls rolled in cinnamon. Insanely simple, yet so moorish. I cringe to think of the sugar levels, but this is a festival, after all. The only difference from when we were growing up to now is that these days we have to fight our own children to get a tasting..


Where we assemble for our festival, we are fortunate to have access to a spacious dining room and equipped kitchen. It makes food preparation and clean up a breeze..
 For the seafood lovers..

Ahh, those mince pies keep turning up all over the place! Perhaps I ought to have another...

 The nice thing about a festival of food is that it doesn't just have to be one stand alone event. It can take place over several days (or let's say it..weeks).  What was skipped on one gathering can be made up for at the next. I love to have my mum over for a quiet Christmas day lunch and take great delight in roasting a turkey for the family..
Roast turkey with cranberry and pistachio stuffing, roast and steamed vegetables, ham off the bone, homemade cranberry sauce and gravy!   
 Enjoying the company of loved ones around a table and sharing food with them is definitely the high point of the festival for me.

With experimenting with a new cooking implement over a campfire coming in a close second!
Camp ovens! A whole new world of cooking with fire has just been unleashed here.
Let the discoveries begin. 

Hoping you had a safe and happy festive season. x

Comments

  1. It looks delish Chris! I too struggle with the hype but the food is something else. Happy New Year!

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  2. Your food looks so delicious! I can imagine that it is harder to see the point of the whole Christmas festival in the middle of summer in the southern hemisphere, but here in the cold north, it is a very important focus for the darkest days of winter. It gets dark here at 3.30 (and early in places like Sweden and Norway), and the sun is not properly up until about 8.15 in the morning, so it is DARK. We light lots of candles and enjoy the Christmas lights very much. They add some sparkle and light in the depths of a grey winter. I do envy your summer festival very much!

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Lovely to hear of your wintertime celebrations, Lise. It sounds very special.

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  3. oh what a beautiful feast! I also love the snow on the ground, to able to eat in the garden, ahhh, heavenly,

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  4. Your photos are lovely and inviting. The food looks delightful. Family is very important to me too...more important than lights and shiny wrapped gifts. You are not a scrooge, you just have different priorities. ;)

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  5. I agree with Lise that the emphasis for us in the Northern Hemisphere is different :). However the hype, the overspending and overeating seem to be everywhere and I struggle with that too. For me this time of year is coming together with family and friends to share. To share company and food and gifts are a part of this but not the main emphasis. A lovely post Christine all your food looks amazing.

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  6. Looks like a lovely festival of food and that hand made pasta looks amazing.... Recipe to come I hope... Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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    1. Hi Kathy, take a peek in the recipe index at the top of the page for a couple of pasta/ravioli recipes. Enjoy! :)

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  7. A thoughtful and hungry making piece Christine. I certainly loved your wonderful biscuits and mince pies, best kind of present!

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  8. I love the rituals and meaning of Christmas. We don't exchange presents in our family. For us, the greatest gift of all is to have 4 generations of the immediate family (35+ people) and a few friends (who don't have a family to celebrate with), seated around the very long Christmas table sharing food and good will.
    May you have a great 2015.

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  9. Wow! That all sounds and looks absolutely delicious, and how clever your daughters are to explore the joys of food-creating!
    And I would love to hear about your creche figures in their delicate knitted garments...

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    1. Ahh, that could be a whole other post, Quinn! But I must confess they were not made by me. Happy new year to you.

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  10. I have never tried Mince and now I may have to! What wonderful photos and wonderful memories!

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  11. Beautiful...that is all.

    Cheers - Joolz xx

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  12. Christine, your food looks scrumptious. I'm really impressed with that ravioli and I must confess that I have the very same ravioli maker but have yet to use it! For shame... Tell your daughter that she has inspired me :)

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  13. What a lovely festival of food. I am loving your kitchen especially the SS benches down the middle. That is what I would like for the new house we are building, would you be able to take a few photos of your kitchen and email them to me? Also where did you purchase the benches did you have to go to a wholesaler?

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    1. Alas, it is not our own personal kitchen, Fiona. We have access to this kitchen through the retirement village where my mum lives. It is a fantastic space, commercial equipment (we love the superfast dishawasher), solid gas stove and ovens and even a walk in cool room. Sorry I can't help you further with the finer details.

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  14. so much beautiful food! and handmade ravioli... i have been wanting to try this! such lovely slow living stories over here.

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  15. All I can say is YUUMMM! So many wonderful foods! I love marzipan but haven't had it for years. It looks like you had a wonderful family Christmas after skipping around the commercial crap. ;-)

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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