hope you had a great christmas day.
while I have misgivings blogging about food at this time of year when the wealthy stuff themselves while much of the world starves, I do have a thing about food, and I havent posted about food much at all...
so I'm going to... (read on if you care...)
after going to church in the morning (some went the night before as well) we opened presents (I was given a tagine!!! yes!), and then had a snacky brunch of smoked salmon, cheeses, dips, olives, the aforementioned chutneys (brilliant).
after a sleep (...) I made some brioche (little sweet bread rolls) in the bread machine - should have made them by hand... i'm pretty much living off paul gayler's cheese cookbook this christmas...
Mix 4 cups plain flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1.5 tablespoons caster sugar
Make a well in the centre and mix in 4 eggs beaten with 2 tablespoons milk, 1 3/4 teaspoons dried yeast.
Work the mixture together for 2-3 minutes.
Then work in 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter. Knead for 10 mins.
(alternatively put all of the above in the bread machine and take it out after 10 - 12 mins - but the dough will be heavier than doing it by hand and you'll probably have to add a bit of extra milk.)
Cover the dough and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. Then shape into 10-12 balls and allow to rise until doubled in size.
Brush with an egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk and bake for 20-25 mins in a 200 degree celsius oven.
we ate this with christmas dinner. yvonne mad a raspberry salad that she'd seen on a TV cooking show. really nice and simple.
1/4 cup frozen raspberries
2 tsp tomato paste
2 tbspns white wine vinegar (use a good one...)
2 tbspn extra virgin oil (likewise)
(stir it all up)
add to a green 'salad mix'.....
dinner was turkey, ham, prawns, baked veg, the salad, brioche, chutneys and mustards. a prawn dipping sauce made with whipped cream, tomato paste and some chipotle tabasco. nothing too unusual. a bottle of rockford's "alicante bouchet".
BUT i have to say that, following stephanie alexander, i put some bacon (local kanmantoo smoked bacon) on top of the turkey (not a whole one, we get the 'top half') and ended up with a moist turkey and senesational leftover bacon. since we cooked the turkey christmas eve, we ate the bacon in pasta that night.... nice.
we were too stuffed for dessert, so more on that after we eat it tonight...
we also made home-made bon-bons, since the shop ones are so tragic. clearly, we need more experience, but it was fun. we bought our own stuff to put in them. and maddy looked in our riddle books for jokes.... (the monster finger puppets were very special).
maddy's christmas jokes (they had to be lame, on the theme, but better than regular bon-bon jokes...)
Q: What does Tarzan sing on Christmas?
A: Jungle Bells.
Q: Why is a cloud like Santa Claus?
A: Because it holds rain, dear.
Q: What did the angel say when the shepherd spelt her name with two L's?
Q: Why did the butcher put bells on his scales?
A: So he could jingle all the weigh!
Q: What did Adam say on the day before Christmas?
A: It's Christmas, Eve.
Q: Which reindeer needs to mind his manners the most?
Q: What do you get if Santa goes down the chimney when a fire is lit?
A: Krisp Kringle!
Q: Why was Santa's little helper depressed?
A: He had low elf esteem!
Q: What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?
Q: Why does Father Christmas go down the chimney?
A: Because it soots him!
another mitchell tradition is making someone a 'voucher' when (a) you don't have the cash to buy the present, or (b) you want to let them choose their own clothes or whatever. the girls always make very fancy vouchers, although it seems that this year maddy upped the ante...
this morning i cut the brioche in half, toasted it and served it up with some leftover home-made pizza base, a fried egg, smoken bacon, fresh basil and some sublime soft french goats cheese that I bought at the stirling organic market. i added some chipotle tabasco to mine and it was great. (mind you, yvonne had her toasted brioche with jam! sigh...)
so much for the arteries.
today i'm combining a couple of paul gayler recipes and my own to make a late lunch salad. leeks (parbolied then charred under grill), red onion (wedges charred under grill), cherry tomatoes (halved, baked with olive oil, sea salt and basil), red capsicum (charred under grill, skinned and sliced), mixed lettuce, black olives, fried feta and bits of ham, with a fresh tarragon salad dressing... (P.S. a bit too greasy , didnt need the dressing, but looked and tasted great on top of some 'salad greens').
and tomorrow, december 27th, is international bumbag day in the mitchell house! i'm still trying to get a clear explanation, but when I do I'll pass it on!
(present from self to family - airtunes express - now playing music from computers wirelessly to stereo. so civilised.)