Although the kids might not agree, most of us would chirrup ‘thank goodness’ to that sentiment!
I don’t know where you are up to at your place, though I suspect probably a bit like me, dog-tired, long lists of things to do, and a feeling of panic as another day passes and deleted jobs are replaced with more stuff to get done. Have you noticed that the list, weirdly, never gets any shorter!
Here on Waiheke, and at many other places around the country dependent on tank water, we’re facing a water crisis that is adding to everyone’s woes. Rain beating down on my roof this morning at 6.00am when the alarm went off was music to my ears, and I tucked the duvet around my shoulders feeling snug, relieved and Zizz, next thing it was 7.45! Holy smoke, on a day with so much to do, my timing for a lie-in wasn’t great. But you know what? That extra bit of sleep did me the world of good because I was in a happy zone. Water in the tank is a nice gift.
So, to Christmas … I’ve come up with a cracker of a lamb recipe (yes, I’m fond of lamb, and potatoes, and tomatoes, and berries!). Last week I said I was making lamb with grapes and almonds on Christmas day, but now I am not so sure! The folk at Leelands, that’s the lovely Bill and Sue (I hope Bill doesn’t mind being described as ‘lovely’ – he’s a 6ft 6er, or taller, Southland farmer!), have worked really hard to get this recipe printed and put on the packs of their fabulous sustainably produced Southland lamb steaks and delivered in store in time for Christmas. You’ll find the stockists here Leelands Lamb stockists. (On Waiheke, at RAW, in Auckland, at Farro Fresh etc.)
It was my first play around with lamb flank steak and the result is superb. The trick is to not overcook it. Trust me. If you belong to the ‘I only eat well done meat’ brigade, listen up: lamb cooked to pink and juicy perfection is easier to eat and easier to digest …. And its succulence is incomparable. ‘nuff said.
If pork is gracing your table, check out the tips to ensure you get perfect crackling, along with instructions for making apple sauce if you like a fruity accompaniment. All you need to know about roast pork and perfect crackling Tips on crackling
If it’s chicken you are keen on for Christmas day, check out Motorway Chicken – that’s simply chicken that is cut so it will lie flat. It’s easier to cook this way and easier to tell when it is cooked through. You’ll find heaps of pics for carving a chicken with this recipe.
And here’s a link to carving a ham in case you missed it last week. Carving a ham
If you follow Shared Kitchen, you will know I am a potato addict … I threw some leftover jersey bennes in a roasting dish with some gorgeous big tomatoes from Curious Croppers and created a new favourite. It would be perfect on Christmas day served alongside your favourite meat, or to form part of an all-vegetable feast. And you can get the potatoes cooked the day ahead so it is easy to put together. Jersery bennes meet Curious Croppers
Finally, berries … They’re expensive, especially in the week before Christmas, so here’s a trick to make a couple of punnets go a long way. Meringues are cheap to make, and you can get them done ahead. Get some velvety thick Lewis Road double cream and create a festive dessert to remember. Nice. Berries and meringues
All that remains is for Ilaria and me to wish you the bestest of times this festive period. We’ve loved working together this year bringing you fresh food ideas. We’ll be taking a break for a couple of weeks, but check back to the Home page, and on our Facebook page as we will continue to post new material there.
So, from our place to yours, may your end of year celebrations be filled with fun, laughter, sharing and caring, and, more importantly, MAY PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL.
Julie and Ilaria