Monday, December 19, 2011

More feasting

Jennie and Wayne continue to host our yearly pre Christmas gathering at Murrumbateman despite this time of the year being such a busy one for farming folk. We all love this opportunity to share some Christmas festivity and prepare a feast of food with some wonderful wines. After all these years it's the tradition of it all that is a big part of the fun too:

...the kids entertaining us with Christmas music (although this year Sophie took on this role by herself) as the sun sets behind the vineyards.

.......Maddie telling us her school survival stories, and Maggie having the opportunity to pretend she's a farm dog for one night of the year.......

.....and Thomas being totally cool and confident about his up and coming Year 12 Graduation........

...and us exchanging presents and long standing jokes....... and enjoying the chance to share wonderful food together.....while we catch up with news of family and country life. We enjoy meeting up with Shane the grafter again. He's almost finished grafting onto all the old sauvignon blancs, turning them into far more interesting (and valuable) Sangiovese and shiraz vines.

Roland only allowed us one ingredient per couple this year. We had to make a plated dish AND a finger food (to have with our pre dinner glassES of Majella) with our one ingredient. I was very challenged this year when I drew couscous, which I thought would be impossible to make into finger food.

My solution was to bake mushrooms stuffed with couscous, pine nuts, Sicilian olives and a few other things, topped with Sheep's milk cheese - which ended up quite delicious! I made a lamb tagine for my plated dish which was not very Christmassy but which went well with our D'Arenburg Shiraz.

Jennie did wonders with her "seafood": delicately sauteed scallops on crisply fried peppery salami as her finger food and Narooma oysters and smoked trout mousse as her plated meal, served with a beautiful Reisling from Alsace.

Judy scored duck as her ingredient and presented a truly stunning and very seasonal warm duck salad with beetroot and pomegranate as her plated dish. Amazing, delicious and so very French!

Maxie's ingredient, cranberries, presented some challenges too, as you can't get fresh ones anywhere in the Southern hemisphere. Yottam Ottolenghi was the inspiration for this gorgeous tart, which Maxie plated artfully with chocolate scrolls, cranberry coulis and fresh berries. I loved Maxie's cranberry based finger food too: caramelised onion, walnut and cranberry on puff pastry rounds. Yum!

With the Murrumbateman feasting done for another year we know that Christmas Day is just around the corner now!

1 comment:

judy l said...

Jude another great wrap-up of the event. Yes I do think Maggie pretended to be a farm dog for the night with running off in the fields. Great snaps of the kids. You did a great job with the coucous! Glad I didn't get that one.