Monday, March 12, 2012

It's that time again

We're lucky enough to celebrate Canberra's birthday weekend each year with friends at Rosedale - enjoying a wonderful lunch prepared by Chef Jane from Slick Catering and served by the super efficient and friendly Louise. Our lunch features the very best seafood that's found in these clear unspoilt waters of the South Coast.

The drive to the Coast has been very sobering this year. Five fatalities on the King's Highway this weekend (so far). Maxie and Rod only missed the morning's double fatality by a minute or two as they approached the tight turns of that dangerous Clyde Mountain road.

We start at 12.00noon on Sunday with a glass of the obligatory Majella and Chef Jane's appetizers. The sombre mood lifts as we contemplate the pots of cured salmon and lemon sofrito. This year the dishes reflect a Spanish theme.

And those crisp fried balls of Spanish Mangeno cheese and sweet corn topped with roasted peppers are irresistible.

It's traditional to start the feast with fresh Clyde River oysters. This year the flooding rains have caused all the oysters to go into spawning mode. Jane only just managed to source this batch for us. They were collected (and kept alive) before the river flooded, and just beautiful served with the Spanish wine!

The kids enjoyed their usual fried fresh calamari and salad (and hand cut and cooked chips). There were two notable absences this year: Thomas and Maggie (the Jack Russell). Maggie had stayed behind in Canberra to keep Thomas company.

Our lobster is always the highlight of the meal...luscious and moist and tasting intensely of the sea. The mojo verde (green chili and garlic sauce) is my favourite dressing this year but it is also extremely yummy to try the smoked paprika aioli and the Oritz anchovies and sherry dressing too. All this richness is balanced by the generous servings of orange, rocket, olive and fennel salad, the chickpea and roasted pepper salad with hazelnut picada and the potato, oregano, roast garlic and chorizo bake, all served in a paella dish!

It's a perfect afternoon..a cloudless sky and 24oC. Those touches of blue you can see through the leaves of the tree are the ocean. Waves rolling gently and evenly onto the endless sand of Rosedale beach.

There were actually five kookaburras watching us over lunch, sitting on this branch only a few metres from our table. There was also an endless progression of brilliantly coloured king parrots flashing in and out of the spotted gums to feed from the seed that the the L. family leave out for them.

Jane's dessert was a big hit. Our traditional Bombe Alaska was served in individual portions this year.

Preserved figs and rich dark chocolate were the signature flavours in this amazing confection of textures, temperatures and unctuousness. That's a layer of pannetone flavoured with nuts and fig syrup on the base, and hand made caramelised fig ice cream in the centre and a gorgeous fluffy meringue on the outside. That dark rich chocolate sauce (with Marsala) goes beautifully with the preserved figs (originally grown in Louise mother's garden).

All these beautiful dishes are prepared lovingly by Jane and served by Louise - the two wonder women. We wish them all the best in their year of travelling ahead but wonder what we'll do to fill the gap that will become the 2013 Canberra Day weekend.

They leave the Rosedale holiday house kitchen spotless - with all the dishes loaded in the dishwasher. As usual there is no cleaning up for us to do after this amazing feast.

Well done Maxie for taking a photo of us looking quite decent despite the fact we'd had so many glasses of wine.

As usual we end the day with a late afternoon walk along the beach, marvelling at the kids ability to stay in the water so long when it seems so Autumn cool to us.

Thank you Judy and Jurgen for hosting this wonderful event for all of us again.

1 comment:

Maxine said...

Thank you Judy for recording all the wonderful memories of our Sunday lunch. Best one ever we think. Perfect day, perfect food and wine, perfect company.