Tuesday, January 6, 2015

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