One of my life's passions and my other hobby... preparing food for my loved ones.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Lea's 40th birthday lunch
It is not the spring morning I thought it would be when I planned yesterday to make some brunch and head with P and the kiddies to our nearest park. The plan was, to lay down with the Sunday paper and watch the kiddies scamper around the playground.
Instead the strangely grey day has prompted me to spend some time on my much neglected posting while I have a nice butter chicken curry simmering gently on the stove - an Elliot special request for dinner this evening. I have felt quite guilty as word keeps getting back to me that more and more people at work now read this food blog.
I keep telling them I am still cooking and baking just not getting this far and choosing pictures, posting and writing. When was the best time for me to be doing this, the past four weeks while we have been in caretaker mode at work. Doesn't mean we don't have things to do, just means we don't have as many things to do at once!
This collage is of a lunch I had about two weeks ago at my place. I was on holidays after having returned from Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast and had the energy to spend my weekend cleaning and planning and cooking.
The entire lunch was as follows: Antipasto brought by one of my lovely sister-in-laws. It makes life so much easier when your feeding 12 adults and 5 kiddies (we were missing 4 kiddies who spent the day doing something else). My brother-in-law brought some sausages and we did a sausage sizzle for the kiddies. These lunches are for the kids to play and the adults to indulge in gourmet delights. Because once all those kiddies are together they focus on playing and the birthday cake.
The kids are welcome to the adult food but really they are way too busy and don't bother us at all. If your worried about their eating, don't. These family functions are not to force vegies into them that's what discrete family dinners are about away from the glare of the public. They often enjoy the Antipasto anyway so never go hungry on the day.
I wanted to make it super easy - so I bought a huge butterflied leg of lamb (about 2.3kg) the day before, and in my pestle and mortar bashed up lots of garlic, sea salt, pepper and rosemary and olive oil and rubbed it all over the lamb. It stayed in its marinade overnight. Then the next morning I removed it from the fridge and brought it back to room temp, before P took it to be barbecued. It was great for a group because one its cooked you thinly slice and serve with salad and potatoes and in this case a gorgeous mint pesto. Sorry no piccies of the lamb or the pesto, but I will write down the recipe for the pesto because I will definately be doing that one again.
The potatoes for this lunch were my Greek potatoes that I have done many times previously. The thing about Greek potatoes is that while the potatoes are in your oven baking they send out waves of gorgeous carmelising onion and garlic, whetting the appetites of all those arriving.
I was feeling particularly springy and decided to make the asparagus and egg salad from this month's Delicious magazine. A true hit, that salad went in the blink of an eye! In addition there was a simple garden salad.
Finally I got to make Nigella's Winter Plum Cake - because one of the principal reasons for going to Melbourne was buying Billington's golden icing sugar something I have found difficult to source here.
In order to have something appealing for the kiddies for dessert I made the cup cakes as well.