Wednesday, November 18, 2009

endless celebration

While most of America is madly preparing for thanksgiving, the rest of us are still preoccupied with getting organised for christmas, never mind the turkey, thank you very much its the pudding I'm after. I think Australians are single handledly pulling the rest of the world out of the GFC, the shopping centres are jam packed, trying to find a car space is all out war, I even had a woman in her flash new BMW follow me around the car lot! I should have asked her for a lift to my car! So now my christmas shopping is complete, my credit card bulging at the seams, I can relax until the bills arrive... hmmm
Now its time to drag the tree out of storage, unfurl its mishapen limbs and attempt to decorate with all the preciously kept bling. I always try to get the children to help, but they seem to like to watch me wind the tinsel around myself and then attempt to untangle the pretty lights, which can induce a few choice words, but never mind that its all in the spirit of christmas! 5 weeks to go..

Thursday, November 5, 2009

the sicilian kitchen

Have just read a wonderful book called the sicilian kichen by michele di bartolo. Its the story of an italian family that had immigrated to australia in the late 50's, told through the eyes of their grandaughter michele who grew up in the inner city of Brisbane surrounded by her family and italian friends. She was raised with traditional italian values passed on from her nonna along with her wonderful recipes which she interspersed throughout the book. It begins with sarsa semplice, the foundation of many fabulous dishes, the simple red sauce for pasta combined with a generous helping of parmesan-italian of course, which is delicious. It ends with the tradional family gathering at christmas, full of fabulous food and sicilian love. Ahhh family what would we do without them!

Here's my own salsa italiana:
One medium onion diced
3-4 cloves garlic chopped finely
good smoked kassler or salami about 100g
3-4 ripe tomatoes diced roughly or one can of tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste reconstituted with about half cup water
handful of basil and oregano
a good splash of red wine

lighlty cook the onions until soft then add garlic and kassler or salami cook for a couple of minutes then add the tomatoes, wine and herbs, add extra paste if needed for thicker sauce and simmer for at least half an hour for flavours to infuse. Serve over your favourite pasta with loads of good parmesan, buono appetito!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

holy moses

Christmas is nearly upon us and although the northern hemisphere looks like this, we have the aircon blasting. This photo was taken in oz, high up in the alps in autumn, so its a bit different now.
According to our local department stores christmas has been arriving since september, good god who in their right minds is that organised? For the rest of us its an irritating reminder that we will be caught in the maddening crowds come the week before xmas with a list that will be longer than the queue for the chocolate shop in easter.
Or you can escape to somewhere exotic and send your family postcards "wish you were here!" Being from the driest continent on earth xmas here is usually hot, so its usually a fairly casual affair around a bbq and pool if you have one. Everyone is contentedly stuffed with sausages coleslaw and potato salad followed by either pavlova, melting icecream, wine trifle or all three, and numerous bottles of beer and wine.
Although there are others that have a different celebration and some go to mass- does anyone still do this? I would love to have xmas in another country, one that isnt hot and humid. So with that in mind I am thinking Paris would have to be the top of the list, and I might even send a postcard! Viva la France, I hope I get there this christmas, only 7 weeks to go...damn.