Family Week And Some Good Home Cooking

How WONDERFUL that you and J and your sister Little C came up for a visit from Melbourne. A very special party brought you three to town, one we were  very excited to attend. It was a quick trip fro you and J, university and work beckoned as the fun week end came to a close. I was sad to wave you off at the airport on Sunday night, but luckily we were able to keep your sister behind for a bit longer.

A wonderful catch up on the first evening with your cousin and hubby.  I cooked shredded slow cooked lamb shawarma to wrap in pita bread with garlic and yoghurt sauce, and plenty of freshly chopped tabbouleh. Yum yum. Not to rest easy, your couzzie baked her amazing chocolate salted caramel brownies, AND little ramekins of deliciously silken creme brûlée. Oh my- it was a case of food coma on Friday night, wasn’t it!

For the big party, I was making sliders and coleslaw. It was so exciting to see members of the celebrating party arrive from all over the world: Six sisters and two brothers, only two unable to attend. The sisters were so lovely together, and we shared snatches of old stories, in between prep for the party.

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The party was such fun, the table groaning with good food which my cousin, her siblings  and mother had made. There were also  some staple Malaysian classics like rice noodles, satay with peanut sauce, and curry puffs. MMMMM!

C had made her supreme carrot cake and red velvet cake; meanwhile, I doubled the recipe of the flour-less chocolate cake, and baked it with care, as this was such a special occasion, and I wanted it to be perfect.

After you left, I fed Little C when I could. I say that because you know how she loves to cook when she comes home! She made us the most delicious pizza one night, the base formed out of a cauliflower and almond meal ‘pastry’. The topping was an equally stunning passata which had aubergine and pumpkin pieces in it. SOOOO delish. She is a creative and careful cook.

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Little C tells me she’s crazy about mushrooms right now, so I bought paper bags of oyster and button mushrooms from the little market a couple of times after work, and cooked them up for her with melted onions, some balsamico, and lots of chopped parsley. She was in heaven.

Today, before Little C packed up her suitcase and bag of books and headed back to Melbourne, we had a picnic by the ocean. It was a stunning crystal clear, hot and sunny day. We sat overlooking the sparkling water, busy with boats and ferries and yachts in the distance, and people of all ages and shapes swimming closer to the shore. I made some savoury muffins, and Delia Smiths’s more-ish granola bars. My couzzie C brought a large box of fresh fruit, your cousin had little jars of fruit compote, with sprigs of mint, and so that we weren’t too healthy, a large box of Rosetta Stone almond croissants.

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IMG_9037 With coffees from the kiosk close by, we shared a lovely hour together. Our lazy morning was broken when a man rushed past, urgently  looking for help. Your sweet cousin, deep into relating her travel stories to us, stopped suddenly. I guess if you are trained as a doctor, it is an ingrained instinct. She leaped up mid sentence and sped across the sand with the man to a little baby who was very sick. How lucky for the parents to have a paediatrician on the beach.

I’m glad you caught the crazy wisteria on the back terrace on your visit.  And the old azalea bush, smothered in pink blooms. We’ve been gardening more lately with the warmer weather. At the nursery yesterday, we found an odd aloe plant. Asking after its name, the nurseryman scratched his head and said: ‘Eric’. I had to have it of course. It now has pride of place in the front garden, looking like something from Dr. Seuss.

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IMG_8945Thank you and J for coming- we really loved having a full house! I miss you girls already.

 

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2 thoughts on “Family Week And Some Good Home Cooking

  1. Of course I’ve been thinking about you every time John and I watch a bit of the Ottolinghi series we’re recording every thursday night! John doesn’t usually like cooking programmes too much-thinks there are too many and they are too fussy, but this one he really like,one he loves the locations and two without sounding arrogant,it’s the way John likes to cook himself, one fish dish with a base of thin slices of potatoes and olive oil reminded me of many lovely dinners roasted in Portugal- and made us both think why not have it here! So thank you for introducing us to this amazing culinary star- only I hear his recipes are not so simple, and ingredients not so easy to source! Your blog looks brilliant and pictures just keep getting better! I’m also pleased to hear about you having the girls home from Melbourne, conversely John flew to Melbourne last week to attend the NGV opening of the retrospective of our recently deceased friend Robert Jacks- He also had a delicious dinner at Movida directly across from Federation Square. Love to you and Michael,

    Wendy, John and Eliza

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