Family Christmas 2014

On the weekend, we got together for my family’s Christmas barbecue by the river in Bassendean. Just like last year, Jac and I got there early to secure a nice shady spot by the water.

We commandeered two of the free public barbecues in the park (surprisingly, as it turned out, no one else in the vicinity was picnicking or barbecuing). My younger sister Juji cooked the sausages on one barbie, while my brother Mark cooked the tomatoes and mushrooms on the other. When the sausages were done, my eldest sister CW cracked the eggs right onto the hotplate and fried them in the sausage grease – over easy with soft yolks. But there was more: my sister-in-law Angela’s homemade tomato sauce and baked beans, and my mum’s homemade wantan and chicken congee with all the trimmings.

After brunch, the kids couldn’t wait to put on their life-jackets and get out on the water with Jac and the other keen kayakers (Juji, Mark, Angela, my brothers-in-law Jay and Mike), while the less sporty among us watched from the bank, took photographs or played with the dogs. Jay had brought his fishing rod but the fish weren’t biting. The strong wind cut the kayaking session short, but the timing was just right for dessert – CW’s trifle, and fresh summer fruits (watermelon, strawberries, nectarines, cherries).

We had fold-up chairs to park our bums on, trestle tables on which to lay out the feast, eskies loaded with ice and cold drinks, and the kids even made Christmas decorations to hang on the trees (don’t worry, we removed them before we left) – the only thing missing was somewhere to lie down for a nap after all that eating. Banana lounges next year, guys?

Sausages from Mondo Butcher in Inglewood: pork, herb and honey, chorizo, and BBQ beef Juji cooked the sausages, which she and Jay purchased from Mondo Butcher in Inglewood.
There were three varieties: pork, herb and honey; chorizo; and BBQ beef.

DSCF1239-2Mark and CW got the mushrooms and tomatoes cooking on the other barbie.

Zoe also helped season the mushrooms Ruby and Zoe helped season the mushrooms.

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The sausage cook smiles after her cup of coffeeYou’d be smiling too, if you knew you’d soon be eating these juicy beauties!

Caleb helps flip the tomatoes Caleb wanted to have a job too – he helped his dad flip the tomatoes

Tomatoes and mushrooms Tomatoes and mushrooms

Sausages are almost ready This is not the first time I’ve wished this blog had Smell-O-Vision.

Frying eggs on the barbie Frying eggs on the barbie

Homemade baked beans The homemade baked beans were a big hit

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Mum's chicken congee with all the trimmings (in neatly labeled jars) Mum’s chicken congee with all the trimmings – fresh ginger, fried garlic, fried shallots, spring onions, soy sauce, sesame oil (in neatly labeled jars). Oh, and crullers (yow char kway) too.

My mum's homemade wantan My mum’s homemade wantan. She brought chilli sauce for dipping, of course.

Zoe on the climbing treeThis was our Christmas tree, shady tree and climbing tree.

Caleb in the tree

Caleb puts on his life jacket Kayak time! Caleb rushed to put on his life jacket.

Ruby, Zoe and young Mr Contrary “Caleb, turn around so I can take your photo,” I said. “No!” was the response.
Oh well… I took the photo anyway (the girls and I had a giggle).

Ruby on the river Ruby on the river

River traffic River traffic

Kayaking is intense! Phew, kayaking wears you out!

DSCF1414-2Time to get dry and ready to eat dessert

Caleb waits for his second serving of trifle Caleb waits for his second helping of trifle.
He was unsure about the trifle initially but after a taste, couldn’t get enough.

Ruby has her third bowl of porridge - after we've all eaten dessert! Ruby goes back for a third bowl of porridge – AFTER eating dessert! We are DEFINITELY related.

Happy Christmas!

Thank you for reading. I hope your festive season is fun, delicious and not too stressful. What’s on your Christmas menu?

New Travel page

This time last year, Jac and I were in Hobart, Tasmania – Christmas lunch was a wonderful buffet at the Salamanca Inn. You can read the stories from that trip, plus my other travel blog series at my new Travel page.

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  • Cindy M

    Same spot as last year? I see Caleb has a bandage on his left knee. :-( He, Ruby and Zoe cute as buttons, like always. Those roasted tomatoes, yum! Cookbook perfect. I’d love to try those plump juicy sausages, and your mother’s chicken congee (and wantans!). Heck, I don’t like mushrooms often, but I’d give those a taste too! And baked beans; I can almost taste them. My mother used to make homemade baked beans in the winter…there is no comparison to store-bought. Eggs…oh god. :-) That’s a hearty, delicious meal all around. Beautiful sunny day, looks like everyone having a blast.

    We’re having a low-stress Christmas meal. I’ll be working (in my home), and then make a gourmet spaghetti dinner with baked meatballs (raisins, milk, bread crumbs, and spices mixed in). Fine lettuce salad and butter-garlic toasted bread with. Pineapple upside-down cake & real whipped cream will be dessert (as if we need more carbs!).

    Happy holidays to all!

    • Happy Christmas, Cindy!
      Different spot along the river. This year’s spot was a lot quieter than last year’s – we much preferred having fewer people around. We had a lovely morning. One less thing to do on Christmas day – I can devote all my tummy space and energy to Jac’s family Christmas do. :) Your Christmas dinner sounds delicious. I love spaghetti and meatballs and garlic bread AND pineapple upside-down cake.

  • Happy Christmas! I love a good home-cooked breakfast feast, especially when done on the BBQ!

    We made turducken for Christmas for the first time this year, which was very exciting!

    • So how did the turducken turn out? Was it worth the effort?

      • Yeah, absolutely! We cheated a bit and made it like a roulade with only the breast meat (chicken, duck and turkey) rather than the whole bird which was a lot easier. Amazing though – tender and really juicy, probably because we wrapped the roulade in bacon as well!

        • Bacon-wrapped three-bird roulade sounds good! Juji and I have talked about turducken in previous years… maybe a future Christmas.