On Christmas morning, Jon and D went to the beach for a surf while L, Jac and I went for a walk up Tomaree Headland in Tomaree National Park. The walk up the hill probably took us 25-30 mins, and when we reached the lookout, we were treated a good view of Port Stephens. L pointed out various landmarks to give us a clear understanding of where Nelson Bay sits in relation to the other “Bays” of Port Stephens. I was a bad student and didn’t take notes, so the following lookout photos have no explanations :-(. I was surprised to see quite a few other people doing the walk up Tomaree on Christmas morning. I guess they were mostly tourists like us. :)
We saw lots of spiders on our walk, like these ones, hanging on to their big web and swinging gently in the breeze. Imagine if you didn’t notice and ended up walking through this spidery web! *shudder*
This spider had its party pants on for Christmas! I didn’t have to get skin-crawlingly close to the spider to take the photo, thanks to my 10x zoom. Hang on – does it only have seven legs?!
Back at the girls’ place it was time for Christmas pressies! In this photo you can see the girls’ two little dogs (L-R) Milly and Molly (Australian terrier-fox terrier crosses) patiently waiting for their Christmas treats. Molly is the bigger of the two, and the leader. It took Milly much longer to get used to us – she would lick my hand nervously but dart away as soon as I tried to pat her. This continued until our second-last day, when she let me rub her tummy.
We had a late Christmas lunch – I think it was after 3pm when we sat down to eat. We nibbled on goodies all morning though – lime and black pepper-flavoured crisps, macadamias, coconut macaroons, chewy chocolate cookies, and chocolate covered finger biscuits (dark, milk and white chocolate!). I was careful not to fill up too much on the other goodies though, as I knew L was busy cooking up a mouth-watering feast. She pot-roasted a plump chicken – she cooked it in a big saucepan (big enough to hold the chicken) with water, a little butter and carrots.
The chicken was so tender it practically fell off the bone at carving time.
We had gravy made from the chicken drippings/juices.
L had made stuffing for the chicken, and as you can see from the previous photo of the cooked chook, it was absolutely stuffed (hah!). L made stuffing balls out of the remaining stuffing (yes, you can say “stuffing” too many times in a paragraph!) and baked them in the oven.
We also had Yorkshire puddings and oven roasted vegetables (potato, sweet potato, pumpkin).
More vegetables, steamed cauliflower and broccoli…
…and green peas and corn…
…and a dish of chipolatas. I couldn’t stop eating these! I continued to eat my way through them the next day. I just loooove cold leftover chipolatas, straight out of the fridge.
The carved chicken, pot-roasted carrots and the stuffing were served on the same dish. The carrots were lovely and sweet, yet deliciously chickeny! The stuffing that had been in the chicken was moist and absolutely delicious, having also absorbed the flavour from the chicken. The stuffing balls were wonderful too – they had a crispy crust and were tender on the inside. The lemon flavour of the stuffing was more pronounced in the baked balls, and I loved that about them. Both stuffings were great – I couldn’t decide which I preferred!
You’ll see at the bottom of the photo below, a jug of packet gravy. Yep, we had a choice of *real* and *fake* gravy!
I chose the real chicken gravy. It’s not particularly obvious in this photo, but I poured gravy over my chicken and into my Yorkshire pudding. This was such a delicious meal. The chicken was moist and tender, and the two stuffings utterly flavoursome. L did a majestic job!
Family and friends can see more photos of us on Christmas day and at Christmas lunch here at Flickr (you have to be logged in).
In the evening, Jac and I took a walk to the marina and the town centre. I didn’t think I’d have any energy left after our Tomaree walk, considering I’d been exhausted when we got on the plane to Sydney, had been somewhat sleep-deprived and had walked for two hours on our first day (not complaining, just summarising!), but we walked at a steady and comfortable pace, and the girls’ house is not far at all to the marina (less than 10 mins slow walk). As you can see, it was somewhat overcast. The marina is called “D’Albora Marina”, D’Albora being the name of the people that own it. These photos remind me of watercolour paintings – what do you reckon?
EDIT: I forgot to mention – we had a very relaxing Christmas evening grazing on leftovers and watching the classic Australian movie The Castle. “What do you call these, love?” TFP: Chipolatas!
Still more to come!