By now I think most of the world has entered 2012. I hope that yours was as pleasant as mine.
Before I descend into writing about the evening, I will just make special mention of New Years Eve Day. The Wife, The Boo and I braved the blistering heat to travel 2 hours north and visit the matriach of my maternal family, and one of the driving forces behind my love of food and cooking - my Oma. She migrated to Australia with her husband and 3 children (including my mother) from Germany in the early 1950s. They epitomised the very meaning of 'self-sufficiency' - living on a farm and growing / milking / slaughtering a majority of what they ate. Money was scarce, but they enjoyed their lives and I have been incredibly blessed to have a lot of this passion for and knowledge of the simple pleasures of living off the land passed down to me. Anyway, I digress - on our way through to the small town of Blyth where my Oma lives, we stopped at Clare. Clare, for those of you who are unaware, is a wine and foodie gem. The Clare Valley is well known for it's vineyards, and specifically it's reisling wines (which I unfortunately just can't bring myself to overly enjoy). This day I was specifically excited at the prospect of dropping into Wild Saffron which is known for it's gourmet eats, great coffee and local produce for sale. My main aim was to grab a bit of the latter to take home for later nomming sessions. I was severely disappointed though when we entered and found that access to most of the produce is hindered by tables and chairs, and therefore the people who are sitting at these tables and on these chairs. Aside from asking these poor people to move, it was almost nigh impossible to get to the alluring jars of pickles and preserves. And so, we left empty handed. So note to Wild Saffron, please make your stock more accessible!!! I'm sure that not only the punters, but the local producers will thank you!!
Once home though, we spent the early part of the evening with my parents where we shared a casual dinner of vegetable fritatta, pork and chicken dumplings and garlic bread - yep, we were mixin' and matchin' it up in the food stakes. BOOYEAH! We then watched the 9pm Sydney fireworks via the wonderful world of television, scared ourselves stupid with My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, before getting home at the reasonably respectable hour of 10pm. The Wife and The Boo retired to bed, while I sat up to see 2012 in with a glass of bourbon on the rocks and The Theme to S-Express:
I can't think of a more random, yet totally satisfying way to welcome a new year.
And already, my year is looking awesomic*! I fried us up a load of pancakes this morning for breakfast, served with maple syrup and mixed berries. Had a refreshing swim in the ocean (for those playing in the Northern Hemisphere, it is currently sitting at around the 40 degree C mark today), and then cobbled together a pretty fab salad - if I do say so myself!
Anita's 'On The Spesh Side' Dressing
Juice from 1/2 lime
2 generous dessertspoons of whole-egg mayonaise (we are Thomy mayonaise loyalists in this house!)
2-3 anchovy fillets chopped finely
Large pinch of dried dill
Large pinch of Sunaami Salt (An addictive mix of seaweed, horseradish and dill with sea salt. Check out the range at Green Farmhouse.)
Put everything together into a bowl and mix/whisk. (Note: when entrusting the mixing process with a 4 year old, ensure this bowl is large and preferably non-breakable so as to counteract over-enthusiastic mixing.)
I'm by no means the best recipe writer, as most of what I cook comes from knowledge of what goes together. I find it hard to write down what I do to make food taste reasonably edible - enough so it ellicits satisfied food noises from my willing guinea pigs. Perhaps I'll work at that over the coming year... yes, my sole resolution is to write down my recipes while I cook.
So, 2012... what amazing culinary delights will you descend upon me? My tastebuds await!
*Awesomic - the made up word I made up. My goal is to get this word to go viral. Use it, abuse it and spread it thick like my Oma spreads her butter ("OMG! It's as thick as CHEESE!").)