Saturday, January 30, 2016

Our busy Australia Day weekend...



 
We began by joining our friends from Melbourne in Penola on Saturday afternoon.  We dined at Pipers of Penola.  Magnificent!  
~
We stayed the night then on Sunday morning we did a spot of wine tasting and looked around the shops...
~
Grapes on the vine at Leconfield...
~
~
We had a lovely lunch at Fodder, Coonawarra then it was time to head home (50kms). Gus and I planned to make fresh pasta to have for dinner.  I left Gus and Gary in charge of the fettuccini and I made a slow cooked beef ragu using shin of beef (took just over 3 hours)...
~
The dough was good and went through the pasta machine perfectly.
~
Do you like my drying rack? It was a gift from Kirby and Nate for having them home over Christmas and New Year.   Seriously, I don't need to be rewarded!
~
Anyway, it did exactly what it was designed for and held the whole big batch of pasta. This much pasta fed 6 adults and I also froze a pack of fettuccini and spaghetti for meals for me and Gus also.
~
Now, before we left to go over to Penola, I prepared dessert for the next night (Sunday). This was so easy - crush a packet of sweet biscuits coarsely, add about 100gms of melted butter, just enough to wet the crumbs.
~
I have these lovely stemless wine glasses which are perfect for this dessert but any large wine glasses would do.   I spooned the crumb mix into each glass but didn't pat it down.  I made a cheesecake mixture based on a recipe from Ree the Pioneer Woman. I whipped together 250gms softened cream cheese and about 2/3 can of condensed milk and a squeeze of lemon juice. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking.
~
The easiest way to get the cheesecake mix into the glasses is to put the mix in a disposable piping bag or a ziplock bag. Snip the end then pipe it on top of the crumb base. No mess up the sides of the glass!
~
Next, I heated frozen raspberries (you can choose whatever berries you like) with a little sugar and brought that to the boil until the sugar dissolved. Cool completely.  Gently spoon the cooled berries into each glass.  At this point I covered each glass with cling wrap, ready for the next night.
~


Time for dessert! I dolloped on a blob of whipped cream and some pretty sprinkles - job done!
~
On Monday - the perks and privelege of owning your own business - we took the day off! We headed to Beachport to try and buy a crayfish so I could make seafood cocktails on the beach (adventurous much?)...
The only cray we could buy was still swimming in the Co-op's tanks - not ideal...but how much fresher can you get?  We bought one and thought we'd try cooking it on/in the barbecue.  I was stressing...
~
We drove to Southend via the beach then set up in a sheltered spot in the bay...
~
we got the flag and bunting flying...
~
We named him Clancy...but his days were numbered...
~
Normally, crayfish are best boiled in (ideally) sea water for a short time then drained and cooled.  We didn't have that option so I was a quite stressed as to how this would turn out.
~
Once we had him dispatched, we wrapped him in two layers of foil. Nighty night, Clancy!  We popped him to bed in the BabyQ Weber and cooked him for 30 minutes.  When we peeled back the foil we found a perfectly cooked Clancy - success!  
~
I cracked the flesh out of the tail and picked all the leg meat then put it in a ziplock bag on ice in the esky to cool.
~
You know when you have a vision of something then it comes together just right? My crayfish and prawn cocktails, assembled at the beach, were perfection!  I had brought with me, shredded iceberg lettuce and creamy cocktail sauce and 24 cooked prawns.  These are my plastic Govino wine glasses (not the same as the ones I used for the cheesecake).  Lettuce in the bottom, dollop of sauce, divided the cray meat between 6 glasses, another dollop of sauce then a crack of pepper. Drape 3 prawns on each glass and deliver to hungry, salivating guests! Yah!
~
How bloody good do they look?
~
~
Our visitors enjoying the day...
~
...and playing coits...
~
Our camp, always lots of shade...
~
We had a late lunch of lamb chops and salads...
~
I trotted out my Lamingtons for dessert...
~
All too soon it was time to wobble home through the dunes...
~
We had a late dinner of barbecued chicken pieces, salad and baked potato wedges...
~
I forgot to take a piccy of these - another dessert in a glass - very easy chocolate sauce and strawberries - (250gms chocolate and 300mls cream - heat in a saucepan until smooth and creamy).  Pour cooled sauce into the glass and drop in 6-8 strawberries. Too easy! 
~

Tuesday, January 26th is Australia Day proper and a public holiday in Australia...
~
We had a big egg and bacon breakfast with mimosas (champagne and fresh squeezed orange juice).
Then it was time for our friends to pack up and head home to Melbourne...
~
Closer to noon, Gus and I enjoyed more bubbles, celebrating Australia Day and the success of our weekend with dear friends.
We spent the rest of the day tidying up and taking it easy.
~
Cheers - Joolz xx

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

4 comments:

  1. What a lovely time! Thank you for sharing your holiday.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are such a fabulous cook, Joolz. What amazing meals you serve up. You could start up a restaurant I am sure.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had a little smile at your cheery throw-away phrase "..the perks or owning your own business, you can take the day off" I am pretty sure business owners like yourselves work super hard and taking a day off is not just a light decision - but gee it sounded convincing :-) What a great day you all had by the looks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so true, Phil. We are lucky to steal a bit of time here and there but then in busy times the reverse can happen. Like on Saturday just gone, we were meant to go on a wine bus tour which we were looking forward to - but my hubby chose to cancel and work all Saturday just to catch up on work that he would miss doing on Monday (today) because of an interstate business trip. He left this morning, feeling a lot less stressed than if he hadn't got everything organised. No hangover was a plus also!
      We did have a sensational Aussie Day long weekend and our friends have already booked in for next year to do very similar! :)

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...