Merry Un-Christmas

Christmas morning and the sky is blue as a button and the snow crisp and perfect. That pink sunrise is back blossoming over the mountains into the valley. The air is fresh and welcoming on my face and I have the mountain pretty much to myself, everybody must still be tucked up in bed. Back to the hostel for that champagne brekky and later the famous Roast Turkey lunch. I’m pretty sure the afternoon will bring a food coma and a nanna nap. And a good toboggan and snow angels in the fresh powder. Merry Christmas to you wherever you may be.

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Pink in morning, shepherd’s warning

Christmas Eve here on the mountain begins with a fuchsia pink sky peeping over the mountains sending a glow into the trees weighed down with snow. It’s Christmas back home, the sun will be up, Charlie and Myf will be awake, roving about impatiently looking for their brekky waking everyone up to find it with a pat on the face. Soon everyone will be converging in the lounge sitting around the tree playing pass the pressie. Then the food and booze will start rolling. A bit of music and a snooze in the sunshine then wander back  into the kitchen to pick at leftovers. Everyone is so far away, oh how I miss you all.

 “Now she’s thinking of the red soil and the mango trees” Take It In – The Waifs

A big fat Merry Christmas to you all xo

Sugar sugar

For a pure sugar hit, try some American style Peppermint Bark. Pretty much white choc melted with smashed up candy canes thrown in for good measure, then chilled. It’s pretty, it’s festive and tasty. Surely hitting the seven months travelling record deserves a little choccie?

Banana baking bonanza

Challenge. Many ripe bananas. We’ve already made a ton of smoothies so it’s cake time. Dave vs. Kate. Dave’s first attempt ever at a cake and my first go at this recipe. I got plenty of thumbs ups for the crunchy edges but still plenty moist and flavoursome and Dave won over the crowd with his sneaky buttery icing. Thank you Delicious magazine for a cracker recipe! It’ll be even better tomorrow toasted with a dollop of ricotta and honey. It almost rivals Dad’s banana cake at home which we always give a rating too, so I give this banana bread 9/10. Them’s fightin’ words!

Batter up

It’s snowing, the crowds are out today clogging the mountain so it’s a stay inside day which is fine by me cause there are cake cravings a calling. Today’s baking challenge – Roasted Lemon Cake. I found this recipe in a freebie mag and it’s just crying out to be tested.  Thin slices of lemon are roasted with sugar to caramalise in the oven. Roasting lemon smells are filling the hostel and once ready I take the tray outside and rest it on a snow bank to cool slightly. As you do. Then back inside to assemble and add the batter. An impatient 40 min wait is worth every minute as the cake turns out sweet and tangy, with crispy buttery edges, reminding me of a Tarte Tatin. This recipe is a keeper.

I’m dreaming of a Eucalyptus Christmas

Christmas has arrived with a bang, muzac everywhere bringing a little holiday cheer and pangs of homesickness. Up until now living on the mountain I’ve felt quite sheltered from the usual commercial crassness that accompanies Christmas. Not working in retail definitely helps escape a little. What’s it all about really? For me, it’s family, food and music and the annual chopping down of the tree. A cut and paste session over the weekend had our room looking cheery and in the spirit. Paper stars and snowflakes are now adorning our room, spinning and twirling in the cool breeze.

Christmas dinner’s have already started with the staff chrissy dinner the other night. A really impressive banquet style feed of roast turkey, potatoes, veges, stuffing and very moreish buttery crumbly cranberry shortbread biccies. Santa made an appearance doling out candy canes and photo op’s and the Christmas tree was “down under” in honour of all the Aussies.

Christmas last year was a hoot! Food and booze abounded, including this amazing Gingerbread House that Ali built. A totally relaxed and chilled day, we deviated from the usual Seafood barbie and had a traditional roast of Honey and Clove Glazed Ham with a ton of veges and a not so traditional Crispy Chinese style Duck, as well as plenty of cheese and ‘what to pick, too hard, try them all’ desserts including a yum boozy Trifle and soft as could be Lemon Mousse.

This year it’ll be totally different, my first white Christmas. No cats pouncing on and scattering the wrapping paper, dragging the ribbon around, leaping in and out of boxes or scaling the tree. And the hardest part, no family nearby. But I will be having a drink for them and listening to The Waifs, Laura Marling, Teddy Thompson, Neil Young and the SeaChange soundtrack and remembering past Christmas’s with the fam.

I’m going to follow some of our traditions starting with a champagne brekky of Peach Bellini’s, Poached Eggs and fresh fruit salad. Then at the hostel we are gonna tuck into a traditional Roast Turkey lunch with all the trimmings including Apple Crumble for dessert. But why stop at just one dessert? Good point! Let’s throw into the mix some Peppermint Bark to snack on, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without Choc and Raspberry Brownies. And for luck the return of the Cashew Nut and Choc Christmas tree that I dug out of an old Women’s Weekly mag back home a few years ago. It’s going to be the centrepiece. Alas, no pav this year, apparently they don’t work so well up here and I don’t think I can deal with a failed pav. It might be my Christmas undoing.

So even if you’re not here with me you won’t be far away in my thoughts. Let’s drink to that, Cheers! Sante! Chin Chin!

Beryl and her ugly jumper

New persona for the night – Beryl. Sat night’s bash at the Saloon was a sea of ugliness with prime examples of beaded, embroidered, knitted, shoulder padded jumpers and scarily enough, we fitted right in.

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