Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lobster lunch

10 serves of the very best, freshly caught and cooked South Coast lobster, plated and dressed by Chef Jane from Slick Catering, all ready for our third anniversary lobster feast at the Le.... family holiday house at Rosedale. (Thank you Judy & JL.)

This year Chef Jane took inspiration from Vietnam and Tetsuya's for dressing platters of oysters and serving delicate little prawn cakes and tiny chicken satays as appetizers.

A tamarind and caramelised brown sugar and sesame dressing on the roast pumpkin and potato salad made it a taste sensation.

We are blown away by Jane's capacity to surprise and delight us with this superb South Coast meal, and the calm and professional way she put it together in the one metre wide galley style holiday house kitchen.

We were lucky that Wayne and Nola had timely birthdays to give us an excuse for this fabulous celebration of food and friendship. Chef Jane's Bombe Alaska was a highlight of the meal. It was loaded with nuts, rich ice cream and caramel, with a creamy meringue topping - perfectly toasted of course. The caramelised toffee bananas served with it, made it a swoon worthy dessert.

With Wayne and Jenny there from Murrumbateman our choice of wines was well informed......mainly whites with all the seafood! The 2005 Neagles Rock Reisling (Clare Valley) was the stand out for me.

It was a windy and cool afternoon in Rosedale yesterday. It made the king parrots and lorikeets hungry too and convinced Maggie to be everyone's favourite warm lap dog.

We ended off the day with a walk at dusk along the beach, marvelling at the kids being able to swim (in wetsuits) as the sun disappeared behind the straight spotted gums still allowed to grow tall and in close proximity to the holiday houses of Nth & Sth Rosedale.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Four days in Sydney

We've just spent four days in Sydney introducing M & R to all our ethnic foodie finds in the villages of Lakemba, Auburn, Granville, Cabramatta and Maroubra Junction.

While they caught up with the Archibald Portrait Prize exhibition at the AG NSW and Schindler's List at the State Library we enjoyed a very long brunch at Glebe's Digi.Kaf on St John's Road with Sydney Clare and 9 month old Zoe.

Zoe seemed to have recovered from her bout of ill health and short hospital stay quicker than her Mummy had. She was full of smiles and new tricks, including clapping hands and waving good bye. I enjoyed my short strolls with her on St John's Road while Rob and Clare lingered over their coffees.

Zoe was in such a good mood she put up with my long chat to the custodians of the beautiful Honey Ant Gallery just opposite Digi.Kaf. They show beautiful work from many of the Western desert Aboriginal communities and seem very ethical and well informed in the way they operate. Zoe focussed on chewing on my Elk necklace while I rabbited on with the gallery owners about the art work. Take a look if you like.....

We had another wonderful cultural experience on Sunday morning as we were exploring "Wendy Whiteley's garden" in front of her harbour side home at Lavender Bay. We met the wonderful Wendy herself hosing down after a graffiti clean up on one of Brett Whiteley's sculptures that adorn the garden.

She was in her serious gumboots, and signature head wrap and quite prepared for a bit of a chat. Maxie and I helped her uncoil her bright blue hose while she talked to us about getting her garden ready for the Kirribilli RSL Club Anzac Day commemorations. We didn't ask her anything about life with Brett, but gushed our admiration for her beautiful garden, slowly formed out of the rubbish heap around the old NSW State Rail line on Lavender Bay.

We also found time for lunch at the Jasmin Lebanese Restaurant in Lakemba and a visit to the wonderful Fine Food Nut Roasting Company in Chapel Street. One of the highlights of lunch at the Mado Cafe in Auburn was the chewy Turkish ice cream made with ground orchid root and then wondrous pastries for dinner afterwards from Abla's Pastries at Granville.

We found time for another dinner at our local Moroccan Feast on Avoca St Randwick and the best Yum Cha ever at The Golden Unicorn at Maroubra Junction (only 5 minutes drive from Coogee). The only way we could fit in lunch at our favourite Thanh Binh Vietnamese restaurant on John St Cabramatta was to veer off the M5 for an hour or so on our way into Sydney.

We did the coast walk to Clovelly and to Sth Coogee, even had a Jennifer Hawkins sighting (taking a brisk morning walk before her star turn at the Doncaster Stakes), did over the shops at Bondi Junction and Chatswood Chase and just LOVED our time together in this wonderful city.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Our Easter Sunday family lunch was especially nice this year. Ella sat up at the table with us, enjoying the Lamb Jam the most with morsels of food from everyone else's plates. She gave Granny K.'s famous coconut cake her seal of approval before sharing her one chocolate Easter bunny with everyone else at the table. (Did she think: Why didn't I have to share my roast pumpkin with everyone else too?). The rest of us were terribly impressed by Rob opening up his 1986 St Henri Claret and did our best to savour it. (It was wonderful!)

Ella enjoyed time in our rain soaked (yay, at least 20mls the night before) garden, taking the time to reacquaint herself with Joshy's antique Star Wars figures which seem to have resurfaced since the younger set have arrived. She can make them stand up now (very carefully) by herself and enjoys rearranging them while Joshy tells her which Battlestar they belong to.

Ella named her new Easter bunny Shoes because she especially liked his blue polka dot feet (that match his ears).
By 4.30pm, with no daytime sleep, things were becoming increasingly tiring.
We have been busy rearranging the house this Easter as a result of our new shelving being installed last week. This is the smallest of the 3 units built by Creative By Design, but the one we are most pleased with. Not only does it look beautiful but it has allowed us to rearrange all our art work in much better ways. This Harley Nelson work (showing a women dreaming story) finally looks like its found its home.

J & J have inherited our original wall unit and have been happily getting it settled into their home too.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Wedding Story

We gathered in the European style garden of the romantic stone chapel at Gold Creek before Erin and John's early morning wedding yesterday. The rain soaked, early autumn toned garden and soft cloudy skies provided the perfect lighting for the wedding paparazzi.

C & J & big O and little A (the Boss) looked picture perfect.

Jody and Miss E. looked like celebrities.

The girls were kept busy chasing the boys up the garden path.

Erin made a stunning entrance on the arms of Pete (looking dashing in his borrowed Hugo Boss).

John and Erin chose a simple, stylish but very warm and personal ceremony. Rob had a difficult job explaining to the big O. what a marriage certificate was.

Ros and Pete were very proud F.O.B. and M.O.B. They look relaxed now after Ros's mini drama of being locked in the hotel car park and having to be rescued by staff who took pity on her teetering up and down ramps on her gold stilettos.

Ella and the boys adored the rose petal shower over the bride and assembled guests. Ella and her daddy had a "la la fairy" dance moment while the boys raced around in circles kicking piles of petals in the air (while looking macho!).

Erin and big brother Joel, reunited again, looked predictably gorgeous.

Making a happy family snap.

Rob took the rare opportunity of capturing the (from left) 3 sisters and their respective daughters and D-I-L, and (almost) 95 year old mother. It is just as well that said mother doesn't access the "inter - net" as she would be cross that I told everyone how old she is.

Erin was a beautiful, cool, calm and collected, regal and elegant bride. Her careful planning ensured a stylish and serene day for everybody.

Maxie and Rod looked very colour coordinated in amongst the birches.

Later, at the reception, we were able to watch the sun setting over the Federal Golf Club greens on a perfect Canberra early Autumn evening. We were hoping the kangaroos were well practised in avoiding the odd errant golfer. Jody and Joel's friend Sarah (from Tassie) were the most beautiful young women at the family table.

Joel and Erin amazed everyone with their very smooth dance moves. As well as organising a beautiful and stylish wedding they pulled off the difficult Rumba moves with great panache.

Joel and Sarah returned to Brisbane this morning. The happy couple are off to Vanuatu tomorrow and Ros and Pete head back to Sandy Beach. Everything returns to normal......but, we have a new married couple in our family, and we wish them every happiness and thank them for allowing us to share this happy day with them.