Monday, 22 November 2010

All sorts of updates

Where do I start? I thought that because my work has slowed down, life would slow down. Hah! It's been busy. So here's a bit of a catch-up.

Jolie (the French-speaking lady who fainted at my jewellery sale): She's fine and says it was low blood pressure. Apparently the hospital did some tests and they're all ok. She looks much better and is up and about as usual. Yay!

My supper club's Christmas lunch went really well, I think. TSC and I were hosting and seeing I love Christmas and I love Sunday lunch, I was determined to make it a really festive event. So now you have to hear about it all, because I need it written down on this blog in case I'm looking for ideas again next year ;-)

I set a trestle table up on our veranda so we could enjoy the summer weather and picked bright pink and blue as the colours. I made little place name Christmas baubles that I tied around the napkins with ribbon, which everyone could take home and hang on their Christmas trees. Here's mine...




I also make Christmas crackers (because shop bought ones have rubbish gifts and are also insanely expensive). Mine were complete with the snappers in the middle and I had pink ones for the ladies and blue for the guys. Each girl got a pretty Chinese-styled patterned pen and a beaded bracelet and each boy got a bottle opener and a bottle stopper / pourer thingey.




We kicked off the afternoon with a Christmas cocktail (very easy: mix two tablespoons of brandy with two tablespoons of Grenadine and one tablespoon of cherry liqueur. Divide between six champagne flutes, top up with rose sparkling wine and add a maraschino cherry to each glass). Divine! I also made devilled eggs (mainly because TSC bought a huge batch of eggs because they were on special and so I needed to get rid of them).

For starters I made the easiest thing in the world that happens to look super impressive. I threaded small wedges of camembert cheese, slices of preserved green figs, rocket leaves and torn pieces of smoked beef onto a skewer to make gourmet kebabs. I made one with smoked chicken instead of beef for our one member who doesn't eat red meat. Then I put each skewer on a small side plate (which I'd decorated with a swirl of balsamic reduction) drizzled with olive oil and served.

For mains I'd made roast pork loin. I rubbed the meat with Melissa's cook's salt with chilli, lime & coriander, and then roasted it in a little bit of orange and ginger wine. I roasted mixed veggies with olive oil, a dollop of honey and a sprinkle of mixed seeds, which served as a side dish, and also made my chickpea curry for the lady who doesn't eat red meat who also doesn't eat pork. Sigh. Everyone had a bit though, so it was worth the extra admin (although it only takes 10 minutes to make, I must admit). I also made a big salad with lettuce, tomatoes from my garden (which somehow taste much nicer than the shop-bought ones), cucumber, tangy green apples, strawberries, spring onions from the garden, green peppers and a dressing of half mayo and half apricot yoghurt.

Dessert was a devilishly rich chocolate cheesecake (recipe from Fresh Living magazine) served with strawberries. I tried to take a quick pic while I was in the kitchen, but I didn't have my tripod handy and I was shooting with my long lens, so I got some major camera shake. Here's a blurry idea of how it looked...



After lunch and recovering in the cool of the lounge for a bit, we did our Christmas present swap. We got M & B, the couple we were buying for, a book called Offbeat South Africa and a bottle of our homemade pickled sweet peppers.



From the couple who were buying for us, we got a lovely bottle of cabernet sauvignon.

I was still planning on writing about a whole bunch of other stuff in this post, but seeing I've babbled quite a bit, I'll leave you with two shots of Angel's divine cupcakes I snapped at the jewellery open house, just because they are so pretty.







13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow Tammy, you are such a busy thing, impressive making the baubles anddddd crackers, how do you get the snap thing in the cracker, what do you use? I'd love to make my own crackers. You're like a real little domestic goddess hey :)

I am attempting to grow tomatoes, the ones I'm growing in a container are doing well, hopefully get some fruit next yr, but the plant that started well in my flower bed has started to wither and the leaves have white squiggles on them, any advice??? Advice in general regarding tomatoes???

louisa123 said...

Great...now I'm HUNGRY! Hahaha, sounds lovely Tamara.

Hardspear said...

Your lunch souns real impressive and REAL delicious!

arkwife said...

Good thing I was eating a naartjie when I read this post, else I might've started chewing on my arm.

I always feel like I should rather just stay out of the kitchen when I read about your cooking. You make us normal folk look bad ;)

Paula said...

I am super hungry now because of you! Your dinner party and Angels cupcakes... and your chocolate cheesecake.... okay my stomach began its most epic growl to date. I wasn't hungry just now.

How great is making your own things? I think your crackers are pretty amazing... awesome.

Drama at your jewelry open house... what is christmas without em. Glad she's okay though.

Damaria Senne said...

Glad the French lady is fine.

The food sounds so delicious! Started salivating, especially the roast pork loin and the salad.

Momcat said...

You are putting us to shame with all your creative cooking and crafts - Stop It! :) Seriously though, you should give lessons. It all sounds wonderful.

Hayley said...

OMW...okay...I am super impressed...your own crackers. And your menus...hello..bloody awesome Ms Martha Stewart :-)

Slyde said...

i would KILL for one of those cupcakes right now.

could you send me one?

Hardspear said...

where's Tamara?

Hayley said...

Hi...just checking in...wondering where you are :-)

Angel said...

OMW that salad sounds divine... and that chocolate cheesecake!??!

Mr Pineapples said...

Wass with them cakes?