So, we had our first Christmas gathering at Pear Tree Farm and it was gorgeous!!
I absolutely loved being able to share special moments with my wonderful in-laws. Cooking together in the kitchen, watching my little PTF kiddies playing with their cousins. Yummy scrummy Christmas food, Michael Buble and Ella Fitzgerald crooning Christmas carols in the background, perfect sunny weather, swims in the pool....what more could a girl want eh?!
Lately I have been a bit of a crazy person I have to admit....poor Mr PTF is still recovering from our 2aminthemorningmarathonofpreparationsforourreallykeepingitsimpleChristmasgathering.......
Oh dear. What shall I give Mr PTF as a peace offering??!
I did enjoy organising and making some of these things for our party. We made bon bons with brown paper, green confetti (hole punched by me one night...never again) a lindt ball and a blessing for each person.
We also strung paper doilies and green glass bauballs from the outdoor market umbrella...looked so gorgeous.
It was so so special to be able to host Christmas at our place (something we have never done in all the 5 years of our marriage!)
One thing I will say though is that it is NOT a good idea to attempt recipes one has never attempted before on the day you are hosting a Christmas party....not a good idea.
All miraculously turned out fine, but it did make things a little bit hectic! We had a beautiful chocolate pav/meringuey torte thing....half following a recipe half not. I found the recipe online...its a Nigella recipe and it has chocolate in it...how wrong could it go right?!
Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova
For the chocolate meringue base
For the topping (I din't follow this at all....I made up my own version...see below this recipe)
1/2 block of philadelphia cream cheese
1 smallish tub marscapone
1/4 to 1/2 cup icing sugar sifted
1 vanilla bean (or vanilla extract is fine too!)
splurge of thickened cream
beat in a bowl till well combined (taste and make sure its not too sweet as you want it to cut through the sweetness of the meringue)
I then spread a layer of the filling in between the two layers of meringue, followed by raspberries and grated dark chocolate. Then I repeated this step on the top of the meringue and put some finely chopped mint on top.
So there you go!
We also had some beautifully bbqd prawns (cooked by my gorgeous hubby) and some salmon also cooked to perfection on the bbq.
We also had a couple of salads. One with pommegranite....which just looks so beautiful and Christmassy don't you think?!
The other one was a fennel, orange, wombok and mint salad. Both so beautiful and fresh. A great way to kick off our Christmas feasting me thinks!
Meanwhile....there has been alot of baking and "gingerman" (as miss O calls them) making, beautiful smells of christmas trees and spices in the air.
This is a library book bag I made for my nephew....fortunately you can't look close enough to see all my mistakes...yet again, I attempt something I have never made before....why?! I never learn!
I do love the fact that I can make someone a present though, rather than going out and just buying more STUFF.... I just wish I was a little more organised and could have started this project in October or November....not two weeks before the party....mmm.
I hope you all enjoy your Christmas feasting, festivities, fun and whatever you do this time of year with family and friends.
I am off to spend some time with all my family now and I can relax a bit and not attempt any more foreign recipes....maybe...
See you soon,