Saturday, 29 December 2012

Emerging from the leftovers...

Christmas has come and gone in a flash, always such a big build up and before you know it it's been almost a week since it happened!!

We have had an interesting time. One of my favourite 'down-time' things to do is enjoy cooking in a relaxed, no pressure manner. However, this year our landlord gave the thumbs up for the kitchen renovation, so it was a bit touch and go as to whether we would actually have an oven to use on the big day! In the end we did, but that meant Christmas food shopping was literally just before the big day, although I was surprised how quiet it was doing everything last minute, so it worked out OK in the end.

So I guess you want to see kitchen pics! I would too!


We went from this with 2 working days to go....

To this, I know it looks done, but none of the tiles are grouted, no plinths around the cupboards, new skirting boards not in place yet, and still lots of white gloss paint needed, appliance heights need sorting....so i think there is still 2-3 days work left to do.

But the best part is the oven got wired in just in time, which was good because the old oven is in the garden, and with all the rain we've had it would have been camp stove with 2 elements and a very dodgy microwave as the only alternative. I am loving the tiles, and I am really loving the wall colour, so every morning I feel like I am walking into someone elses's kitchen!

So this was the temporary kitchen which we put in the lounge, and it actually worked really well....like going back to New Zealand open plan living! Damn lucky the fridge fitted behind the door! Just!

We were joined with my sister and her BF from Cambridge for Christmas, in fact they are still here for this weekend, but it has been very relaxed, and lovely to have extra helping hands around! Plus of course Courtney is back from Uni for 3 weeks, and her BF arrives for a few days today. So Even though Millie and Ella left us for New Zealand, we have been just as busy as a household! And we are only a Skype call away from the girls, so it's been pretty cool.

They didn't want to pose for a normal photo at Heathrow - typical!

So Christmas morning the team decided Eggs Benedict was the order of the day with bubbly. How civilised I must say, eh what! At least I didn't curdle the proper home made hollandaise sauce! It was ace!!

Next up the 'turkey baby' that we had prepared the day before. Mark and I (and kids) are rather partial to a 3 bird roast. It's not as hard as you'd think, and so worth the effort. Once you've had this, you would not go back to turkey on its own, the flavours are amazing, and so juicy.

De bone your outer bird, we usually use a really large chicken to keep costs down, but we couldn't get one big enough, so we opted for a small turkey from the local farmer's market this year. You cut down the side of the backbone, to open butterfly styley, leave the legs and wings intact on the outside, but removing all the inner bones, creating a big open cavity. You lay a layer of christmassy sausage, then the next 'bird' although we just use breasts (duck) and repeat with pheasant. Then my last layer is a normal breadcrumb style stuffing, with fruit/ nuts/ herbs.

Then you start sewing it up - which is where the teddy bear stitch I learned about 24 years ago comes in handy to create an invisible seam. Once you have sewn it back together it looks like a normal turkey again! Only better on the inside! I like to cover with a lattice of streaky bacon. And then you cook it based on the weight, as you would for roast poultry.

The beauty of this is I think the layers of sausage meat on the inside keep the turkey meat much moister than usual, so it's a win win.

So we sat down to a proper Christmas meal after all - yay for the kitchen guys getting it done to usable status just in time, and yay to having Emma and Nick here to help us unpack everything into it, and restore normal working order to the lounge and house in general!

And so we sit in front of the fire each night, with the tree blinking each evening watching the rain come down outside watching the Christmas tellybox, and generally eating too much chocolate and other festive food! There is deffo something magical about a winter Christmas, rather than the hot ones in NZ! Although I could handle a beach right now!!

We are still managing snippets of work, trips to the post office and so on in between the leftovers!

Here's wishing you all a wonderful New Year, we'll see you on the other side, it's nearly 2013!!! Flipping Eck!!

 

18 comments:

Helen said...

Your new kitchen is going to look ace once it's finished, and your three bird roast looks and sounds amazing! My SIL bought one reduced on Christmas Eve from the supermarket but they're saving that for another time. Enjoy the rest of the festive break... I don't have to go back to work till next Weds.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

AMAZING!

Happy New Year!

Marion Coupe said...

Happy New Year to you all, glad you had a lovely crimbo. Must give the 3 bird thingy a go next year.

Marion Coupe said...

Happy New Year to you all, glad you had a lovely crimbo. Must give the 3 bird thingy a go next year.

Marion Coupe said...

Happy New Year to you all, glad you had a lovely crimbo. Must give the 3 bird thingy a go next year.

Marion Coupe said...

Happy New Year to you all, glad you had a lovely crimbo. Must give the 3 bird thingy a go next year.

Miriam said...

Your kitchen looks gorgeous. As for the food - yum!! Hope everyone enjoyed it!!

Glennis said...

It is a lot warmer in NZ, but has been raining on and off since just prior to Christmas. Yesterday was a brilliant summer's day - and this morning woke up to rain again!!

Wendy said...

just got home from Magnet, the new kitchen onslaught begins today LOL it will be a slow process as I am rubbish at making decisions and choosing but, New Year resolution is a NEW KITCHEN,I am not repeat NOT cooking xmas dinner in this one for one more year!!!
Love yours by the way, three bird thingy looks fab and ......
Happy New Year
x

Yours Artfully said...

The kitchen is looking amazing, can't wait to see it in real life and your three bird roast looked equally amazing!!! Enjoy the rest of the holidays, that bonkers time of year is just around the corner.

Lin x

Trish said...

Oh your kitchen looks fab! Lovely Christmas dinner too - looks very posh (and yummy!)
Happy New Year!

Siobhan Brignull said...

Wow you love living on that edge Leandra, 3 bird roast looked fab. I made beef wellington which also looked fab before and after cooking, cutting it though was not good, but it tasted yumptious. Happy christmas and Happy new year to you and yours. love from your stalker . . mwah!

finnella03 said...

So come on then tell us what a traditional Christmas in NZ is like. Lovely kitchen and all the very best for a happy and successful year for you all next year.

Anonymous said...

What a "cozy" blog post, Leandra! Lovely. Your "birds" look as glam as your kitchen -- bravo!!! I was a bit concerned that you would be a bit lonely without the girlies over Christmas, but see that my worries were for nowt! Almost time to say "Happy New Year" and we'll be zooming again into new adventures. Much love to you and Mark - Sally xo

Michelle Webb said...

Looks like you had a brilliant Christmas Leandra! I think you might be a foodie too. Your turkey looks amazing by the way, and I bet it tasted amazing too. And to make your Christmas dinner in your new kitchen must have been such a joy. Michelle x

Gillian .... said...

The new look kitchen was so worth all the "baited breath" moments. The bird looks yummy, bet it was delish too! Hope you managed to enjoy all the xmas mayhem! Miss E is soooo Marks double, hope they are having an amazing time. x

isisimaginings.com said...

Your Christmas meal looks delicious, the tree looks gorgeous & the new kitchen looks stunning, I'm very glad you were able to use it for the big day.

Shannon said...

Looking at that dinner table certainly made me hungry. That bacon design on the turkey was pretty amazing, Leandra...it seems you have some great skills in the kitchen. If you get a strange knock on the door next Christmas it will be lil' ole' Shannon from Gold Canyon AZ stopping by right around dinner time, you don't mind do ya? Ha ha. Happy New Year!

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Even though we've been blogging for quite some time only just figured out the followers button, so please follow us to hear about all that is new in the land of PaperArtsy. We'd love to share our ideas with you! Leandra

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