Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Cheer

Phew! Christmas Eve already and I think I am on track to getting everything done. It has been ridiculously busy here but I wouldnt have it any other way! I am now onto the decorating tasks for the Christmas table which feels like the home straight.

I heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday as I gave out the last of my Christmas goodie bags, they have been great fun, but so much work! It took as much effort packaging them all as making them, my good friend Nicki proclaimed me mental when she saw the contents of hers, and I am now on reflection inclined to agree! I do get a great deal of pleasure from doing it all and giving it away so would still do it again, just maybe not in the quantities I did this year!

We had a fabulous dinner with friends the other night. Kyle brought his smoker around to show me how to hot smoke salmon (which I have on the menu for Christmas day) so I decided that would be a great dinner too. It was easy peasy and so delicious, I may have to invest in a smoker too. For this one we put salt and brown sugar on the fish and let it sit for about half an hour before putting it in to smoke. You scatter your preferred smoking material on the bottom of the smoker-we used manuka shavings kindly supplied by my brother in law but I have since seen all sorts of variations on this, including tea. This smoker uses meths so you fill that up and light it, putting it under the box. Fortuitously the amount of time it took for the burner to run out was the exact cooking time needed so that worked out great.














Here are a few photos of our revellry, as usual Kyle provided plenty of entertainment. Kyle has a reputation for being entertaining, so much so that when he came to dinner one night after a very hard night drinking and was uncharacteristically quiet, Richard announced he wanted a refund as the entertainment had failed to deliver! Poor Kyle!
















Kyle, Richard, Wendy and Glen
DJ Kyle!

As I was making the icecreams for Christmas I made extra for dessert. I decided I would make Nigella's pomegranate icecream from Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food, Fast and Delias Rhubarb Crumble icecream from Delia Smith's Summer Collection: 140 Recipes for Summer . I had seen on an internet clip the icecream being made with pomegranate juice instead of fresh pomegranates (which are $7ea!!!) so thought I would do it that way. It turns out the juice I bought for a ridiculous price was weak as cats piss and went nowhere in the icecream, flavour or colour wise. Panic time as I wondered what I could do to rectify it! I decided to heat some dried cranberries up in some water and added those to it, which worked very well, gave some pink and texture to it. The recipe is a no churn one, which is fantastic and I would definitely use it again as it was so easy. I served it with some extra roast rhubarb left over from the other icecream I made, which I will post about after Christmas, it needs its own devoted space it is so awesome! The rhubarb was roasted with sugar and a little lemon juice and was the perfect tart foil for the rich creamy icecream.

No-churn pomegranate ice cream (with fresh pomegranates)
2 pomegranates
• 1 lime
• 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
• 2 cups heavy cream

No-churn pomegranate ice cream (with pomegranate juice)
• 3/4 cup of pomegranate juice (Pom)
• 1 lime
• 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
• 2 cups heavy cream

Fresh pomegranates
Juice the pomegranates and the lime, straining the juices into a bowl. You will have approximately ¾ cup of pomegranate juice. Reserve the pomegranate seeds for garnish.
Add the powdered sugar and whisk to dissolve.
Whisk in the cream and keep whisking until soft peaks form in the pale pink cream.
Spoon and smooth the ice cream into a rigid plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. Scatter with pomegranate seeds when you eat it.

Pomegranate juice
Use three quarters of a cup Pom and a quarter cup of lime juice. Add the powdered sugar and whisk to dissolve.
Whisk in the cream and keep whisking until soft peaks form in the pale pink cream.
Spoon and smooth the ice cream into a rigid plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. Scatter with pomegranate seeds when you eat it.

I am sure there will be a flurry of posting after Christmas to record all the other things I have been making and storing up photos for!
For now, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!


4 comments:

Laura said...

Merry Christmas Linda! Your photos are gorgeous :) that fish smoker looks awesome. Have been baking up a storm myself - one of my favourite things about this time of year. Pomegranites are *only* four dollars in Waiuku - which, compared to $2.50 each in Wellington makes me wince a little!

Linda F said...

crikey Laura, I should have got you to buy a few and hiff them out the window on your plane ride home!!!!!! Will have to keep waiting for them to come down in price before I try it again!!!!!!!!

pistachio said...

That smoker looks very interesting. I've never seen one here but I remember many years ago fishermen using them in Cornwall to smoke some mackerel from their morning catch. Spain doesn't seem to have a tradition of smoking fish ... maybe I'll have to try and find a smoker on the internet.

Wow that is really expensive for pomegranates. We have several trees on our land and when it was harvest time I deseeded and froze quite a lot.

Lovely write up, Linda.

pi xxx

Kerryanne said...

Hi Linda
Seeing as we got our hand slapped for not leaving comments, thought i had better. Great blog, easy to read. Need some advice re the smoker, talk to ya over the other fence :)