10 January 2017
I had a glorious three weeks off over summer. I watched The Crown, tried a whole bunch of new recipes and hung out with friends at the beach. Here's a little look, starting way back on Christmas Eve...
Before we left for Sydney our neighbour Pia dropped by with a small gift and a bauble for our tree - she was giving one to every apartment in the building. Earlier in the month someone wrote Joyeux Noel!! on the whiteboard and by the end of December it was covered in festive messages in lots of different languages. Tony and I mainly contributed pictures :)
Tony's family had a dinner on Christmas Eve, so I spent the morning baking a few sourdough loaves before we drove to Sydney. We grazed on my mother-in-law's annual gravlax and played cars with our nephew before it was time to open presents and eat. It was a humid night and my sister-in-law served up the yummiest cheesecake for dessert, with a thin layer of whipped cream spread on top.
My extended family packed into my aunt's house on Christmas Day for lunch - all 23 of us. I spent most of the time with my three-year-old niece. I gave her a jewellery box with Emma Wiggle inside and she loved winding it up and watching her spin. My uncle made the best lasagne because his son mainly likes to eat cheese :) We had turkey, ham and prawns too before digging into the panettone I'd made.
We made it to the beach twice during our four day stay in Sydney :) We had a quick dip at Balmoral Beach on Christmas Day and a breakfast picnic with Tony's family. Even though it was packed, I saw a family offer up their shady bench to an older couple who were looking for a spot.
On Boxing Day we went to visit our friends who live in Coogee. We shared our Christmas spoils for breakfast and ate mangoes with yoghurt and golden syrup (which is a revelation), homemade cookies and special nut chocolates before walking down to the beach for a swim.
After braving the holiday traffic, we made it home and finally slowed down. We ate meals on the balcony, rode our bikes into town and read new books we picked up in Sydney. I even managed to make a zine for friends and family that's filled with my favourite recipes from 2016, which felt great.
I'm going to miss the sleep ins, the movie-watching and the decadent desserts but in a couple of weeks we're heading to the coast for a beach holiday. We booked too late to stay after Christmas but now it seems like very clever planning :)
Plus I've figured out one little way to hang onto the spirit of the holidays - I've made a list of new things I'd like to try like a Manhattan, boogie boarding and a recipe cinnamon scrolls. I'll keep it close as the year kicks into gear.