A super chill Canberra Christmas

30 December 2019

On Christmas Day the smoke haze that had kept our doors and windows shut for almost a week cleared, and we were able to go on a long morning walk and open up the house. It was so nice to be out and getting a sense of what everyone was up to.

It has definitely been an unusual summer, a very indoor one, because of the lingering smoke haze and the hot hot days. We normally spend this time of year riding our bikes, going for picnics and visiting the pool so we've had to rejig our plans and expectations. Most of all, we're super glad we moved apartments earlier this year. Even though we didn't plan to move, it's meant we've ended up in a really comfortable place with air con, which has been so important with the current smoke situation.

Anyway, onto more festive things like Christmas food, summer books, movies and a few favourite gifts. We've totally upped our tea and coffee game these holidays. Angie chose this beautiful Marimekko tea pot for us (I knew I wanted a new one but had no idea where to look - she nailed it!), and we unwrapped some herbal tea leaves and coffee from friends. I gave Tony a V60 pour over coffee kit and grinder for Christmas, so every morning we've been reading in bed with freshly made brews.

It's been a very Alison Roman Christmas. I made her seafood linguini for Christmas Eve (lining up to buy prawns and vongole at 6am, which was surprisingly festive), and our friend Sarah gave us a bag of her famous choc chip cookies, which we munched on for lunch desserts and while watching Netflix :) I've also just made the cover recipe from her latest cookbook, a delicious slow cooked oregano and tomato roast chicken (the recipe is on the NY Times).

We've also eaten a bunch of Tyrrells potato chips and Ortiz anchovies (two new obsessions), and this delicious grain salad with pomegranate, goats cheese and sweet roasted veggies. For the first time ever, I've had opinions about drink pairings. We drank Wildflower's golden ale with our grain salad for Christmas lunch. I'm still into sour beers and this one isn't too sweet. I also bought a Good Intentions orange wine to go with our seafood pasta after trying a delicious one in Melbourne. And we finally cut into the Panettone on Christmas morning - we shelled out a little more for this one and have no regrets. I used a Nigella recipe to make very custardy French toast one morning and might squeeze in one more batch before Panettone is done for another year.

My favourite Sunday morning ritual is to read in bed with a cup of tea until I get hungry - which has so far been every day of the holidays. I'm two-thirds of the way through Haruki Murakami's Killing Commendatore, which I'm really enjoying. It has the usual amount of mystery and spiritual activity for a Murakami novel but is less scary/intense than others I've read. I'm also reading The Best American Food Writing 2019, edited by Samin Nosrat, worth it for this essay alone.

We watched Marriage Story, which I didn't love as much as I thought I would. Noah Baumbach movies have been especially long lately. I really liked The Two Popes, maybe for the same reason that I enjoy watching The Crown, it's part historical and explained how the papacy works (I had no idea the pope is voted in!). And after missing it at the cinema, we rented Animals, which was fun and also surprising. On our list for the new year, Little Women and Portrait of a Lady on Fire.

I took this photo after we woke up this morning because it was so smokey out that it looked like fog. It's cleared up now so we'll head out for our daily adventure. Still to do these holidays - bake some sourdough (my first from a newly made starter!), make a batch of sourdough crumpets, visit the brewery for a burger, and go indoor plant shopping. Have a lovely NYE!


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