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Our Christmas Day continued the tradition of sharing our special celebrations with our smallish biological family and our wide circle of chosen family. The weather was kind to us during the day, sunny and about 25c, so we could do the full turkey lunch and the ham that Oli and I had glazed the night before.

Ham recipe

Before glazing we cut the skin and fat off our ham, and score the flesh into diamonds. We use a glaze of mustard, brown sugar and maple syrup with about 10 cloves pushed in randomly into scored ham. We bake the ham for about two hours on 170c, inside an oven bag for the first hour, generously brushing the glaze up over the ham every half hour.

Christmas Day still begins with the children waking earlier than on any other non work day, keen to open their presents, although thankfully the 4am days have been replaced by a more respectable 8am.


After prezzies we have a family berry breakfast of all the red summer berries, including our Christmas day luxury of pre pipped premium cherries (pipping is an Oli job) it is the only breakfast all year in our house that you are allowed to eat with ice cream.


Then my family arrived, dad, my sister Dianne and her two kids, and miraculously we got one photo in which everyone is satisfied that they look ok (including my dad who vetoed any shots which he thinks disclose his bald spot/s)


We were joined at the end of lunch by my brother who made the long trip down from Cairns. It was a great opportunity for dad to have us all together.

We did break with tradition and give Nicola the task of finding a new recipe for the stuffed turkey. She came up with plum glazed five spice turkey (recipe on epicurious)

We finished today with our friends the Guthries with whom we share our traditional Christmas night dinner, a tradition which has been going on since they lived in Sydney 7 years ago. In spite of the fact that none of us thought we could eat another mouthful we ate, we drank and we danced the night away. The children even danced with us for a short period of time, until the embarrassment grew too much, but even the pained looks on their faces could not spoil it for us!

Boxing day we headed down to the beach, with the leftovers and my new toy the iPad in tow. The only cooking we’ll be doing in the next few days is assembling a Summer Pudding, post to come.

Happy days,




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The genesis of this blog was interesting, it was suggested to me by my daughter,  Nicki,  as something we could do together, and its a method of communication that she is fairly familiar with. As a woman over 50 it wasn’t that simple. There is a feeling in my generation that offering your thoughts to the world in an unsolicited way smacks of vanity. Maybe it was too many years with the nuns!

But there is a voice that says, what makes you think that other people would be interested in you yabbering on about your life and your thoughts? The same probably applies to twitter. When my daughter and I mentioned this project to my husband, he raised an eyebrow in a way that said… “pretentious?”  The voice of common sense which Mark often provides re-enforced my fears that this was not my sort of project.

However. the couple of blogs that I have embarked on with Nic have been lots of fun! I have allowed myself to be carried along by her enthusiasm which is one of her greatest gifts and I’ve enjoyed combining the recipes,photos, thinking and the writing. Its also lovely to have a twenty year old who does all the technological parts for you. Because of my inhibitions regarding blogging, I will probably focus a bit on the recipes initially, and very tentatively introduce my thinking about psychology and life.

Please leave a comment- I would love to know who is reading and what direction you would like to see this blog take- I’m about to embark on my next recipe, one thing this project has delivered has been a bit more creativity in the dinner menus!

Nicki and I (Vietnam 2010)

Nicki and I (Vietnam 2010)

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