In preparation for last Christmas Troy tested his boning skills and made a monstrosity of a roast to take to a family dinner over the ditch in New Zealand. The beast was ten birds, each one painstakingly de-boned then stuffed into the larger one. You may have heard of the Turducken (turkey, duck, chicken), this was more of a whatthefacken (turkey, goose, duck, chicken, pheasant, guinea fowl, partridge, poussin, squab and quail). After the disappointing news from New Zealand customs that any aerial birds are not allowed in to NZ our whatthefacken spent 10 days in the MAF freezer at Christchurch. We argued that this was probably the longest flight the turkey had ever been on (why deny 10 birds their final flight), next we tried to pass it off as a rabbit. All in vain. New Zealand customs was however able to leave it in their freezer at the airport for us to pick up on our return to Melbourne.
A few months later we defrost the birds for Christmas take two. A quick pop into the local Asian store on Chapel Street and we are sorted with tinsel, Christmas crackers and a Santa sack full of presents (including a boob for Uncle Gary).
Because it was a bit of a mish mash of families everyone provided there own little Christmas traditions and games along the way. Every ones favourite Christmas songs were included in the play list, even some of our favourite non-Christmas songs surfaced. A high point was when Brittney sang an inspiring Whitney Houston song at the top of her lungs -just like Christmas all over again!
We had to add a challenge dish to our Christmas so a Celeriac Salad from Turquoise by Greg Malouf was chosen. This was one of the books we got from Greg when we had a dining experience at Momo for Troy's birthday, and he signed this book to Lowrider (this was before we got him, but already owned a cookbook, does that mean that Lowrider was meant to help on this one?). Also on the menu was Claire and Nuffy's beetroot and feta salad, twice cooked potatoes, Jill's broccoli salad, Caroline's stuffing balls, and roasted carrots and pumpkin.
We really did overestimate how much food we could actually eat. The recipe in question -Celeriac salad that Mum made is in the top right corner.
The BEAST. Complete with layers of honey roasted pumpkin, bacon and caramelised onion, bird, and more bird and a little dodo bird.
Everyone had a lot of amusement with the presents given out.
Bailey's soaked sponge, 2 layer of ice attack, Salted caramel semifreddo with praline and chocolate and hokey pokey semifreddo, with the Italian meringue and a fiery flame of Grand Marnier.
Verdict: I'm going to say the overload of salads made it a bit of a blur, but so tasting notes on the Celeriac salad was lost in the moment, but the extravagance of it all was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
Would we make this again?: We would recommend second Christmas. It was really relaxed -great fun to belt out Christmas carols, it was also great to bring a few families Christmas traditions together. Oh, but back to the salad, it was hard to decipher with all those other ones on offer, but it was yum. Celeriac is a favourite with us all.