December 2010 -

Just a place for my old thoughts

Majorie's House is nearly a Home
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 4:09 am

Since having the contents delivered last week we have been working hard to Majories to get all the boxes unpacked and the house setup. Getting utilities such as the phone connected is going to take a little longer but we think that tomorrow will be 'sleep over night' when we will be over for dinner. Sweet.

Merry Christmas
Monday, 27 December 2010 12:15 am

For future reference, when I am reading this is years to come, I just want to state that: IT KEEPS FREAKING RAINING!!! It has been raining for just about the entire month of December. I have started to use the back stairs to get to the car because my front lawn is seriously just a swamp with grass on top.

Anyway...what else has been happening.

Deb had to work the first few days of the week before Christmas so Majorie and I did a little final shopping and and setup for Christmas. On Wednesday I had a bit of a cooking spree and attempted both chocolate truffles and gingerbread men. Again for future reference, ginger bread goes soft pretty quickly in humid weather and truffles should be made on nothing darker than 50% chocolate if you don't want your sister-in-laws eyes to water when she eats one. (Sharon was very polite about the experience)

Thursday the removalists turned up and delivered all of Majorie's stuff. Luckily the rain held off just long enough to get everything loaded into the house and a little of the unpacking started. There were still a couple of issues with the airconditioning and other bits that needed fixing so she then came back to spend the christmas weekend with us.

Friday was cooking day. We had purchased the meat for Christmas lunch the day before but we still had to buy the seafood for Saturday and the requirements for a roast dinner. Surprisingly most places, while busy, had a quick turn-over, so we were loaded up in no time. I think it was also the first time that Majorie had been to somewhere like Sammies Girl which is a fish mongers. She kept asking why people would line up for fish? We tried explaining that they were actually lining up for prawns and crabs and that it is some of the best quality in Bribane but I don't think she got it.

It has become something of a tradition when we are at home for Christmas that Deb has lobster thermadore on Christmas eve, and this year was not to be different. So while Deb prepared the lobster for luch I sliced up a little ham and bread. It was very good and Mr Furrg got to lick out the lobster shells that were still coated in left over cheese sauce.

That afternoon Majorie made a batch of her famous cheese straw biscuits and I started roasting the pork and chicken on the bbq along with potatoes, carrots & corn. Unfortunately the attempted yorkshire pudding failed completely. Better luck next time I think. All of that was served with green beans, brussel sprouts and gravy.

Saturday morning we got everything packed up and headed over to JT's place for Christmas lunch. Loaded up with seafood and cold meats we arrived just as the rain dipped allowing is to get inside.

Majorie absolutely loved all the work that Jason had put into his yard and garden and marvelled at the trimmed hedges and beautiful lawn. Lunch was held outside on JT's patio with the rain still coming down. The food that everyone had prepared was awesome and everyone definitely ate their fill.

Then home again for a lite supper and a movie.

Sunday morning, boxing day, we were over to Wayne & Dad's place for brunch. Deb made sausage rolls and I made a ham and cheese pull-apart. I was really happy with how it came out and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I really do love going over to see Dad with everyone just sitting around relaxing and swapping stories. I could have stayed there all day except we heard from our friends Debbie and Matt who were up in Brisbane for only a few days and staying on the Gold Coast.

So off we ran to drop off Majorie at home and then head down to Cararra (sp?) to visit them. It was my day to be chauffeured, which was a good thing, because we went through about five bottles of red wine as we chatted and finished off the pull-apart.

The drive home was pretty hair raising because of the absolutely awful driving conditions and the idiots on the road who didn't seem to realise how dangerous it all was.

Final safe at home I turned a load of our left-overs into rissoles before we all collapsed and headed off to bed early.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

And that's a wrap
Saturday, 18 December 2010 12:19 am

My work Christmas party was good fun with everyone having a great time. This year we had a movie theme and our group was allocated horror. Yeah, horror at Christmas, I know.

Normally my team has a half arsed go at our costumes each year so we really don't normally put in much effort. This year though I talked a few of the guys into doing horror makeup. And we looked very cool. Over the last few weeks we made the facial appliances (aka wounds) and I got a few dozen images from the web of zombie face makeup. Add a couple of dollars of cheap paint and brushes and away we went.

We didn't win the contest, not even fourth place, but everyone at the table was having a fantastic time of running around and getting photographed. That was great honor for the time I had put into making them up.

Now onwards to the holiday festivities.

I have so gotta do this to my cats when I get home tonight...
Thursday, 16 December 2010 2:54 am

Question is which one has white paw pads and which one escapes humiliation with black pads?

One more week
Monday, 13 December 2010 1:47 am

Well, a pretty busy weekend. Friday night Deb had her office drinks but was home reasonably early. Saturday we gave the house a quick clean and Deb took Raffi out for her annual check-up. Everything came back fine.

Saturday afternoon we headed down to a surprisingly calm Carindale Westfield to get some christmas shopping done. I even managed to replace my favourite platter that I smashed a couple of weeks ago. We then dropped into Sammies for fresh whiting and scallops for dinner.

We then opened a bottle of the Charles Melton Brut Peche sparkling red. Very nice. Deb re-did her pea puree for the scallops which were awesome and I BBQ'ed the fish and served it with a Spanish salad. I have to say that cooking the peas with onion, garlic and chicken stock is the best way I know. Definitely something to consider for Christmas in July.

As it turns out whiting are pretty boney little suckers. We both ended up with these piles of bones on our plates but the fish was very good. Mr Furrg even got a little.

Sunday we had a lazy start with Deb packing for her trip down to Adelaide to help her Mum pack the house. After dropping her at the airport (at the wrong gate...ooops) I headed backt to Carindale to continue the shopping. I actually did pretty well. I kind of like Christmas shopping when you are alone and can just take it at your own speed.

Sadly I had written Deb's Christmas prezzie list on a special website that I had developed but my phone was on the blink so I had to pay to use an Internet terminal to get the info. Tragic.

I then headed home but swung past Raptis fish markets and picked up prawns for lunch and 3 beautiful uncooked crabs. With a few extra groceries in hand I had prawns with crusty bread for lunch and then the ABSOLUTE BEST Singapore Chilli Crab that I have been able to make. It was so good I immediately wrote down the recipe in the recipe section so that I wouldn't forget.

I can't wait to try it with bug tails and lobster or huge green prawns.

A big weekend...and the yum continued
Sunday, 5 December 2010 11:02 pm

So lunch on Friday was a bit of a standout I have to say. Friday night we caught up with JT for a quick drink down in the new Bavarian Bar Cafe and then run over to Southbank to see David Strassman performing. It was a very cool show. He 'seemed' to make quite a few mistakes such as missing a line or using the wrong voice which just seemed to add to the enjoyment of the show.

Then we walked up to Sardine Tin for a couple of glasses of wine and tapas. It is great to have places in Brisbane still serving food at 11pm at night. And quite a change, although I did hear one of the chefs say "I am leaving at 11:30pm no matter what!" It seems the staff may still be adjusting to the later hours. Then after a short but successful battle we secured a taxi and headed for home.

Saturday morning Deb headed out for a hair appointment and then we gave the house a quick tidy. Then got ready for a run up to Spirit House for lunch. Unfortunately with the rain and some old wreckage on the side of the road the traffic was crawling along and it took nearly 2 hours to make it to Serena's. We had a quick glass of bubbles and then headed into the restaurant. I have to say it is definitely best to go with a larger group because that way you can order lots of dishes to share and you get to try everything. The food, the wine and the staff were, as always, outstanding.

Then we headed back for Brisbane to get ready to go to Deb's work Christmas function. As it was we were running late and basically made it home in just enough time to get changed, feed cats and book a taxi. Grant, a work friend of Deb's, was staying over with us because he lives up at the Sunshine Coast. So while Deb finished getting her hair ready we had a glass of red wine.

The event was at Cloud Land nightclub which is a beautiful venue. Unfortunately the actual function was being held upstairs in one of the rooms which meant that you missed out on seeing the amazing bar and fittings in the main area. A shame really because it is pretty stunning. Once the function finished a bit after 11pm Deb and I went downstairs to the main area but things broke up pretty quickly and we headed home.

Sunday we went over to Cannon Hill to pick-up a few things and I ended up clearing most of my Christmas shopping as well as picking up mini-greenhouse and some new herbs and plants. The last ones we put out without any protection and the local possums just destroyed the whole thing. So I am hoping that this time they last much longer in their new little enclosure. I'll have to post a picture of it.

By the time we got the greenhouse assembled and all of the plants potted I just had enough time to start dinner while Deb got the front garden weeded. We then settled back and watched a movie before calling an end to a pretty full on weekend.

Friday, 3 December 2010 3:49 am

I just met Deb for lunch and we wandered down to Eagle Street Pier to check out the new restaurants that have been opening.

At the top of the stairs we found Sake japanese restaurant. Libbette, if your reading this you have to get your butt here ASAP.

Definitely not an everyday lunch venue with prices reflecting the care and quality of ingredients being served. The wine list starts from about $40+ but many very nice bottles can be found in that range.

And the food, oh the food. It was fun to sit with Deb and rediscover favourite items presented in a new and refreshing way. The true test of any japanese restaurant will be the sashimi and the tuna was exceptional. The simple quality of ingredients was contrasted with the outstanding presentation and experience of the steamed prawn dumplings. These involved a light prawn mousse draped in strands of wanton. Steam to perfection and served with a not too spicy ponzu sauce.

I can't wait to go back again.

Ooops, forgot to post
Thursday, 2 December 2010 10:33 pm

Deb just reminded me that I had forgotten to post this week, leaving you to wonder what has happened in our exciting and ever entertaining lives.

We had Deb's Mum up in Brisbane last weekend to check out the new house and go and see Westside Story which was her birthday present. Majorie's house is coming along nicely with the floor tiles and carpet the last things that need to be finished inside. Outside the fences and landscaping are well underway so it is looking like we will hear that the house is completed in the next couple of weeks. Then Deb can arrange to removalist to make the drop prior to Christmas.

We've also started the plans for our family Christmas lunches which are also coming along well. There was a brief re-start when it looked like we wouldn't be having any seafood but that anomaly was quickly resolved.

Other than that the week has been racing past at a huge rate of knots. We have a full on weekend with David Strassman tonight, lunch at Spirit House tomorrow and then Deb's company christmas party Saturday night.

Looks like the Christmas seach has started early.