It was the night before Christmas…

photo-76The day before Christmas…

Today is the equivalent of going on a complicated overseas holiday, to a destination you are not entirely sure how you should pack for. You get to the immigration gate and you can no longer pack another pair of knickers, or some more sunblock. All the shops are closed, and suddenly it’s too late to post anymore Christmas cards, or buy anymore gifts.

That’s how I feel about Christmas. As for the food situation, I blame all the stupid Christmas specials they put on TV in Australia for the mess in my fridge.

Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson (OMG, what a year she’s had. Love her to bits), Gordon Ramsay and Rick Stein. I’m so confused… We don’t have snow in summer, so why are we roasting a chicken tomorrow, and boiling a pudding in a big pot on the stove?

Well Jane, I hear you say, what’s so hard about that? What’s so bloody hard is that we just went through two days of the hottest temperatures in December ever on record – 43C degrees (110F). Sitting inside a house about to burst into flames from the sheer heat outside, while watching Jamie Oliver cooking in the snow (and everyone else mentioned above), is just wrong. I feel like I should be bounding out my front door, to carol singers, snow, and a hundred things roasting in the oven, while surrounded by loving family members, who never make you so angry you could murder them. Instead, we should all be at the beach, bounding out of the surf in our bikinis (another fantasy which won’t be happening,) drinking martinis and eating prawns with salad.

However, a gal and her Muse can make the best of any situation and we have a lovely Christmas day planned, with some friends, food which won’t need hours in the oven, and some bubbles in a glass (we can’t call it champagne anymore – Australian sparkling!)

On that note, I’m going to give the recipe for a lovely Christmas Day.

1. Forget your diet

2. Drink some nice bubbles

3. Hide when the cleaning up needs to be done

4. Listen to some Celine Dion

Have a great Christmas, and remember… the mince pies, Christmas pudding and brandy cream will all be gone for another year, this time next week, so enjoy.

xxx

 

Advertisements

Tribal Wives and Husbands

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, I was watching Tribal Wives this evening, after making dinner for my Muse. For anyone who hasn’t seen this fab show, it involves plonking women from England, into a tribal setting in places like Africa, to see how they fare. They usually have a nervous breakdown.

I said “I think I should go on this show.” (Even though I’m an Australian, which makes us pretty tribal at the best of times).

“Why?” he asks.

“Because I’m in my forties, I don’t have children, I have issues with my mother, and I would probably cry a lot.” That makes good viewing for this particular show.

“They would send you home the next day. You are too neurotic, and you can’t stand the heat.”

I start thinking about my Muse. “Well, if they had a show for Tribal Husbands, they would send you home the next day, because you don’t do anything. They don’t have computers and sports channels in the tribes. You would be considered useless.”

After ten minutes of me laughing so hard I cried, my Muse stormed off to do the dinner dishes. But seriously. Let’s just get down to business and post a great recipe for the heat, which should descend on us any day now, considering it is summer in Australia. Having said that, it was 32 degrees today, and tomorrow it’s going to be 20 degrees. What the???? And by the way, that photo is of me, in 40 degrees of heat at 9pm on New Year’s Eve at a party, in a hotel where the air conditioning failed. I’m just saying, when it comes to survival in the tribe, I was the last one standing…

Gin and Tonic

Take a really big glass out of the cupboard and put it in the deep freeze.

Put your gin bottle in the deep freeze

Make sure there are ice cubes in the deep freeze

Lemon

Tonic (in the fridge)

Method:  Place four ice cubes in your chilled glass. Pour yourself a sturdy measure of gin into said glass and top up the glass with tonic. Garnish with lemon.

Public Health Disclaimer: Don’t do this at breakfast. This is a strictly over the yard-arm drink.

 

It’s all in the timing…

Her Sister's Wedding Large I was over the moon to see my second book appear as an e-book this week. The lovely ladies at Decadent Publications have done an amazing job, so please check out their website (yes, there is decadence and sweet romance there) at http://www.decadentpublishing.com/. There is some naughty and some nice stuff in there, but they are awesome. If you are thinking of getting a romance e-book published, check them out. They are going to be big.

So I was thinking about this book, and the fact I wrote it three years ago. Sometimes things take a long while to come to fruition. Lots of pieces have to fall into place. If there is one thing I have learnt in the last few years, it’s this: it’s all about the timing. People always talk about you getting your chance. I think you do. I think you have to realise when that chance is sitting in front of you, and then you have to take it. Don’t muck around, don’t make excuses. Go for it. The worst that can happen, is that you fail. Then you can go through your life with your head held high, saying “I gave it my best go.” There could be nothing worse than wanting to try, getting your chance then not grabbing it. So, in honour of fate, the powers that be, and that chance that comes your way, begging for you to say ‘yes’:

LET’S GO OUT TO THE BEST COCKTAIL BAR IN TOWN, THEN ON TO OUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANT!!

Barring that, cook yourself your favourite meal, hold your head high, and just remember; Celine Dion started her singing career on her kitchen table. xxx

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas!

imageIt’s December 2nd, which in Australia mean a few important things in my world.

1) I am going to have to wear shorts, tee shirts and a bathing suit in the next few weeks as it is getting super hot.

2) Christmas mince pies are on sale in the supermarkets. They are friggin delicious, and will only be around for another month, so I’m giving myself the excuse to go for it, bearing in mind I have to get into shorts, tee shirts and a bathing suit.

3)  The Christmas tree is up, and fully decorated (it’s been up for a month, in fact).

Having said that about my Christmas tree, I feel like every year, Christmas pounces on me out of nowhere. Already, it is impossible to find a park at shopping malls, as they are filled with stampeding people from 9am onwards. People get so stressed before Christmas, and then from Christmas to the New Year, it’s like a ghost town.

At Christmas, I hardly have any family around (in fact I have no family apart from my muse and the ferrets this year), and I have no permanent job, being a writer and a casual nurse. So that cuts out two very important aspects of the lead up to Christmas: family meltdowns and the office Christmas party.

All that aside it’s a magical time of year, and to celebrate the magic I’m going to share an easy to make, tasty and nutritious soup that will get you through any mad herd of crazed shoppers, any family meltdown, and any hangover if you disgrace yourself at the office Christmas party.

It’s also vegan (if you make it with vegetable stock,), gluten free and just about every other label you can stick on a food that sounds good.

EASY CHRISTMAS SURVIVAL SOUP

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

2 cups chopped carrots

1-1/2 cups of dried yellow split peas

6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

Method: In a big saucepan, heat up the olive oil, then add the onion and chopped carrot, and cook for about eight minutes until softened. Chuck in the lentils with the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about forty minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils go soft and start to break up. Puree with a blender, adding a bit more water if it is too thick in consistency, then add salt and black pepper to taste. Yum!