When Jordan and Rufus were young, we used to walk off our Christmas lunch there. There were rocks to climb, a wide rambling dirt track to follow, pools to cool off in and water lizards to harass.
Christmas day is almost invariably hot and steamy here. I didn't think we'd get that this year. We've had no summer to speak of so far.
Then today, the sun came out. It was so suddenly hot, the vegies and herbs for my Christmas salads wilted in the 10 minutes it took to get them home from the market. They were in a cardboard box, tied to the back seat of the bike. My heart sank when I saw them.
I'm The Family's Christmas lunch salad lady. God knows why. I'm not even a salad fan.
Over the years, I've experimented with all kinds of salads and dips. We bring 2 or 3 different ones each year. I usually start panicking and googling for recipes at the start of December. In meager years, I top up our offerings with that old Aussie favourite - a can of beetroot.
I think The Family particularly enjoys my [extra creamy] potato salad, prosciutto, blue cheese, mesclun and pear salad, caesar's salad [from scratch including dressing] and Thai mango salad.
This year, I'm making 2 Thai salads. The always popular Thai mango salad, and a Thai carrot salad.
I've never made Thai carrot salad before. In fact, I've never even heard of or eaten it before, and have absolutely no idea what it should taste like.
But Uncle STeve, whose recipe it is, assures me it's a crowd pleaser and he's not usually wrong about food.
I've already done most of the prep work today, and there are little cartons and plastic bags of bits and pieces in the fridge, waiting to be assembled just before lunch. Tomorrow morning, I'll get up bright and early to start slicing, chopping and grating the rest of the fresh [haha] herbs, fruit and vegies.
I hope Thai carrot salad goes with turkey and ham. I know they'll both be excellent with the cold prawns. If it doesn't go down well with La Familia, maybe I'll get a new job next year and become the ham lady. [That should be easy since we all know there's a lot of pig in my neighbourhood.]
I shall keep you posted, and will even share the recipe if you like [with Uncle STeve's permission, of course].
Here we go. Our 1st Christmas without Rufus.
It felt a little strange, having to prepare only 1 Christmas doggie lunch.
If cousin Ralph, The World's Grumpiest Jack Russell, turns up, Georgia will just have to share. Anyway, there's always plenty of leftover turkey and ham to add to the bowl.
So much for a jolly Christmas post.
I miss the old fella.