Friday was a social day. The guys went to Manly, we decided to stay here, get a workout and some meditation done. We had lunch at home, I prepared a big batch of sun-dried tomato pesto (sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, olive oil, Parmesan, S&P) and we had some with buckwheat fusilli, along with a spinach, pickled radishes (in lemon juice and salt) and grated carrots. The pasta didn’t have the bite of whole wheat or farro pasta but the flavour was nice and it was gluten-free, which is highly appreciated by my knees.
Spinach, pickled radishes and carrot salad
Buckwheat fusilli with sun-dried tomato pesto
In the afternoon we went to buy some stuff for the New Year’s Eve party. We chose the new supermarket in town (7 Star) because quality seems to be a bit better than Foodworks. Then we went to the centre and started with the prep. I cooked chickpeas and quinoa for one of the salads and for hummus. Once again, we made way too much food, but it was worth it. After a short meditation, we were ready to party! There’s a truckload of crackers and snacks in the centre, so I opened up a few bags to dip in the hummus and the sun-dried tomato pesto I brought from home.
Crackers, hummus, sun-dried tomato pesto, lavosh and rice crackers
We also had nachos, so I made a bit of simple guacamole (just avocadoes, tomato, lime juice, S&P).
Guacamole and nachos
Then we served dinner. There were three salads, mine plus two made by Angela.
Quinoa, spinach, chickpea, grape tomato, cucumber, feta and mint salad with smoked paprika dressing
Watermelon, baby spinach, coriander and peanut salad
Jamie Oliver’s Crunchy Keralan salad (water cress, bean sprouts, capsicum, mango)
The bread we got at the supermarket was pretty good.
White sourdough, grain and seed sourdough
Gary BBQed rump steaks, which I must say were really, really good. Probably my favourite part of the meal, which is a lot given that I’m not a huge fan of beef.
He also BBQed a big salmon wrapped in foil and served it with a tomato, celery, capers, green onions and lemon juice salsa. The fish/salsa combo was good, but I prefer my salmon raw, smoked or curried and baked.
Whole salmon and salsa
An Aussie’s plate: a bit of salmon, a bit of salad and open-face steak sandwich with tomato sauce
I had brought a medium loaf pan with torronata (frozen ricotta dessert) but apparently Guy chucked it in the bin when getting rid of leftovers that had been in the fridge for ages. We ate some strawberries, watermelon and pistachios before cleaning up and leaving.
The party was great. We had plenty of drinks, karaoke and dancing. The fact of being surrounded by such a great company made me stay until the end, around 4:30 am, which is really unusual for me. I normally say goodbye when the dancing starts, but time flies when you’re having fun.
On the first day of 2011 we got together to watch a streaming from the party in Prague, where our teacher received the new year. Before getting to the centre we stopped at the supermarket again to get stuff from brunch.
People were tired and not very hungry. Last year we had eggs Benedict and Florentine, plus fruit and sparkling wine. This year I decided to keep it simpler, prep wise. We had fruit (strawberries, peaches, pineapple and cherries), milk, maple syrup, yogurt, homemade granola, cheese, bread, and sparkling wine. Angela added oven-baked chips, a popular hangover food.
Alvaro and I stayed a bit and then left to get a nap at home. Then we did a 30 minute workout and headed back to the centre for a farewell dinner to our friend Carina and her boyfriend, who live in the NT. Dinner was at the Erskineville Hotel and will be covered in the next post.