A little too quite Family Dinner

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This week was a simple family dinner as much as it can be. Although it was unusually quiet because one of the sisters has gone to Cambodia for study and a holiday. Until now, I never realised that she was the loudest one at dinner, it just isn’t the same without her and her man. Whenever you see them they are bursting energy and so much to tell you no matter how mundane it may be. I am looking forward the family dinner when she returns will be a fun one.

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For tonight’s feast Mamma made some family favourites.

Succulent steak cooked to perfection. It was never a particular type of steak. But if it was on special at the grocery store that would be the one, she does need 12 of them plus extra for left overs. Cooking them on the bbq was Pappa’s job, he always does a perfect job. Unless he gets distracted by something the family are doing, then you see him rush to the bbq bellowing with smoke to take them off as quickly as possible. Most of the time they are saved.

Wholesome veggies, corn on the cob, green beans from the garden and roast potatoes with Mamma’s blend of seasonings. (I need to find out what they are)

A mixed salad (that is different ever time) it doesn’t sound much but, her combination of Nonno’s home grown tomatoes, juicy ripe and succulent,. Salty kalamata olives, herbs from the garden, red onion, cucumber, feta, every kind of lettuce leaf with the perfect balance of olive oil and Vinegar.

My number one favourite, CATALONGA! Its cooked chicory, but it’s so much more than just fried greens. I will put up the recipe soon.

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Kangaroo Valley Australia Day

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This Australia Day we were invited to camp at a friends farm in Kangaroo Valley. His uncle had recently brought it off an old Italian man, that had to sell the property as the vineyard and orchard were getting too much work for him. My Italian man and I heard the word ‘vineyard’ and we were in. A group of us drove down with all our camping gear ready for a couple of nights. Usually I would be busy the night before excitedly getting all the meals prepared, because normally when we camp the guys build a fire and that’s what we cook from. When we have gone camping before I have made stews, sandwiches, veggies in foil to roast, pre measured ingredients for a damper, banana smore’s and other snacks. Unfortunately for me (only) this time it was not campfire camping, the farm we were going to was only about an acre and they had a shed with a bbq. This would be a nice break from cooking, to be able sit, relax and enjoy the weekend. Our plan was to have a bbq lunch, dinner at the pub which was just a few minutes walk from the farm and bacon and egg rolls for breakfast. The Farm was very charming with heaps of potential, I can see why our friends uncle brought it. We set up our tent’s and got everything organised to start relaxing and exploring. We did so much in a day but a few highlights were, watching the guys shoot a compound bow, one of their new toys. I tried to have a go but there was no way I could pull it back, I did enjoy watching the guys search for all the stray arrows. My Italian man and I went exploring the small vinyard tasting a few of the grapes and mixing flavours. It felt like we were in Tuscany, inspecting and blending grape varieties getting ready for harvest. We were told they were Shiraz and Verdicchio grapes and were given a bottle from the uncle to try, it was honey like and very smooth I could’ve had another bottle.

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Our lunch was your typical sausages on the bbq, defiantly nothing wrong with that though. There is nothing better than a sizzling sausage on white bread with melting butter and tomato sauce oozing out of it. We did cut our trip short as we got rained out but we did so much in a day it felt like we had been there for longer. The only think I would be happy about was saying goodbye to were the flys, it was cow country and I think they were even immune to Aeroguard. It was a great Australia day full of friends, food and good times