Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Well Thats Christmas 2011

Christmas in Melbourne this year was Hot and Sultry in the morning......and then came the storms. Not one, not two but around 5 throughout the day!
 I'm not talking about a bit of thunder either but full on lightning, thunder, hail and rain.

The day started out a typical Melbourne summers day pretty warm and uncharacteristically sticky for Melbourne. Then the clouds rolled in but it was still quite hot. My sister and her partner along with my neice and her partner and their daughter came over for Christmas lunch. We had duck cooked slowly in the oven with roast vegies followed by cheesecake for desert. The duck i must say was a great success. I've never been a huge fan of Turkey and always found it rather dry so I decided duck would make a nice change and it did. Sadly I didnt have a chance to take pictures but I can tell you all i did to prepare it was the following.

First I removed the neck and dried the outside of the birds with a paper towel. Ducks are best cooked without stuffing so I place a few sage leaves and garlic in the cavity of the bird along with some pieces of orange cut into small pieces. not very much just a little. I poured orange juice on the outside and placed the two ducks, on a rack, in a moderately hot oven (150 fan forced) for 2 hours.  I sprinkled salt and peper on the outside before placing them in the oven.

I checked them every half hour or so and I must say they came out perfect. Crispy on the outside and  juicy and tender on the inside.

I  made stock from the necks of the birds with water sage, garlic onion and some carrot. This i used to make the gravy. I didnt use the duck fat for the potatoes I cooked as to be honest i dont think its really that great, and olive oil with rosemary is healthier and tastier.

After lunch we sat around and chatted and then nature put on a real show for us. Huge hailstones the size of golf balls i swear were being thrown out of the sky at immense speed. Making so much noise we just couldnt hear each other talk. It was quite a day!

Later after everyone went home Graham and I went down to Edgars Creek and Coburg Lake to see the result of all the rain and hail. Here are some of the pics I took. 

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