This month is starting to sneak away from me. Before we know it Christmas will be here and gone and then it will be 2011 and I will be wondering where the previous year went. It really is amazing how quickly the past few months seem to have gone. I will admit that early in the year, in the midst of problems at work, I wondered if the year was ever going to pass by. Thankfully those problems were fixed and time did seem to move much quicker after that. Only one more day of work for the year. At 5:00 pm tomorrow I get to lock the door of the office, put up the closed sign and not go back until the new year. We always close down between Christmas and new year. It is a wonderful thing to do. It is a great time to recuperate from a long year and get ready to start the new one.
This gorgeous red covered issue with drool worthy Macerated strawberries with Champagne sorbet on the front cover had a wonderful Christmas feast in it. All of the recipes were wonderful looking from the Glazed ham through Spicy prawn cocktails & the alcoholic 24-carat Christmas drink to the wonderful sides of Kumara crumble and baby green vegetables with lemon pepper butter. It was all glorious and the recipe that really hooked me was Valli Little's Roasted Spatchcocks with Blood-plum glaze. I was surprised recently to find spatchcocks in the meat section of one of the local supermarkets and I knew that I just had to buy some to use. They were kind of expensive but if we want the local supermarkets to stock these things in smallish rural towns then we have to be willing to pay for it (within reason of course). I also noticed recently that my favourite butcher in town in now stocking a range of more unusual meats since they have moved into their new larger premises. The day I was there they had some quail and venison and some other things that I can't quite remember at the moment.
Valli's recipe, like almost all of hers that I have made, was fantastic. I couldn't get the blood-plum paste so I went with the quince paste, which I already had in the fridge. It was simple and quick to make and so very nice. The meat was so tender and moist but quite rich. The glaze gave it all a lovely sweetness while the hint of lemon just cut through it nicely. I used prosciutto instead of pancetta as that was what I had on hand. I served it with the asparagus dish from the December 2002 issue sans the bocconcini. It was a lovely combinations and would be just as perfect as a Sunday roast as it would be a Christmas meal. Oh and the recipe indicates one spatchcock each I don't think I even ate half of one, I am not sure how anyone could eat a whole one in one sitting.