Christmas time, beer and thyme (mustard): A very effortful Christmas

‘I left a something in your freezer as a thank you.’ Strange phrasing but exciting nonetheless, I love surprises! What could it be? Organic-dairy-free-fat free, exotically flavoured icecream from a similarly food-obsessed person? A pack of pies and bag of chips from someone who understands my tastes aren’t as complex as people think?Then I looked in the freezer, rechecked the text and everything suddenly clicked into place. Not a ‘something’, a ‘salmon’. I left a salmon in your freezer as a thank you. And there it was, a whole (minus the head) salmon, wrapped in newspaper.After not living in New Zealand for 2 years, it is easy to forget that in some places it would not be considered unusual to go to work for the day, leaving your house unlocked for someone you barely know to come and pick something up they left in your car, only to come home to all your personal belongings still in place and a freshly caught fish in the freezer.

After months of shuffling it round the freezer to make space for litres of vege stock, multiple ice cube trays and many frozen pies, the salmon’s time finally came on Christmas day. I would give you the recipe but like a good daughter I gave it to my Mum she cooked it up. But it doesn’t matter anyway because this post isn’t really about the salmon, it’s actually a vehicle for me to brag about my food exploits this Christmas. In the coming weeks expect recipes for some or all of the following

Christmas presents:
Vanilla essence
Candied Kumquats (http://www.princesstofu.com/2013/01/14/candied-kumquats/)
Pineapple and mint tea
Gingerbread syrup (http://www.vegetarianventures.com/2013/12/09/gingerbread-syrup-diy-gifting/#.Ur92EPvLIf4)
Honey curry mustard and Beer thyme mustard (http://www.vegetarianventures.com/2013/04/16/homemade-mustards-honey-curry-beer-thyme/#.Ur92IfvLIf4)
Tropical chai tea
Raspberry jam
Pickled beets
Vanilla bean and espresso muesli (http://www.vegetarianventures.com/2013/11/03/espresso-vanilla-bean-granola/#.Ur95q_vLIf7)
BBQ Sauce
Lemon and Sage Curd
Lemon, fennel and chili salt

On the day:
Coconut and white chocolate pannacotta (with Agar instead of gelatine)
Chocolate peanut butter clusters (http://www.vegetarianventures.com/2011/12/22/peanut-butter-clusters/)
Coffee biscuits with pumpkin butter (http://www.vegetarianventures.com/2013/12/15/dark-chocolate-cappuccino-thumbprint-cookies-with-maple-pumpkin- butter/#.Uq5vPyfLIf4)
Raspberry jam and cream cheese danishes (http://www.vegetarianventures.com/2011/11/21/miniature-strawberry-and-cream-cheese-danishes/#.Uo7dHif84k4)
Brie with rosemary roasted cherries (http://www.princesstofu.com/2013/06/12/rosemary-roasted-cherries/)
Cheese balls (http://www.vegetarianventures.com/2011/12/27/cranberry-and-pecan-cheese-ball-pops/#.Uo7L1Sf84k5)

The links above are for recipes I used without making any changes. Recipes for the others to come soon

And here’s a photo of the salmon for good measure:

Image
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