20 Dec // mistletoe and vodka

Never fear; my slackness has not escaped my attention. Just when I think I'm all set for a night of baking and blogging, I get fish and chips and down three bottles of sav blanc with my flatmate and my friend who came down for the weekend after a year overseas. Then, when I intend on a productive last-Saturday-before-christmas, I spend Friday night with 4 friends standing round our kitchen bench singing power ballads, christmas songs and hits of 1996 over a bottle of Mumm champagne, a bottle of gin and the better part of a bottle of 42Below Feijoa vodka. So first up a christmas cocktail for you:

See The Foul Friday below

Alternatively, you could try my favourite summer cocktail (a slightly altered version of a Jamie Oliver recipe from the Dec/Jan 09/10 edition of delicious magazine)

See Raspberry Ginger Fizz below

I also thought that I might just do some christmas shopping before this week, aiming for Saturday, but instead ending up hungover with two aforementioned friends; the delightful Olivia and Laura, eating brunch and getting back on it as soon as possible. They don't call it the silly season for nothing - this is definitely the time of year when I feel seedy every day. Most mornings in December I'm about as pale as my morning-sickness-suffering friend from work, but with a much more pitiful excuse.

After a jug of summer ale (we are girls after all) during the brief reprieve from the weekend rain, we headed out to Owhiro Bay, and sat in the last of the sun drinking cheap bubbles with strawberries. Again. A well executed barbecue presented itself, including Marty's homemade burger patties and Jimmy's thyme covered portobello mushrooms. If you do nothing else while asparagus is still in season, please, please try this:

See Roasted Asparagus below

Seriously, you will not be disappointed. In fact, if your 2010 has been a little like mine, trying asparagus this way may just be the highlight of 2010 that you're scraping around for. I actually think my highlight of the year occurred at 2am on Sunday morning when I found $50 on the footpath. That might be a slight exaggeration, but it certainly made my night.

I do still have a highly busy and sociable December though, so maybe I'll save making such a bold call for in a couple of weeks time. Huzzah!

The Foul Friday

  • Pour over half a cup of 42Below Feijoa Vodka into a glass. Ice optional. Ideally, it's 3am.
  • Add an already squeezed wedge of orange, or whatever fruit happens to be in your fruit bowl.
  • Top with slightly flat tonic. Try and drink whilst singing 'Fairytale of New York' at the top of your lungs for the 8th time that evening, whilst standing on a chair using a pepper grinder as a microphone. Remember you are closer in age to 30 than 13.

Raspberry Ginger Fizz

Ingredients

  • vodka
  • fresh raspberries (one punnet will do)
  • fresh mint
  • a fresh lime
  • ginger beer
  • ice

Muddle together the lime, mint and raspberries, with the vodka and the ice. Top up with ginger beer.

Roasted Asparagus

  • Break off ends of the asparagus
  • Lay on an oven tray
  • Drizzle with olive oil
  • Season with cracked pepper and flaky sea salt (or just normal salt)
  • Roast at 200*C for about 20 minutes