Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Australia Day Pavlova and A Fabulous Australia Day Weekend

Australia Day Pavlova

As far as weekends go, this Australia Day Weekend just past, has been an absolute corker.  Mr Beach House did his standard and announced he was sailing in an Australia Day regatta. That is situation normal, so whilst he pursued his passions, I pursued mine.  My little taste testers and I tried a new restaurant come bar, at Palm Beach, known by the unusual name of Cranky Fins Holidae Inn.  Believe me, the name goes with the funky vibe of the place, which is part love shack, part Mexican hacienda, with a healthy dose of nautical kitsch thrown in. It sounds crazy and it is a little bit, which is part of the charm of the place. We loved it for so many reasons.  Look out for the full review on the blog soon.  It's definitely worth the trip to Palm Beach, to indulge yourself.

And of great importance to these guys, they serve paddle pops.

Although this beach shot was not taken directly after lunch at Crankies, it was one of several quick dips at Palm Beach over the weekend.  Our beach romps kept the troops happy and allowed them to let off some steam.  Waterfront parking is my kind of parking.  I love that the Australian beach is the great equalizer and there is no better time to acknowledge that, than the Australia Day weekend.

After a late lunch at Cranky's, we met Mr Beach House for a drink at the Yacht Club, post regatta.  Dinner with some sailing friends, was arranged for afterwards, which topped off a beautiful day. There are definitely no friends like old friends.  I have half heartedly been trying to organise the littlest Beach House's Christening for 5 years and I pinned our mates down to some possible dates at dinner, which do not clash with the sailing calendar.  A big deal in the circles Mr Beach House moves in and a major reason for neglecting my daughter's spiritual beginnings for so long.  Apparently in our household, Sundays are strictly for sailing.

On the final day of the long weekend, we had guests for lunch.  There is no shade in our backyard to speak of, so the 'lampshade' hat I recently picked up from the Eumundi Markets worked a treat.  It has become invaluable on a bad hair day too.  No matter how hard I try, I really do think it's high time I accepted I have curly hair and trying to style it straight, in a humid Sydney Summer, is for the birds.

We had a light lunch of BBQ lamb rolls, with salad greens and a yoghurt dressing.  The first course was simple, but delicious.  It wasn't until dessert, that the kitchen disaster eventuated. Things had gone well up until then.

Until this creation, I was a pavlova virgin.  That sounds almost unAustralian, but there you have it.  Today, I still feel like a pavlova virgin, as this one was a complete mess, by the time it landed on the plate.  I had seen it in the Aldi catalogue, a month or so ago and decided to make it for Australia Day.

You can get the printable map here, which you then trace onto a baking sheet. 

I made the mistake of spreading the pavlova mix too thin, thus making it bigger than the map.  I shouldn't have done, as what resulted was a  tough, chewy and very difficult to cut pav.  It still tasted OK, but the recipe is definitely not share worthy. 

My Facebook friends recommend the Donna Hay one as pretty fail safe.

I was redeemed by the Koala Bear Lamington cupcakes, which the kids very much appreciated. 

The party continued today, with a 70th birthday party.  It was off to Dunes at Palm Beach for breakfast with sailing royalty (think Americas Cup 1983 and Olympic medals of all persuasions ). I have to say, that although I couldn't do it everyday, today I learned that a bit a champagne before 10am in the morning, is quite refreshing and easy on the soul.  

Although I am a constant sailing widow, the sailing fraternity is an entertaining and interesting bunch of high achievers, on the whole.  An invitation to today's event was part of the upside of being in the industry for me.

It is rare that I have such a beautiful weekend, but when it's on offer, I will take it time and again, because life is short and it is to be savoured, in all its forms.  Of course the best bits never last long enough, but I am making the most of it, whilst they do.

As a friend said to me this morning at the party.  "We could be anywhere in the world.  This is just beautiful." and it was.   This is Australia on the beaches and it is sublime.  It is a truly fabulous lifestyle.  I just hope and pray that I make it to 70 and beyond and can keep enjoying it all so much.

In a country where the kids can fly kites on a beautiful day, in big open spaces and next door, their father and I can throw can back French Champagne at 10 in the morning, in the company of long standing friends, you would have to say we are blessed on Australia Day and every other day, in this country.  Who knows how long it will last, but whilst it does, I am not taking a minute of it for granted.

I hope you all had a magnificent Australia Day Weekend Beach Dwellers.

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  1. I can't tell you how homesick this post makes me for the northern beaches. Your hat is gorgeous, and so is your pav. Happy Australia Day!

  2. Fabulous cupcakes, I am sure you will get the pav right next time!

  3. Magical, and your cake is such a winner, you clever lady xxx Rae

  4. Life is way too damn short not to have Veuve Clicquot with breakfast! You lucky bugger. What a life you lead and so you should! You look bloody marvellous. Certainly a wonderful place we all live.

    Anne xx

    1. Agree on the Verve Anne, we are dead along time, thanks for all your lovely words. You are a top girl and deserve a bit of French champagne yourself.

  5. You sound invigorated and that's a great way to come out of a long weekend. I don't think your Aussie-map-pav looks too bad at all - at least there was a lovely variety of seasonal fruit. I can't wait to go to the old Beach Road. It certainly looks like it's gone very funky and I think the building suits the new style. I'm looking forward to your review xx

  6. Sounds perfect, glad you enjoyed yourself!

  7. Hi from the deep freeze of New Jersey, USA. I enjoy you blog so much Carolyn and the stories you tell about your family and beautiful Australia. Just wanted you to know that The Food Network, Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa), has a very easy recipe for Pavlova. Haven't made it myself but then all of her recipes are super delicious. Judy M.

  8. That pav looks amazing. I love it! It looks like your Australia Day weekend was just amazing!

  9. That sounds like a weekend to remember! Mine was no where near as exciting however I was still very sad when it was over :)

  10. The koala cupcakes and the pav are fantastic (it doesn't look like a kitchen disaster that's for sure!), as is your hat!

  11. Wow, you really did have a corker of a weekend! Sounds glorious! Your hat is fab too!

  12. I so enjoy learning what is going on in your part of the world. Australia is still on my list of places to visit, and you do help me with that. Pavlova is a simple dessert to make as well as being delicious.

  13. You really can't beat Veuve first thing in the morning! What a gorgeous pav. Sounds like a lovely day Carolyn out


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