Tuesday, January 27, 2015

An Australia Day Lunch

Yesterday we celebrated Australia Day. We had discussed heading off to the beach or river which is a very popular activity for Australians living near to the coast but in the end we decided to stay home and enjoy a special lunch which gave me another opportunity to do what I love to do... set the table.
We live in the perfect setting for an Australia Day celebration. Surrounded by the colour and beauty of the bush. Even when we choose to dine inside we can look out from our dining/family room and all we can see is green and the occasional pops of colour... red flowers on native flowering shrubs and orange and silver... just a few of the colours of the bark of gum trees which change throughout the seasons. At the moment the green is vibrant. We have had a lot of rain recently so I decided to set up our table inside as more rain was forecast for Australia Day.

I prepared a roast leg of lamb and as it was cooking filling the kitchen with a wonderful aroma I set about setting the table. I used a linen coloured cotton tablecloth and white dinner plates which have a pretty scalloped edge. This set has become our everyday dinner set. It's by Schmidt of Brazil and it has everything you would need - dinner,entree and tea plates, soup, cereal and dessert bowls, platters and serving bowls, gravy boat, even egg cups and a matching tea and coffee service! It's very durable and dishwasher safe which makes my children very happy!

I've recently acquired and fallen in love with Laguiole cutlery which is often discounted on the homeware websites so my collection is growing. I made hessian napkin holders for Christmas but chose not to use them on our Christmas table but with a sprig of grevillea tucked in under the vintage lace trim they were perfect for adding a little touch of Australia to the place setting.
For a centrepiece I used gold candle votives found at the Reject shop and we burned citronella tea light candles to keep the mozzies at bay. I set them out on a cream and gold vintage plate and surrounded them with greenery freshly picked from the garden. You don't need elaborate flower arrangements to make a table special. I love the challenge of using what I have at hand to create beauty in my home. With the mozzies being so bad at the moment we are lighting the candles every evening. The glow of candlelight in my home is something which makes my soul sing and it creates a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. I want to do this all year long!

As for lunch. The lamb being slow cooked was delicious and was served with roast vegetables and a spinach salad. The twins were eager to try their hand at making lamingtons.. an iconic Australian treat which if you have never tried before you really do need to experience. They are simply a sponge cake cut into squares, iced with chocolate icing and covered in coconut. Google a recipe for them, they are simple to make and delicious served with tea or coffee.

 The rain arrived later in the day and came in torrents at one stage. My husband settled down to watch the one day cricket but alas it was short lived as the rain interrupted play and the match was later abandoned. Later in the evening we ended up watching a very interesting programme on SBS called 'Worse Place to be a Pilot'. There is not much worth watching on television these days but this series is an exception. We thoroughly enjoyed it and collectively held our breath as young pilots in need of flying hours landed small planes on tiny runways in the mountains of Indonesia.

The holidays are over. The new school year starts this week. I have twins who are becoming eager readers. I'm looking forward to re-reading all the classics I read to my older children. They have fallen in love with Anne Shirley and I can't wait to introduce them to the Little Women and Jo's Boys!

And then there's Heidi and the Swallows and Amazons - a wealth of characters and life lessons in these wonderful old books!

Hope that you enjoyed reading about how we celebrated Australia Day. We are so thankful for this beautiful country and our home among the gum trees. Will be sharing more soon from our Eight Acres of Eden.


Camille said...

Beautiful table setting my friend! I am so glad you are enjoying these precious days with your family. I find it interesting to peek into life there. Say hello to the twins from us…and to all your family. I *love* Anne Shirley as well. Hugs, Camille

Joolz said...

You certainly set a beautiful table, Anne. I can smell the leg of lamb from here. Nice to see you used South Australian Beerenberg Mint Jelly. Their products are very good.
I love that you use the native bush plants for colour. I didn't get time to make lamingtons this year as we were busy moving our girls into a house from a unit this past Aussie Day weekend. Maybe next time they come home, because they are so yummy!

Cheers - Joolz xx

Pam said...

I have come over to read your post this morning and it is like a comforting page in a favorite book. Love hearing what you are doing for Austrailia Day… I am wanting to see more of your pictures. Of course you know that I really delight in your table settings, and all of your ideas, as I have the same heart and joy of setting tables, and decorating and cooking for special occasions... It sounds like a cozy lovely holiday, and makes me hungry for some such holiday here. Your lamb sounds delicious.

Love all of the books. I just got through a week of watching all the old favorites on t.v. through internet. Steve is away, so I have put on "Sense and Sensibility" , "Pride and Prejudice,", "Cranford", and "Anne of Green Gables"… and have watched each series or movie all the way through with tea and hand work and loved the comfort of it all. Anne Shirley is easy to fall in love with. Happy school days to you all and many blessings as well.

living from glory to glory said...

Dearest Anne, I think the table is just lovely! So glad you are finding matching cutlery for your settings!
Your centerpiece is so pretty.
I love lamb and it is so good for you. Yes, you will once again be able to get lost in those lovely stories that make a girl happy!
Lovely, Blessings, Roxy

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

I so love your posts Ann and glad you have found time to keep going...Your home and way of life makes me feel 'at home"! And lunch sounds delicious

Dea ex machina said...

I love your collection Ann! So pretty, and inspires me to use my good china for special days like these. I've only just discovered your blog but will be following along - love the table settings and homeschool stories of your large family!


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