Sunday, June 17, 2012

Warming to a Melbourne Winter

Strange to say "Warming to a Melbourne Winter" but all seasons have their special moments. This Friday night was one.
We decided it was time for the first open fire for our Melbourne Winter. We must be over our jet lag and colds as Sue decided she wanted to start entertaining again and so she invited close friends around for a slipper night of nibbles and wine. A slipper night is where you put on your comfy shoes and just sit back and relax after the working week.

Not really slippers but lilac moccies are more than acceptable.
The small fireplace with a few flames offering a little winter atmosphere.
I tried to arrive home earlier than normal to get our little cast iron fireplace lit. It doesn't give out a lot of heat (we have central heating anyway) but it makes up for that in atmosphere. Sue had invited a close friends to welcome in our first slipper night and cooked up a table full of various delicacies which she will explain.

The Slipper Night Spread.
Baked ricotta with caponata, that is roasted capsicum, black olives, capers, garlic, onion and basil, all cooked up with a little balsamic vinegar, and served with garlic toasts
Baked gnocchi in a cheesy sauce with spinach, pine nuts and currants.
Melon and prosciutto and heated Turkish flatbread
Sauteed artichokes with garlic and chili, and stuffed olives fried in breadcrumbs
Brie with garlic, thyme and a little white wine and cooked in the oven till it melts and served with chat potatoes for dipping.
Pumpkin roasted with honey and sesame seeds and sprinkled with feta cheese.
Of course, just to be healthy, there was also a rocket salad with pears, walnuts and shaved Parmesan, with a pear cider vinegar and honey dressing.
As for the Melbourne winter - the weekend lows were around 10C with highs of 15C to 17C. It allowed me to do my very first substantial ride on the bike with friends since our return from France.
Basically I've had 7 weeks off the bike. I was talked into a 120 kms long slow ride on the Saturday and it really hurt over the last 20 kms. I think I may have even been passed by an old lady with a shopping trolley. Never mind - it will get easier.

Next Wednesday, we'll continue with our "Wednesdays in France" series which follows on from the Dordogne region.

If you want some more insight to our past travels, log into our daily photo of French Scenes at:


  1. Sounds yummy. With our chilly weather lately I've been tempted to build a fire in our wood stove. I'm trying to resist and hope that summer will do its thing.

    1. Never mind about climate warming - climate cooling is on its way.
      It was yummy and washed down with some French rouge Walt.

  2. Wish we had been there it sounds more than good to me. Slipper night would suit Nigel right down to his feet and slippers :) The French rouge must have warmed you up :)) Diane

    1. We wish you both could have joined us too. Maybe in a couple of years when we get back, we'll do a slipper night.

  3. I do feel that Nigel might be a bit of a slipper man.
    He does have that relaxed look about him, doesn't he?

  4. A slipper night sounds like a great idea.
    I always find it strange that you are easing into winter while we are gearing up for summer.
    Not that you would know it - the weather here in the UK has been atrocious. Our bedding plants and hanging baskets are way behind what they were in the Loire a month ago.........that's why we have our little corner of sunshine to escape to of course !!
    Your slipper night spread looks super.

    1. Jean - Our son in London says that summer has come and gone.

  5. What a great idea and the food looks really yummy.
    We had another chilly wet day yesterday and had the lights on at one point to read! Like Walt we are refusing to light the woodburner. In contrast, today has been lovely. It just doesn't last....sigh!

    1. N and A,
      Sounds like your summer is not much different to our mild winter. Provence was really nice last may when we were there but I hear that the Mistral is prevelent at the moment.

  6. Slipper night sounds like a great idea with great food and what could be better than a vin rouge to wash it down.

    In answer to your comment on my blog. Yes, the UK is worth a visit. Perhaps you could bring some of your Australian sunshine with you!

    1. Friday nights are special to us CW.
      I'm told that the UK is not the same without a good dowsing from the hose above.


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