Between the Years

hot buttered rum

hot buttered rum

December 31st, 2012

Once again my friend Sue hosted her annual festive lunch, between Christmas and New Year, for 16 people!



We were greeted with a fantastic, warming, hot buttered rum (expertly made by Remy), containing rum, butter, spices and apple. This was followed by pickled herring on blinis with cream cheese

smoked salmon

smoked salmon

and then more of the same with smoked salmon!

smoked duck and winter fattoush

smoked duck and winter fattoush

Our starter was an outstanding smoked duck, from Richard Waller with a Winter Fattoush Salad, containing fried pita bread.

roast lamb

roast lamb

The main course was a tender, pink, roast leg of lambroast potatoes, red cabbage, peas and gravy. The pease are worth a special mention, containing pancetta, fried onions, wilted gem lettuce and chicken stockPetits pois à la Française.

lemon tart

lemon tart

Pudding was a lovely sharp lemon tart – I was seriously impressed by the edge of the pastry, before I even got to the lemon.

sliced tart

sliced tart

I’m not big on desserts, but tarte au citron, crème brûlée and cheese cake get me every time.


tête de moine

The cheese course was something extra special – the Tête de Moine (Monk’s Head) had a special cutter/shaver,



called a girolle – it scrapes the cheese off, into beautiful little florets, looking somewhat like girolle mushrooms (chanterelles).

cheese board

cheese board

…and there was more – Reblochon (pinch the cow’s udder again), Rosary Goats’ cheese and Colston Bassett Stilton,

cheese biscuits

cheese biscuits

with exceptional Scandinavian biscuits/crackers – somewhat like extra special Ryvita.

paper plane

paper plane

Rick provided entertainments, with a polystyrene plane kit for everyone. We drank a considerable amount of Burgundy, Rioja, Jumilla and finally, coffee, tea and homemade Damson Gin.

Sue most definitely outdid herself!

I got home at about 19.30 and promptly fell asleep for two hours…

About Mad Dog
This entry was posted in Drink, Eating Out, Fish, Food, Meat, Spanish and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Between the Years

  1. Have a great foodie New Year matey, thanks for all the comments you have made on my site throughout the year, you were the most regular commenter by a long way.
    Great to have seen all the fab food you have enjoyed throughout the year.

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Marcus – have a great New Year celebration yourself. I’m very impressed by your oven and hence the big interest in your blog – I’d love to build one myself, but don’t have anywhere to put it at present 🙂

  2. Craig,

    Great post there – thanks very much for the record….

    I’ve been baking german biscuits and had more friends for lunch today. We had leftovers from our Between the years lunch plus a few extras ….. Will be making a shepherd’s pie with the lamb – 700 g left.

    Have a fun evening whatever you’re doing.


    Sue Aron 07939 115311

  3. cecilia says:

    I KNEW you would be going to one of these fab dinner parties!! Thank you for the shots and that hot buttered rum looks very tempting.. c

  4. Eha says:

    Thanks for making me as yet again feel enviously hungry, and that 13 hours into 2013 and well fed 🙂 ! Those cheeses . . . perhaps my ignorance shows, but don’t think we are quite as lucky here . . . have a happy one!!

    • Mad Dog says:

      I do appreciate that there have been and possibly still are restrictions on importing cheese into Australia, but take heart. Britain’s cheese industry was in terminal decline after WW2, but cheese crusader, Major Patrick Rance and later Neal’s Yard Dairy have helped to transform the industry, to a point where Britain now produces twice as many quality cheeses as France! Perhaps there are some Australian artisans who will create an amazing cheese industry down under.
      Happy New Year 🙂

      • Eha says:

        Oh, of course some wonderful cheeses are being created here even if I don’t always have immediate access to them, and some of our Tasmanian foodies would crucify me for my comments! Just my palate somehow yearns what I have had 😦 ! Thank you for the links I’ll use as soon as possible !!

  5. Michelle says:

    How lucky to have such a talented and generous friend! Hope you have a wonderful 2013.

  6. ChgoJohn says:

    What a fantastic lunch that was, MD! Your friend certainly knows how to create a memorable meal for you all.
    I need to find some new friends…
    Have a Happy & Healthy New Year!

  7. That is such a great menu. Tete de Moine is very popular here and I must do some pictures of it. So many clever and unusual touches to that lunch – pickled herring, smoked duck, fattoush, brilliant cheese choice, sensational biscuits and an excellent aeroplane. Just perfect.

  8. just noted that the cheese biscuits you say are scandinavian.

    they started making them in Sweden and now they are made in the UK,

    They do a wide range. Normally I use the mini ones but couldn’t find them so had to have the large wheels.

    Enjoy the rest of the day….


    Sue Aron 07939 115311

  9. A wonderful meal with so many delicious flavours. I’m not surprised you needed a sleep afterwards! And what a great idea to have a party between the two ‘official’ celebrations. Happy new year!

  10. Pingback: Tarte au citron: Lemon tart recipe | The Art of Puddings

  11. I´d have needed a good lie down too after that. What a wonderful meal. Such a beautiful tart, I agree and I´d love to try that cheese 🙂

  12. What a fantastic meal! Good for you 🙂 And Feliz Año Nuevo 🙂

  13. I think your friend has made a series of dishes that tops anything I’ve ever read or seen.. online, in a magazine or in a restaurant.. What unique dishes.. that girolle especially caught my eye.. what size is that wheel of cheese? Happy New Year to you and a toast to no resolutions;D

  14. Tessa says:

    What a fabulous lunch! Have a wonderful New Year!

  15. Karen says:

    I don’t think I know anyone that eats as many amazing dishes as you do. Oh, how I would have enjoyed your in-between meal.

  16. Darlene says:

    The lemon tart looks delicious! Must try it sometime.

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