Saturday, December 19, 2009

Two Christmas Parties & A Day of Recovery

Friday marked the final day of the school year - no students, just teachers: sitting, chatting, eating, Kris Kringling, laughing, fare-welling, and celebrating merrily. Every teacher new to the school is overwhelmed by how upbeat and positive everyone is, and how much effort and thought we put into our final day. I said a few words for a friend who is getting married over the break (I'm attending the wedding - dietary requirements have been listed as "STRICTLY meat and cream ONLY!" Not sure where she got the cream part, but how lovely!). The caterers for school weren't quite as thoughtful, with just a couple of platters of cold chicken pieces, evidently abused by coatings/marinades and wildly over-cooked. Since I had skipped breakfast (i.e. slept in), I had to make do with what I could scavenge...

Impressive, eh?

That night was the Impro Melbourne Christmas Party, with a special farewell for the out-going Artistic Director (who is, as it happens, a very outgoing person. Oooh, pun!) We ate at the Houndstooth pub(?), which serves a limited menu and you pay a very small price per course. The beau and I went for four courses - I knew the meat portions would be small - though it would seem would should have upped tat number to at least double if we wanted to achieve anything close to satiety...

I ordered some cured Spanish ham as appetiser, but it was so old that it had lost all flavour and couldn't be severed with teeth! Had to spit it into a napkin - a classy way to start the evening!

Entree #1 - pan-fried scallops topped with chorizo. Tasted just like it sounds. Meh.

Entree #2 - prawn skewer. Coated with chermoula, quite tasty, but tiny!

Main - kangaroo on a bed of beetroot, spinach, and lentils. Fantastic meat! So tender! I've been boycotting the big-name supermarkets this month, so I haven't had access to roo in ages. I now have some mince waiting for me in the fridge...

So dinner was a nice variety of tastes, but overall the day was low on calories so I started fading early in the night, but pushed through til 2am and still managed to avoid the cocktails and snack food at the after party. Here's hoping I burned some fat for my efforts!

Saturday - I woke up a few minutes before my masseuse arrived to deliver my 2hr pamper session, a treat for myself to celebrate the first day of holidays! An absolutely fantastic massage, with some lush, natural products pampering my dry skin. I'll definitely be using their services again - if you're in a metro area of Australia and like to use mobile massage services, try Ripple Massage. Such interesting options, and great value! I'll be buying some gift vouchers as Christmas presents for family and friends :)

Mid-massage, I had the beau place a beef roast in the oven, in an oven bag in order to collect the juices. It was ready just as my treatment finished up, so in my warm, sleepy, moist state I poured the juices into a pan, along with a tablespoon of butter, and boiled the two until it had reduced. I then added thyme and basil, and simmered until the liquid thickened and started to smell gorgeous...

Then I carved up the roast (serving the beau's share with a side of cos lettuce), drizzled the gravy over each, and dug in!

Afterward, it was off to the local shopping centre for some Xmas madness - the maddest part being that we traversed the 2.5km journey on foot! Uphill! And it was much sunnier out than we had predicted... So we were quite spent by the time we arrived to confront the hoards of last-minute shoppers, but we found some goodies for our relatives and ourselves, although we still haven't found the perfect gifts for some hard-to-buy-for uncles. Gift voucher land, here we come...

I picked up some cheese on the way home (via taxi; even though my feet were coping fine in my Vibrams, my energy levels weren't and the beau was similarly exhausted), and decided to make a favourite that has been missing from my menu of late - The Usual! Two eggs each, a bit of cheddar and a bit of ham, and the beau and I tucked in to a lovely ZC dinner.

Ain't it just the perfect candidate for the "This Is Why You're Fat" site? Except for me, it's why I'm getting thin! Mwahahaha!

What with the buttery gravy for breakfast/lunch, and the oozy cheese fried in butter for dinner, today's fat % has been much more comforting, even though I only consumed around 1300kcal max, burning at good 300kcal with our walking expedition this afternoon! Feeling great though - my gut is loving the extra spot of dairy, and I'm shaking off the water retention caused by the salty ham gorging earlier this week!

The plan for tomorrow is to make up some more Christmas treats - stay tuned! :)

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