Friday, 19 December 2008

Closing in on Christmas

Always at this time of year I am reminded of my family, friends, loved ones far away. I love this time of year. Christmas is so much fun and so special. This year our children are going to have a different experience with presents. We made a decision this year not to give any type of electrical goods. No DVDs, no Cd's, no Ipod's, no Nintendo's, nothing like that. Every Christmas for years that's what they get. It is the age of technology. We are having a Christmas this year that our kids have absolutely no idea what they are getting. At first there was 'what, are you serious? really? are you crazy?' but they are now getting really excited because they have not got a clue. Which I think is really great for a change. Mind you in this day and age, take out the things above and you have a real task at hand. Especially with a 14, 13, 12, and 11 year old to buy for. It's all they seem obsessed with. My little peanut is easy, he just wants cars or a big truck from Santa. I can't tell you what I got them as they read my blog regularly and I can't spoil the surprise.
Also for the first time I am cooking a Turkey, a Chicken and we are having a ham on the bone. See I am a big seafood Christmas girl and the last 4 years with Chopper he has missed out on his Turkey. So I have caved into the pressure and yep I am cooking a Turkey with Bill Granger's cranberry and pistachio nut stuffing. So this year is going to be very traditional indeed. The girls and I are making rum balls. The boys want to help cook the Turkey and cross your fingers for me that I make it through the day with my sanity in tact.
Above pictured is my 14 year old son Ben dressed as Santa for the little kids at Peanut's school. He was a very good Santa and the kids loved him.
Merry Christmas everyone, drive safely and if you get the opportunity, do something special for someone who is on their own this Christmas. For some people this time of year is sad, lonely and just scary.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Farm By Nature - Shiraz Chocolate Barrels

Editorial Contest
I was approached via email to enter an editorial contest by Cocoa Farm. In agreeing to join in the fun they sent me a small sample of their product. I have missed the deadline for when the post was supposed to be done by so I would say that means no prize for me, but I have decided to do my post anyway.
What can I say. It is not what I expected and the chocolate in it is unfortunately not what I expect. I like the flavour of the Shiraz but the quality of the chocolate really lets the product down. I like the good stuff, creamy, smooth and just sexy to eat really. If I needed a normal chocoholic fix in the middle of the night and this is what I had in the fridge it would satisfy. I suppose I was expecting a little more from what seems to be packaged as a gourmet and luxurious product.
Suggestions for this product. I would like to see a better quality chocolate for the price. I personally would like to see the chocolate have a syrupy soft centre of a Shiraz in a sort of sweet type of reduction, rather than the vine ripened fruit soaked in Shiraz and even that vine ripened fruit is few and far between. I think a bolder more substantial taste sensation is in order.
The positives. It is an unusual quirky chocolate and I think it would make an interesting gift. It is something different and we are all looking for something a little different. It's a 100% Australian owned, so that is a definate plus. They make a Merlot one that I have seen in Woolworth's also. So if you feel the urge, try it and make up your own mind.
Duncan from Syrup & Tang has also reviewed this chocolate, so pop over and see his review.