Jennee’s Birthday Feast(s)


A dodgy photo of a dodgy fam...
A dodgy photo of a dodgy fam…

Yesterday was the date of birth of my lovely betrothed, Jennee. A magical day indeed. The day started as if we were in a fairytale. We awoke in a mansion over looking Byron Bay and the lighthouse, surrounding by beautiful lush green fields and a tempting glassy blue ocean. Who would’ve believed it… and then reality started to creep into to the scene. We were no longer Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. This was not our fairytale at all. No, we had stayed here at the invitation of our friends who, the night previous, had thrown a cracker of an engagement party, and by Jeeves I think I was still drunk.

I had to get to work.

Jennee hit the beach nice and early and by 8:30 she was seated in the restaurant I work at (yeah I know, pretty rough that I worked on her birthday but the thing is, when I bought birthday presents for Jen the stall owners insisted that I pay them with cold hard cash, thus I worked. Jennee likes presents, cold hard cash it was) and ready for the birthday breakfast*. Jennee had spent a good part of her working week unproductive and continuously in thought as to what this birthday breakfast may be, and then it was finally decided. There was fanfare and trumpets and a town crier, just like a royal wedding or the finals of “Pop Asia”, this was an event not to be missed. “What will it be?” the voices murmured around the crowd until, like a giant game of Chinese whispers, the murmur reached the beginning again, where It had become “red cat three”… Now, what the hell was I talking about? Ah, Jen’s birthday breakfast. Gluten free toast with, avocado, tomato, feta and chorizo salsa, rocket, poached eggs and chilli jam. It looked good. I wanted to eat it. Well that’s a lie. I didn’t want to eat anything but I knew I would’ve wanted to eat it if I had not now sobered up enough for a cracking hangover to kick in. She said it was really good.

Gimme some white mans magic pills. Make stabbing pain in head go away….

My work day ended just in time. Well, it actually ended the same time it always does but I don’t think I could’ve gone any further, plus I needed to make dinner for Jen. Now… what did she want?? And this is where I got really lucky, for Jen desired a seafood feast, and this to me is easy entertaining. I can do this on autopilot no dramas at all.

Prawns and oysters have a special place in my heart... and my belly
Prawns and oysters have a special place in my heart… and my belly
Puttanesca baby octopus at the front, some other stuff behind that
Puttanesca baby octopus at the front, some other stuff behind that
Salmon carpaccio
Salmon carpaccio
Herby squid rings
Herby squid rings

We had cooked prawns, fresh oysters with soy mirin and ginger, wakame, salmon capparccio with lemon, soy, coriander and olive oil, herby squid rings, braised baby octopus with puttanesca flavours (yes you will get a full recipe for that one shortly), oven chips (recipe here), salads, beer, cider and by the end of it all we had damn full bellies. A minimal effort (don’t tell Jen that though), using fresh produce for a great result. The only things I had to cook were the octopus, squid and chips. Which leaves so much more time for drinking away this hangover…

Truly a great way to entertain, unless of course you are allergic to seafood, in which case this feast may be very similar to suicide or eating actual shit. Too far? Bye bye.

*I guess being married to a chef may have it’s downfalls (although nothing immediately springs to mind) but having someone to personally cook whatever birthday meal the furthest reaches of your brain’s culinary expanse may desire, is certainly not one of those downfalls

14 responses to “Jennee’s Birthday Feast(s)”

  1. Looks incredible. Every last bit of it. Great job Grazza!! Happy Birthday Jennee! A very worthy occasion for days of feasting, hangovers, chorizo breakfasts and headaches. Speaking of hangovers, Azza and I went out for dinner last night to celebrate our anniversary. Wine, cocktails, champagne… argh. Head and liver are sad. Me is still happy though.

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