A Family Lunch

There hasn’t been a lot of recipes on my blog lately but that doesn’t mean I’ve been exiled from the kitchen.  No, I’m still in the Hotly Spiced kitchen but bouncing from one event to the next.

Autumn in Sydney at Balmoral Beach

Autumn in Sydney at Balmoral Beach

Recently my sister, Em, has been in Australia with her son who was born a few weeks before Christmas.  It was a business trip and as that trip also included a few days in Adelaide, we didn’t see her terribly often but we did get together for a Sunday lunch.

A lovely place to sit, relax and have a drink - a perfect Sunday

A lovely place to sit, relax and have a drink – a perfect Sunday

The weather was perfect.  I do love Sydney in March; we have some glorious days.  We met at a clubhouse on the beach where Alfie and his male cohort cousins can run wild and burn off all their unleashed energy.

Alfie and his two favourite cousins

Alfie and his two favourite cousins

Three of my four sisters were able to be there which is a rare event in itself.  We all brought a dish to share.  I brought some chicken and chive sausages and marinated pork fillets that were to be cooked on the barbecue.  I had good intentions but Carl erupted.  Here’s what happened.

Having a cuddle

Freddie and I had a very good time together

I was at home in the kitchen doing my cooking tricks and the marinade for the pork fillets needed 60mls of whiskey.  I don’t drink whiskey but Carl really loves it and has quite a few bottles in a cupboard.  When I read the recipe required whiskey I reached up into the cupboard and poured out 60mls of the first bottle that was within reach.  Can you believe there was just 60mls left in that bottle!

On the barbecue

Later, during happier times

So I threw the ’empty’ into the recycling container and then Carl walked in and I asked him if he could take the recycling down to the bin.  That’s when he saw his whiskey bottle.  ‘What happened to my whiskey?’

‘I needed it for the pork’.

‘You used my favourite whiskey for cooking?’

‘There wasn’t much left in the bottle; just enough for the recipe’.

‘I was saving that.  Saving it for a special occasion.  That’s about an $18.00 shot of whiskey, and you used it for what?’

‘To flavour the meat’.

‘Couldn’t you have used the Johnnie Walker?’

Lunch is on its way

Lunch is on its way

So here’s what you can take away from this; when you need whiskey in your cooking, use Johnnie Walker.  Carl said the whiskey I used was a smokey whiskey so it would ruin the pork and no one would like the smokey flavour.  No one mentioned the smokey flavour!

Greek salads in the bowls made by my auntie

Greek salads in the bowls made by my auntie

Apart from the whiskey drama we had a very lovely day.  One of my sisters brought a dessert that was a chocolate meringue torte.  She said I couldn’t put a photograph of it on the blog because it didn’t look good enough.  It was certainly yummy enough!  I’m going to make it and share the recipe with you – one day!

The buffet

The buffet

I’m also going to blog the Spiced Chilli Caramel Pork Fillets too but not these – they just don’t look good enough on the paper plate and the sauce is supposed to be reheated and poured over the meat but we didn’t do that yesterday because I forgot to bring a container to heat the sauce up in so standby – I’ll be back with the recipe that uses whiskey but not your husband’s most favourite whiskey.

Pork fillets with average presentation

Pork fillets with average presentation

And off Em flew with little Freddie back to LA.  She and her husband are trying desperately to coordinate their next business trips with Archie’s 21st so there is a slither of hope they’ll all be here in a few weeks for the next big family event.  We are all hoping they can manage it.  Archie is very blessed to have people in his life prepared to go to so much effort.

Fig, prosciutto and rocket salad

Fig, prosciutto and rocket salad

A room with a view and you can see Bathers where Archie works

A room with a view and you can see Bathers where Archie works

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  1. Oooh yes I would have been in trouble too… I’d stick to the JW in future. Looking forward to the upcoming recipes – love the look of that fig salad. Oh and doesn’t that baby look so kissable! Perfect destination at the beach.

  2. Oh no! That sounds like something I might do too. Which whisky was it? I know whisky lovers are very particular about their whiskies and very attached to them! It’s like a sporting team or something!

  3. Too funny! Carl wouldn’t be happy with me making chocolate cake with Chivas Regal then.. 🙂

  4. So fun to have your sisters all in one place!! And to get to see your new nephew 🙂

    Thankfully the.boy isn’t much particular about his alcohol…because I steal bits of it all the time for baking and I’m pretty sure he’s none the wiser.

  5. the beach looks so beautiful, I want to dive in – and the lunch sounds lovely – I am sure your sister appreciates a fine aussie afternoon at the beach give she lives abroad – though family is even more important (and I use E’s good whiskey sometimes in cooking but mostly in Scottish dishes he wants to eat so he doesn’t complain too much)

  6. Oh no! I wouldn’t have a clue either to be honest. Sydney looks wonderful in Autumn – that blue sky and white sand is beautiful. Family get togethers are so precious when siblings are spread around the world I’m sure the whiskey was worth it!

  7. Freddie is adorable…so glad you got to spend time with him and your sisters! LOL, Bill is the same way about his “good” beer. I’m pretty sure the smoky whiskey added an extra yummy nuance to the marinade 🙂 xo

  8. Yer man knows full well he’s saved more than 18 dollars on the meals you’ve made him.

  9. I knew you’ll still be busy in the kitchen you are always so busy 🙂 It looks like a great place for family lunch look at the blue skies! How old is Freddie now because I remember the last time he came back to Sydney he was only a new born hehe

  10. UUuuhhhh, smoke+meat+grill= YUM!! Everyone knows that!! 😉 Those salads look so good. And that baby…. What a great get-together! Glad you had this time with your family, Charlie!! xo

  11. That beach scene is just fabulous. The sky is such a wonderful blue. Looks like you do have some glorious days in March! So glad you were able to visit your sisters and nephews. Freddie is a doll! All the food sounds great too – and the Whiskey. I would likely do (and have done) the same thing. Oops. 😉

  12. Freddie is adorable. How wonderful that you and your sisters could be together and maybe will be again in a few weeks.

    Poor Carl. That’s all I’m gonna say except that I’m laughing hard at the whiskey tale.

  13. Well, I don’t know one whiskey from the next, so I wont even try to pretend what I would do, hahaha! But flavoring meat with whiskey is an idea I need to try sometime soon. Wish you the best for the upcoming event, you sure have your arms full.

  14. That must have been some terrific pork! Made us all laugh though. Lovely food. Makes me want to fire up the grill (ok….the barbie…).

  15. I think Pete would also have been slightly unimpressed had I used his prize whiskey. Oh well, all’s well that ends well. What a fabulous family lunch Charlie.
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  16. Freddie is such a cutie and you look like such a proud aunt! Oops to using Carl’s favourite. I wish the beach was so close in Brisbane.

  17. Belated congratulations on the latest addition to your family. Freddie looks like a cute little guy.

    Smokey flavour in the whiskey and the smokey flavour from the barbecue … seems like a perfect pairing to me, but I guess you should never argue with a man who’s been denied his last drink of his favourite whiskey. The rest of the menu looks great. I look forward to that chocolate meringue torte … not that I need any sweets for a while.

  18. Poor Carl, perhaps you can buy him a new bottle for his birthday? I’m sure his sacrifice was not in vain, and the meat certainly looks yummy 🙂
    I haven’t seen my family for more than a year, but it would be lovely to get together for a long lunch- especially in such a gorgeous venue xox

  19. I’m definitely looking forward to the Pork Fillet recipe but I’ll be sure to check with hubby before I touch any whiskey! I sincerely hope your sister can make it back for Archie’s 21st – that will be such a lovely memory for you all.

  20. I’m not guilty of the whiskey but back when we had a lovely wine cellar you could guarantee that when I needed some red wine it was always the expensive one I chose.

    You had a beautiful day and I wouldn’t have strayed far from Freddie either. What a cutie.

    I think it’s brilliant that your sister from LA will do her best to get there for Archie’s 21st. I hope ALL his aunts and uncles care as much as she does. It’s a very special day for a young man.

  21. How fantastic to have such a delicious and fun time with your family. 🙂 The pork looks amazing. I never thought of cooking meat with whiskey before. 🙂

  22. G’day and yes know all too well about using the wrong whiskey and liqueur in recipes Charlie, true!
    Perhaps it is a bloggers thing to do and looks like you had a wonderful family day; thanks for sharing it with us all too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  23. How libel that you got to meet the new baby and spend time with some of your sisters. Your brunch sounds lovely and the food sounds delicious. Did the pork turn out with the smokie whiskey? I would have thought it would be tasty. Archie is very luckie to have his aunt come all the way from LA.

  24. Isn’t all alcohol just meant for cooking? 😉

  25. What a gift it is to have a close family like that! I think every dish looked perfect and would have liked to see the chocolate torte, so now I’m counting on you to make it! I think this is the way we all cook at home when we’re not primping our food for food photos, it’s a nice change to see a hearty and sumptuous feast made with love. Baby Freddie is adorable.. what a gift for your family!! Now that whiskey.. I did the same thing with a bottle of wine once, I gave it to a client and when she offered to drink it with me.. I noticed an autograph of some sort on the label.. oops! But boy, that wine tasted great!! xx

  26. Excellent tshirt worn by Carl! He has great taste!

  27. Oh wow I bet that whiskey must have been something for Carl to get wound up about it… Maybe I should try it… 😉
    Delicious looking array of foods, a family gathering in hot autumn is awesome!! 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  28. Love that you are spending time with your beloved family!

  29. LOL – whiskey is whiskey to me… but if I ever cook with it, I shall remember this – use JW 🙂

  30. Isn’t it funny when people think something isn’t ‘good’ enough for blogging! It sounds like a lovely lunch despite the banned photo and whisky drama, and how lovely to spend time with your sister and new nephew.

  31. Love those beach views! We’ve had a similar issue in our kitchen when some special coffee beans were confused with regular ones. Woops! Can’t wait to see the chocolate meringue torte.

  32. Such a lovely family lunch! I don’t drink whisky either and could easily see myself doing what you did – I mean, doesn’t it go a long way when used to cook with? One shot glass can flavor enough meat for a family luncheon! 🙂
    So so looking forward to that chocolate meringue torte!

  33. It certainly looks as though you all had a splendid feed. Wow – five girls in the family! I’ll bet there were some torrid moments when you were all growing up!

  34. It all looks wonderful to me! I bet no one could tell about the whiskey sauce!

  35. well technically he consumed the smokey whiskey, just in a different ( if not better) way!

  36. Hi there Charlie, I also just found you on google +. I am just loving the blue blue skies and all of that food. I am glad your soaking up life and enjoying your family. After all I would be on recovery after making that huge shark cake… LOL Take Care, BAM

  37. How nice that your Sisters were able to spend some relaxing time together. And you couldn’t have found a better venue nor more perfect day. When you mentioned it was a March day, for a moment I equated it with a March day in Florida, completely forgetting that this was your Fall. Spring of Fall, that was some day!

  38. wow! everybody having fun. enjoy your day!

  39. Hahaha! It’s all brown stuff to me, too! Great post!

  40. I always put the really good booze in the back of the liquor cabinet so Mrs K R doesn’t grab that when she’s baking and needs something! Although she usually asks which one I think would go best with whatever she’s baking. And for BBQ? Smoky-flavored is better! So you choose well. 😉

  41. I would be the dead meat, not the pork, had I used my husband’s single malt scotch to cook with, LOL! Glad Carl is a forgiving man. Everything looks wonderful and what a beautiful spot. I’m glad you got time to spend with your sister and hope they can make the big 21 event!

  42. Is it okay with you that I say I’m jealous of you having so many sisters? LOL! I have one brother. I always wanted sisters…so I really enjoyed picturing you all together. And little Freddie is just precious. It must have been hard to see them head for home. I do hope they can return for Archie’s party–wouldn’t that be special!

  43. OMgawd Charlie you little tiger. I would have done the same thing Its far better in cooking than drinking it

  44. What a nice family get together. I know what you can get for Carl’s birthdays and Christmas from now on. 🙂

  45. Now I want to go to the beach!

  46. I can totally relate to the whiskey story! Bet it made a delicious marinade…..What fun to have a luncheon with almost all of your sisters. Looks like you certainly had a awesome feast. Obviously no vegans in the family. 🙂

  47. Haha, I bet Carl could taste the smoky flavour in the pork (or at least claimed to), right? 😀 Oh dear… poor Carl! The food does look great though, so I hope he good a good meal to calm himself after his loss!

  48. Well, I guess this just means that Carl now has a very good excuse to go out and buy another high end bottle of whiskey for the cupboard! All the food looked fabulous! And what I wouldn’t give to by on that beach right now…30 degrees and 2 feet of snow on the ground in New Hampshire. Not a sign of spring in sight. 🙁

  49. Hahaahahahhaha,…a fun post & really good meaty foods! 🙂


  1. […] Remember the whiskey?  It was so lovely the way so many of you commented about how you’ve also committed the same sin.  A lot of you asked for the recipe so with great enthusiasm I set about making this on the weekend.  But then it rained cats and dogs without reprieve so I couldn’t get out to the bar-be-cue.  So I cooked this in the frying pan and thought we would just gobble this up for dinner and I’d cook it again for you later in the week. […]

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