Christmas with… Louise Forster
What are your plans for Christmas 2015?
Past Christmases we’d have the whole family at our place, usually 14 for lunch/dinner. But watching our daughters worry about the time and needing to take off to their in-laws was stressful for everyone. This year I’ve told them its breakfast at our place. The kids will be up at dawn, once they’ve opened their presents they’ll need breakfast, so may as well have it surrounded by family, no stress. I’m making their favourite ‘crepes/pancakes’. I don’t often make them, it’s not difficult just very time consuming, you have to watch over them every second. Considering the youngest can hoover up at least six, I’ll have to make a stack … not a problem. The great thing about pancakes is you can make them the day before. Warmed up or eaten cold they’re delicious. For those who’d like savoury before sweet, we’ll have crusty focaccias straight out of the oven, soft cheeses, salamis, and pâtés. Fillings for the pancakes will be, Greek yogurt, Mascarpone, whipped cream, mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, lemon and brown sugar, maple syrup, juices and a big pot of coffee. And just because it’s a family Christmas breakfast, doesn’t mean we’ll forego the crackers with the groan-jokes and paper hats.
Tell us about a usual Christmas in your home?
Reasonably quiet until everyone arrives and then it’s bedlam, a good kind of bedlam, in fact sometimes I stand back and giggle as I watch it all unfold. In the past, we’ve had everyone at our house, so as I said, 14 people, occasionally more, for a sit down meal. We move the furniture out of the way and set up a long table with all the trimmings. Our daughters would bring plates of food and our son in-law would supply all the cold meats. With several women and a couple of guys, doing their thing in our kitchen, it was like watching a rugby scrum. Our fridge would be busting at the seams, so full when we opened the door we’d brace in case something leapt out.
Any gift in particular that you’d love to see wrapped under the tree?
Health wise, the family has had a tough year, so if Santa could wrap Good Health for everyone, and leave it under the tree, that would be awesome.
What is a typical Christmas lunch and/or dinner at your house?
My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Turkey breast, smoked ham, hubbies roast chicken with special herbs and spices, marinated salmon steaks, potato bake with melted cheese on top, German potato salad, grated cucumber salad, and big green salad. Wines, beers, and juice for the littlies. Oh, and crackers with silly jokes and party hats. My sister in-law would make the desserts, ice-cream in case the kids don’t like rich chocolate mousse or caramel panna cotta. I make Dutch almond Christmas ring. More about that below.
Tell us, what is the one dish that gets served every single year? Is there a story behind this?
One dish I make every year is a Dutch Christmas Ring. It’s very easy to prepare. The true almond marzipan (nothing at all like the icing on a wedding cake) filling can be made days in advance, wrapped in cling wrap and left in the fridge. Christmas morning, you roll the almond mix into a long thickish sausage, wrap it in filo pastry, curl it around to make a ring, and bake it. Once cooled you drizzle lemon icing over it, pretty it up with cherries and holly, (or whatever you like) then dust the whole lot with icing sugar. Most of us cling to family tradition, the familiar foods, aromas, the memories, and warm fuzzy feeling it gives us are so important to share with the generations that come after.
Essentials for an Aussie Christmas…
Heat, sun and lots of it. Bellies full, cricket on the beach. No beach nearby? then cricket on the lawn and run amok through the wave sprinkler in your undies … for the little ones of course. Unless Uncle Legless had too many beers and good cheer, then the rest of us adults might have to intervene.
Your best Silly Season survival tip?
Relax and let it all happen around you, no matter what you do, you can’t prevent it, it will happen anyway. Does that make sense? Then with your drink of choice, sit back, watch the family and giggle. Now that does make sense.
What will you be reading this Christmas?
I’ll mention a few of many. The Rosie Project, Beyond Regeneration, Honor’s Legacy – Winds Of Change,
What have been your big achievements in 2015?
We managed to take an overseas holiday to Canada, a fabulous opportunity and one we couldn’t pass up. I dreamt of visiting The Banff Springs Hotel, because it features in my book, Finding Elizabeth. And suddenly, I was actually there. We had a great time, no stress. Not long after we got back, I received an email from Kate Cuthbert at Harlequin Escape to say my fourth book had been accepted. YAY! Very exciting. It’s a sequel to Home Truths, titled Together In Tumble Creek. Released date next March. There’s a scene in the epilogue where Sofie, and her hero Brock, organise a Christmas breakfast J
What are your plans/goals for 2016?
We’re looking forward to visiting a dear friend who lives on a farm southeast of Launceston, with her husband and 3 children. I’ve started on book three set in Tumble Creek. No title as yet, but it involves Takumi Edwards, (Japanese mum, Aussie dad) who is featured in, Together In Tumble Creek. The heroine, Adele Valentin, is a newcomer in town. She’s hiding something and Takumi is determine to find out what that is. I intend to finish it before next winter … wish me luck.
After a lifetime in the bright lights and the big city as a prima ballerina, Katherine Bell has finally returned home to her small, snowy town where the weather might be frightful, but her friends and family are delightful. She’s ready for a quiet life using her skills and knowledge to help her community.
But things aren’t as simple as she hoped. There’s a blizzard outside, a daredevil girlfriend in her house, and a persistent, sexy Australian called Jack Riley who needs to be kept at arm’s length.
And something sinister has stalked her to her snowy hideaway…
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