Midwinter at Mawson

Midwinters MenuStart off with a large portion of the Past, add a good pinch of the Present and just a dash of the Future. Welcome to my midwinter menus.

From Classroom Antarctica:

“One of the biggest events in the Antarctic calendar is Midwinter, around 21 June, which celebrates the halfway point in the long polar night.

It is a tradition that goes back to the earliest Antarctic expeditions and is celebrated with a special midwinter dinner featuring an elaborate menu, followed by performances and often a fancy dress party.

Invitations to the midwinter dinner are sent to family and friends, and often to celebrities or well-known sporting or political figures (though it is impossible for them to get to Antarctica in the middle of winter).”

So here I am again, staring down the barrel of another 21 June. When I celebrated last time at Davis the theme of the evening was 24. We had 24 people on station so I decided to do 24 courses, and for every course one person would help me plate the dishes up. Yes it was hard work but at the same time very rewarding. I got to try out a few things I had never done before and also showcase a few of my favourite dishes. Around four hours passed before we finally left the dining table to engage in our theatrics up stairs.

This year I have decided to celebrate Midwinter Past, Present and Future. The menu starts in the morning with breakfast. It’s a contemporary and simplistic cafe menu that seems very straight forward. To pull it off I will need to make from scratch such things as the croissants, bagels, English muffins and the like. Also, in order to have this done by 8am it means the day shall start a tad earlier for me than most.

Next will come the old menu. At 11:30am I hope to recreate a midwinter menu from a hundred years ago. As we no longer eat the local wildlife down here, just to keep it interesting, I have substituted wallaby for seal and guineafowl for penguin. We will be eating this in an old station building, called Biscoe, located just down from our accommodation. A midwinter swim through a hole in the ice at 1pm, then it’s all go for the night menu. I have kept this simple also. It’s an honest me on a plate. Following this we will move into a snow cave dug out into the side of a large blizz tale. Here we will be partaking in digestives and sweets. I have attached a few photos of the Davis Midwinter night menu as well as this year’s offering. I’m off to get the prep underway.

 

 

This years menu

 

Breakfast

Eggs Benedict               A poached free range egg on fresh baked English muffin with spinach, grilled ham and hollandaise sauce

 

 

Scrambled Eggs            Creamy scrambled eggs flavoured with fresh chervil and chives

 

 

Bacon                           Double smoked bacon pan grilled until crisp and juicy

 

 

Smoked Salmon Bagel   Fresh baked bagel, lightly toasted, then topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon

 

 

Croissant                      Fresh baked croissant with choice of freshly made preserves

 

 

Sausages                      Cracked pepper and merlot, gluten free sausages

 

 

Bircher Muesli               Apple, yoghurt and fruity muesli topped with berry compote and toasted seeds

 

 

The lunch Menu

menu (Large) menu 2 (Large) menu3 (Large)

 

 

 

 

Midwinter Dinner 2013

Garlic pizza bread with hummous, baba ganoush and tzatziki

Sydney rock oysters, natural on crushed thousand year old ice with citrus

Lobster ravioli in a prawn bisque with crostini and spiced rouille

Lemon and glacial ice sorbet

A trio of braised lamb shank, beef cheek, and scallop crab pies with cauliflower puree, a merlot jus and beurre blanc

Wild mushroom and pheasant consumé with escargot tortellini

Duck confit, feta, polenta, black pudding, beetroot, sweet potato, pancetta and rocket salad with a caramelised garlic and balsamic dressing

Honey mead sorbet

Chocolate melting mocha pot

Snow Cave

Macadamia and Frangelico Affagato

Ginger and sticky date soufflé with hot caramello

Midwinter pudding with fresh créme anglaise

Homemade orange ice-cream with almond and chocolate shards

Champagne

Port

Luc’s mead

Retire to the red shed

2011 Davis menu and pics

 

 

Absolut Beginner

1. Absolut Beginner: champagne, chambord, vodka, raspberry accompanied by cheese and chutney scone

 

Lobster California Roll2. Lobster California Roll, spiced confit duck dumpling with tomato chilli jam, sesame octopus sushi

 

Pork Cheek3. Pork Cheek and White Wine Ragout, sweet potato and parmesan tortellini

 

 

Tempura Prawn in petri dish4. Tempura Prawn with vermicelli noodle salad

 

 

Ah...Snail 5. Garlic, Shallot and Parsley Grilled Snails, with olive bread

 

 

Scallop and Crab Miso6. Crab and Scallop Miso

 

 

Veal Carpaccio7. Veal Carpaccio, capers, hydro garnish

 

 

Haggis Under Nip of Whiskey8. Haggis with whiskey and mustard sauce

 

 

Champagne Sorbet9. Champagne Sorbet

 

 

Squid Ink Risotto10. Squid Ink Risotto with seared scallops

 

 

Lemon Sorbet11. Lemon Sorbet (in ‘glasses’ made with Antarctic water and mint)

 

 

Lobster Ravioli with Blue Eye 12. Seared Blue Eye, tomato and vermouth broth, lobster ravioli and filo crumb

 

 

Antarktik Beer and Oyster Mary

13. Bloody Mary and Oyster Shot with a chilled bottle of Antarktik beer

 

Lamb

14. Lamb Rack, minted peas, julienne potato chips, balsamic reduction and cherry tomato

 

 

Pork, Salmon, Chicken

15. Pork Larb, chicken satay, lemongrass and tamarind salmon

 

 

Quail16. Pancetta Wrapped Quail, saffron risotto, 23 carat gold leaf, truffle oil, port reduction

 

 

17. Black Pudding, roast baby beets, feta and rocket salad with raspberry and candied garlic vinaigrette

18. Toffee Apple, lemon tart, sticky date

Davis Bom with flame19. Davis Bom, blue pav, choc ice cream, cocoa hazelnut shards

 

 

Dessert Plate20. Summer Pudding

21. Vanilla Bean Pannacotta, ginger snap and blueberry compote

22. Mars Bar Cheesecake, chocolate tuile and frangelico cream

 

 

 

23. Cheese, lavosh, mixed nuts and dried fruit

24. Chocolate truffles, port and coffee

 

 

 

3 Responses to “Midwinter at Mawson”

  • Kirsty and Nyah:

    Cant wait til you are home to cook for us :),………………..looks absolutley amazing well done xxx

  • Hi Justin, Just wanted to wish you a wonderful mid winter solstice, and trust all your chef-ing does you proud! I must say, your menu makes me drool. Cooking in a truck doesnt get too exciting!

    We are broiling in steamy hot weather, lolling in a hammock, in the Carribean. Couldnt be much different! Love your articles.

    warmest (huh) wishes
    Elizabeth & John

  • ellis:

    Am
    i invited ? ;-)

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