Start 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
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
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
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
Retire to the red shed
2011 Davis menu and pics
1. Absolut Beginner: champagne, chambord, vodka, raspberry accompanied by cheese and chutney scone
2. Lobster California Roll, spiced confit duck dumpling with tomato chilli jam, sesame octopus sushi
3. Pork Cheek and White Wine Ragout, sweet potato and parmesan tortellini
4. Tempura Prawn with vermicelli noodle salad
5. Garlic, Shallot and Parsley Grilled Snails, with olive bread
6. Crab and Scallop Miso
7. Veal Carpaccio, capers, hydro garnish
8. Haggis with whiskey and mustard sauce
9. Champagne Sorbet
10. Squid Ink Risotto with seared scallops
11. Lemon Sorbet (in ‘glasses’ made with Antarctic water and mint)
12. Seared Blue Eye, tomato and vermouth broth, lobster ravioli and filo crumb
13. Bloody Mary and Oyster Shot with a chilled bottle of Antarktik beer