Salmon Fishcakes

January 6, 2017

For the past six and a half years, since I started Apples Under My Bed, I have always written a Christmas post. I’ve shared pictures from our day of feasting with family and reflected on how grateful I feel for my people. My family are always keen to get together and celebrate, and while we are not religious, Christmas is an important time for us, even more so since losing my brother on the 22nd December 2007. It’s a hard time of year and a wonderful time of year. We focus on the food and being together, and although there’s a sombre undercurrent to it all, Christmas is always lovely. This year was no different, however, for whatever reason, I don’t feel the desire to share the pictures I took on the day. The food was the same, which is not to say that it wasn’t outstanding, we are just sticklers for tradition (and my brother would possibly refuse to sit at the table if we didn’t serve the usual pork), and we were gifted some beautiful presents. After spending the day with family, we came home to watch Love Actually on the computer in bed, snuggled next to our sleeping babe. We are blessed and our hearts are full.

Joan was not delighted by Christmas lunch, which was a surprise. I assumed she would attempt to bathe in the gravy while grabbing fistfuls of pork from the serving platter, but no, she preferred to sit with a bowl of peas, outside on the grass where no one would look at her or try to get her to open a present (introverts, unite!). Despite Joan’s underlying desire to simply be home with Ben and I, she did have moments of joy (like discovering and falling in love with shortbread) and Ben and I got that special, Christmas morning moment you dream about when you have kids. When bubba woke, I said that we should say “Good Morning!” to the Christmas tree, just as we had each day since bringing home “the smallest possible tree” from the local Scouts. I told Joan that I thought there was a special present for her under the tree, and we should go and see what it was. Curious, she ran out to the lounge room and when she laid eyes on a toy lawn mower (which is identical to one she has played with/bogarted at playgroup), her eyes grew even bigger than they normally are, and her face lit up! Her mouth dropped before turning into the sweetest grin, a mixed expression of “Oh my goodness!”, “What is happening?!” and “Is it mine?!” on her face, as she looked back and forth between us for confirmation. And then she let out a squeal. It was magical.

Ben and I also bought her a toy kitten pillow thing, which she adores and kisses before she has a nap, and a sandpit that she is just now coming around to. Three things. I want to try to keep presents to a minimum, especially in the early years when family get excited and lovingly shower kids with gifts. After we showed bubs the sandpit, at which she promptly turned up her nose, we went into the kitchen, brewed coffee using these ace new pods that Joan thoughtfully gifted Ben and fed each other gingerbread men. My love for our family (and plum pudding with boozy sauce) is a given, but I have to say, our sweet and slow morning was my favourite part of the day. As we create our own traditions, I have a feeling we will keep Christmas morning for just us, before the day gets hot and overwhelming and kids get overtired and overstimulated. It’s funny how the day flips like that. Mornings are golden, and as cheesy as it sounds, Christmas morning shines bright. Indeed, I am already excited about next year, when Christmas will mean even more to our babe. And I have no doubt that she will devour the gravy and open presents with a big appetite when she is a little older. Even still, I quite fancy our gentle morning ritual, as well as ending the night with a Christmas movie + leftover pudding in bed. They’ll be magical and grounding bookends to a busy and beautiful day of blessings.

So, no pictures of Christmas, but a lot of words. Go figure. What I do have for you, though, is a picture of salmon fishcakes. I recently created a few recipes for the fabulous brand of sustainably-caught fish, Fish4Ever. They’re a UK brand, so not local, but they do really great, honourable work and I would much rather support them than local fish that is farmed and part of the consume, consume, consume cycle. They’re also not super cheap, as far as canned fish goes, but compared to fillets they’re affordable. We mainly eat canned fish now, because of these aforementioned reasons. Furthermore, paying for sustainably-caught fish not only means a better nutrient profile (bring on those Omega-3 fatty acids), it also encourages you to not eat huge portions, which is in line with living a more sustainable life. We can all do so much good if we try to eat more plant-based foods and less animal products, and, super importantly WASTE LESS. That last part deserved capital letters. Alright, thats’ enough for today. You can find the recipe on their website (LINK HERE) and search around for stockists near you. My local IGA has their products, as do many health food shops. ERROR: the recipe should say 1 egg, in the ingredients list.


Heidi xo

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  • Sarah January 6, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Hi Heidi. Loved your post, I get exactly what you mean about mixed feelings at Christmas. My husband died in November, reasonably suddenly (we certainly expected him to be here for Christmas) so my daughters and I decided we needed to do something completely different for Christmas and just march to our own drum. We have just returned from a trip to the Indonesian islands where we had a completely different Christmas but one that was right for us. Different food,, different people and a different way of celebrating. I’m sure next year we’ll be looking forward to a family Christmas but for now we have special memories of a different quieter time with just the tree of us.

  • Anna January 7, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Thankyou Heidi. It’s lovely to see a post where you’ve decided not to share those intimate family moments – much as I love seeing blog life(s), I do feel like a voyeur sometimes! And I’m sorry for your loss. It’s always bittersweet when there is someone missing from the table.

    We have a tradition in our family where the grandparents are ‘allowed’ (try and stop them!) to run riot present-wise – although I did request ‘NO plastic’ as the only rule when shopping for our then 5mo, and later on homemade/handmade anything appreciated, opshop/tipshop/regifting/lovingly refurbished/spectacularly wrapped handmedowns yes please. This meant most presents were at least less landfill potential, and the no plastic thing generally really improves the ‘quality’ of toy offerings, esp for the 0-5yo’s 😉

    For us, we give ‘one big thing’ ($50-100), and ‘one special book’. That’s it. Well, mostly. Except if one of us succumbs to something else. Now that DS (darling/dastardly son) is 10, he’s starting to put requests in – and this year he wanted a really speccie bushwalking raincoat. Boring (not to us), practical, we might have bought it anyway, but it made him really happy to get a card with a drawing of a raincoat in it, and a promise to go shopping together for it.

    Plus Father Christmas fills a small stocking, of 5 or so ‘no more than $3′ items (again, collected over the year from opshops/small finds), a Christmas ornament, some cherries [once kid big enough not to mash into bed], couple of choccies, a mango 😉 This helps us stick to our (tiny house, tiny income) clutter budget 🙂

    Yay to quiet, reflective, not too consumer riotous, delicious family and friends’ Christmases. May we all be so blessed.

  • Stef January 8, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Heidi – love the post, such a sweet capture of your Christmas 🙂
    I’m thinking to make the salmon fishcakes, but on the fish4ever website, the ingredients don’t list eggs, but then in the method you add in eggs to the mixture – would you be able to let me know how many eggs are meant to be added?
    Thanks and look forward to the next post and recipe 🙂 x

    • Heidi January 9, 2017 at 9:03 am

      Ooops! Good find, stef!! I’ve written to have it amended. Thank you so much for spotting that. It’s 1 egg x