The entire East Coast of Australia is currently in lockdown The Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus has reached here and is playing havoc with our lives again.
This is the second year that we have celebrated our wedding anniversary in lockdown. Yesterday, we celebrated 49 years together. Last year we had booked a luxury trip to Singapore which we eventually postponed to this year. A year ago, we thought that the heat would have gone out of the virus by now and it would be safe to travel. However, Australia’s borders are still closed and the virus is still prevalent.That trip was cancelled months ago.
We have been locked down at home now for what was originally meant to be a week long ‘circuit breaker’ but we are now in the second week of lockdown and it looks as though we may be stuck at home again for several more weeks. I heard someone on the radio this morning say that the worst thing about our short one week long lockdowns was the first month!
We have celebrated many events in lockdown and we weren’t going to let our wedding anniversary go without doing something special. The best answer was to buy another home delivered meal from a top restaurant.
Maha is Middle Eastern Restaurant – one of the top places to eat in Melbourne. They deliver delicious heat-at-home meals through their website providoor.com.au so we ordered one of their banquets (as we have done before) as a celebration meal. It was a Soufra – an Arabic word meaning ‘a long table filled with many good things to eat’. It was a menu designed for two people to share a bunch of small plates filled with beautiful, seasonal ingredients.
Our meal was delivered early in the morning yesterday and came in large a number of individual packs that contained ingredients that just had to be combined or heated before eating. We kept these in the fridge all day until we were ready for dinner.
Jill had cleared all of her time-filling activities from the dining room table – jigsaws, sewing machine and puzzle books, then set the table in a way that suited a special meal.
We got dressed up for dinner so that it felt a bit more special and toasted ourselves with congratulations for having so many wonderful years together.
All the dishes in our meal were really designed to be eaten at the same time but we decided to break the meal into different segments. The first three dishes were small plates for sharing. There were served cold and were the easiest to prepare. They consisted of fresh Iraqi flatbread, a Muhammara dip with pomegranate and walnut dressing, cos lettuce with mayonnaise and black sesame seeds, and then cured kingfish, with black aleppo mayonnaise and chives. It would have been easy to gorge on this delicious food but we needed to remember that we had four more dishes to go as well as a desert.
Two hot dishes came next – a winter vegetable & chicken (stuffed) baked bourek bun with spiced turmeric and mayo, along with a dish of exotic mushrooms and ground sujuk, almonds and yoghurt.
Our main course consisted of roasted chicken, with harissa, ginger & spring onions with garlic & preserved lemon roasted potatoes, spring onions & herbs.
What a feast! We had enough left-overs for another meal and we didn’t even get as far as dessert – that’s for dinner tonight.
We are determined that this virus and our lockdowns are not going to get us down. We need to keep positive and do what we can to live as normal a life as possible even though we can’t go far from home. Let’s hope that we can celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary next year in another special way and somewhere else.