Horses for courses

TUESDAY is the day when a horse race stops the nation …the Gulargambone Trophy.

No; it is, of course, Melbourne Cup Day and while Australians don't need much of an excuse to get together for a lunch with friends, this occasion seems to spur people on (pun intended) more than most.

A light lunch with not too much alcohol is the go; if the food can be largely prepared in advance so much the better.
Offer mocktails such as a punnet of strawberries blended into a litre of cranberry juice and topped up with lemonade or soda water. When it's time for the race, top the mixture up with sparkling wine as an alternative to champagne.

I adore oysters; there's nothing better than a freshly shucked mollusc swimming in its own juices, accompanied by a hefty squeeze of lemon.

If you suspect some guests don't care for them it's best to ask; those who don't eat them fresh enjoy often smoked oysters. It's easy to have a tin on hand just in case.

Today's recipe, Oysters a la Storm, was devised by a friend, up and coming Bangalow artist Storm Smith-Petersen, when she came to visit recently.

Follow the oysters with fresh asparagus wrapped in prosciutto; they can be prepared the day before and refrigerated.
Serve a light and easy tomato and feta tart for the 'main'. It can be prepared up to cooking point then popped in the oven at the last minute.

Add a green salad if desired.

Finish with fresh fruit.

All quantities here are for six.

Go you good thing!

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