Olivia & Christopher’s Dream – Setting the Scene

Recently we enjoyed one of the most amazing weekends ever!

Our son, Christopher, married the love of his life, Olivia, at the beautiful Wandin Park Estate on the outskirts of Melbourne.

While everyone held their breath, hoping that there wouldn’t be another COVID outbreak resulting in yet another lock-down here in Victoria, as each day passed, we knew that finally their special day was to be.

Olivia and Christopher had planned and organised everything for their wedding.  Much time was spent working on all the details as well as creating and making the decorations, creating those special touches that would make this day uniquely their day.  Olivia dried rose petals to be used as confetti and made the cones for guests to help themselves. She made the most beautiful dream catchers to be hung throughout the venue, and the little string ball lights to be placed on the tables and barrels.  Christopher worked on ensuring that everything would go to plan, with timelines, spreadsheets, and a little surprise for Olivia (but that’s for the final post in this series…)

In addition, in between lock-downs, and Gary and Christopher made a special bar that was to be used on the day.

We had decided to self-cater for this special day, which meant a very busy time for Gary and I.  Gary had made all of the serving boards that adorned the seven meter long grazing table,

and I cooked the majority of the food, including the ever popular salmon terrine, along with meringues, gluten free breads, pastries, frittatas, terrines, dips, pickles, relishes, cakes, meringues etc.

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We also made the bonboniere – but, again, that will be another post…

I must also add that family, friends and friends of family also contributed to the spread that was to be on offer, and my two incredible, beautiful sisters, Sonnie and Jan worked tirelessly at my side the day prior to the big event.

With the freezer and the fridge bursting at the seams, two days prior to the wedding, we loaded the coolers with the food and dry ice. Tubs were filled with more ingredients for the items that needed to made insitu, along with all the equipment required for the on-sight kitchen, and set off.  We met Christopher at his home and loaded up the special bar that he and his dad had made, and loaded up more food.

Out at the venue, Wandin Park Estate, Olivia was already busy setting up and Gary and Chris got to unloading the cars and the trailer, while I set about cleaning down the kitchen and setting it up for the next three days.  I had planned on trying to get some cooking done on this day, but as we didn’t arrive until after midday, it soon become clear that this wouldn’t happen.


Christopher asked Gary if he would mind going and picking up our grandson, Cooper, from school, so he set off on an almost three hour round trip.  It was the first time he had been able to do this, and I think may have been a little excited.  Meanwhile, we all kept working on getting things set up and organised.

After Papa and Cooper returned, we spent a little time together.  Cooper was shown around the venue and loved running under the lowest dream catcher, allowing the ribbons to brush across his face.

Finally we all parted company, and we went in search of our home for the next three nights, the beautiful Wandin Valley Views.

We had invited my sisters, Sonnie and Jan for dinner, so once we had unpacked, I quickly set to cutting up a Waldorf Salad placing it out on a platter together with some freshly carved leg ham and a few cherry tomatoes.  A simple meal, but perfect as we sat and relaxed, chatted and helped ourselves.

We woke the following morning to a beautiful sunrise and rabbits scampering everywhere.  Keen to get to the venue and start setting up the table, we had a quick breakfast and set off.

I had spent some time the night before working up a plan on how the table should be set up, and in the relative quiet, Gary and I set to bringing in all the boards, food tags, tongs etc and laying them out on the table, taking into consideration all the COVID requirements for such an event.

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We hadn’t quite finished when Sonny and Jan arrived ready for a big day of cooking and prep.  Once the table was set up it was time to cook…

In the kitchen we worked and worked and worked…. It was a long day, and by the time it was over, it is safe to say that we were all exhausted!

There were people coming and going all day, and at one stage, we were all called out, Sonnie, Jan, Gary and I, by Christopher and Olivia, they had something to show us…  They had set up a space for those who were no longer with us and could not be there to celebrate their special day – Olivia’s grandfathers, and Christopher’s grandparents (Gary and my parents), and Christopher’s Uncle Bruce (Sonnie’s late husband).  Photos had been framed and arranged with the following words:

Suffice to say, the tears of emotion flowed…  These two beautiful people had thought of everything and everyone…

As evening approached, the bridal party rehearsed for the big day, and we just kept cooking…  Everyone departed, and we kept on.  Finally it was time to finish up and head home for the night…  It would be up to the hired staff to finish and present what had been prepared – I was banned from the kitchen from here-on-in!

Salmon Terrine

A simple terrine that can be served as an entree or a sharing plate.

Category: Appetizer, Entree, Starter
Style: French
Keyword: Salmon, Salmon Pâté, Salmon Terrine, Smoked Salmon
Author: sbaskitchen
  • 750 g fresh salmon
  • 10 g chives finely snipped
  • 10 g dill finely chopped
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • white pepper
  • 200 ml double cream
To Poach the Salmon
  • water
  • 1/2 lemon sliced
  • 1/2 brown onion sliced
  • 3 sprigs of dill
  • 10 whole peppercorns
To Garnish
  • Thin slices of lemon
  • sprigs of dill
  • baby capers
  1. Grease and line a 1.4 ltr (1.5 qt) pâté terrine with baking paper.
  2. Place the salmon and poaching aromats into pan and cover with cold water.

  3. Slowly bring to the boil over medium heat and once the water begins to bubble, turn the heat off.
  4. Allow the salmon to cool in the poaching liquid
  5. Preheat oven to 160˚C.
  6. Remove the salmon from the poaching liquid, and then remove and discard the skin and bones.
  7. Using a food processor, blend the fresh salmon with the cream, lemon zest, fresh herbs, salt and pepper to make a paste.
  8. Layer the terrine 1/3 paste, 1/2 smoked salmon, 1/3 paste, 1/2 smokes salmon, 1/3 paste.
  9. Cover the terrine with foil, place in a bain-marie and cook 45 minutes, remove foil & cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

This terrine was served to us as an entree when staying with my best friend, Véronique, during one of our visits. She served it with a sauce of mayonnaise with egg whites (whipped to soft peak) folded through and finely chopped chives. It was simply delicious!


I have made a few little changes over time, but nothing dramatic, just the aromats in the poaching liquid and the herbs and lemon zest.


If serving as an entree I like to serve with a simple salad of dressed salad leaves.


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