SUNDAY LIFE COVER - children on jetty with fish and chips 
Fish & Chips
Fish and chips at the beach.

Today, Barbara Sweeney looks at the problem of seafood on the coast, and asks why we don't have a crab shack or a Nin's Bin. This is a question I also ask year after year, wondering why a fishing coast seems so devoid of local seafood. It was astonishing to hear that the fish caught in Ulladulla is trucked off to the Sydney Fish Market, only to be bought by fish shops on the coast elsewhere for sale. Why can't we just head down to the wharf and buy it off the boat?

Still, local oysters are widely available, so if that's your thing, enjoy the feast of the coming weeks.

If you are cooking, Karen Martini has fish recipes this week. And cooking is what you'll have to do if you're in Canberra, judging by the dearth of options for eating out. We've tracked down some places that are open (see right) and some that open in the second week of January. Most appear to close until after January 14.

We do, too. This is the last Food and Wine edition until January 16, but the team at goodfood.com.au won't stop, so you can still find food stories and recipes there, including a more complete list of eateries open and closed.

Having spent the weekend wrapping teacher gifts (15 at last count!) I have to ask how three children can accumulate so many teachers? (OK … perhaps too many middle-class music lessons and clubs and tutors and childcare!) I've finally done my dash with brownies. I'm here to say this is possible. There can come a time when you actually would rather not eat one!

May you eat enough to feel the same way over the coming weeks.