I am nuts about Christmas.
I’m certifiably Christmas crackers.
In August, when the shopping centres start putting out their Christmas paraphernalia, there is a little part of me that doesn’t mind too much and I begin to get a little bit excited – despite my feigned outward protests.
Then, towards the end of November, I seriously can’t not play Christmas carols in the privacy of my home. Hell, I’d probably play Christmas carols year round if only my lovely husband would tolerate it. He doesn’t. He can tolerate 30.02 minutes of Christmas carols – the precise duration of the Dean Martin Christmas Album.
For at least the last 6 weeks or so I’ve been “curating” Christmas decorations as though this will be the last Christmas to ever buy them. It might…
And it’s about now, around two weeks from Christmas Day that I start to pull together our menu for the day. I love all the food that comes with Christmas: the ham, the sides, Grandmas’ potato salad, the desserts!! This year we’re going to have to keep it relatively minimal as we’re staying in Sydney and my mum will be coming down to join us. But, minimal does not have to mean boring which is why I have pulled together the following Christmas menu:
If the weather is lovely, we will pack a little picnic and head down to the beach for breakfast so that we can have a swim before the crowds arrive. Also, my favourite little coffee shop in Manly, Fika will be open for the morning trade – which means even on Christmas Day I don’t have to miss out on an awesome coffee!
We will enjoy:
- Home made croissants (the recipe from this darling little lady blows my mind), those of us who aren’t growing a little human will probably have theirs with some fresh ham. Also, croissants take aaaages to make. If you’re thinking of whipping up a batch of this Christmas morning, think again. You’ll be eating them on Boxing Day. Which isn’t a bad thing in itself – but seriously, start the day before.
- Fruit salad – made with mango, strawberries, nectarines, kiwi fruit, banana, watermelon and blackberries, with some yoghurt on the side – simple, but such a good way to start off a day of feasting.
- I’m sure my mother and lovely husband will also enjoy a glass of bubbles, while I have some pregbot bubbles (sparkling water).
After breakfast we’ll swim, wander home pop on some Christmas carols and have a peek at what’s been left under the tree.
Now, you’re not doing Christmas right unless by the end of it you’ve gone into some sort of glorious food coma, that said, so that I don’t actually die from a trifle overdose, it’s become tradition for us to have a late lunch/early dinner and then graze throughout the evening on leftovers. The main meal of the day is where it gets fun! Now, although there will only be the three of us, I’ve still ordered a great big ham. I figure between Nick and my mum the remainder will get eaten over the days following.
- Earl grey and whiskey glazed ham from the latest Donna Hay Magazine – I am dying to try this. Every year I try a different kind of glaze for our ham. Keeps things interesting!
- We’ll be going summery with the salads with chargrilled peaches, green beans and almonds (from Delicious Magazine) and a fennel, apple and celery salad (recipe here)
- Crispy leaf potatoes with oregano salt – because duck fat… (another Donna Hay goodie – recipe here)
- And because I like to get my carb on we’ll have some homemade cloverleaf rolls (also from the wonderful Jessica) just thinking about these is making my mouth water.
Can we talk about dessert?
If all my meals could be desserts, I’d be the side of a house but I would be tremendously happy.
I secretly (or not so secretly) wish that there were more mouths to feed at our place this Christmas so that I could make more than one dessert. I mean, how do you choose? Pavlovas, puddings, trifles, cheesecakes and OH! the ice creams! I just need to eat them all. It’s probably lucky I’ve got a few weeks off before Christmas so that I can make whatever the hell desserts I want to and eat them just because… Because this is the only time in my life where it will be permissible for me to eat only dessert for 2 weeks straight.
I’m keeping it semi-traditional this year and sticking with meringues. A few weeks ago, I tried out these caramel swirl meringues, they were insanely good. But, I’m going to mess around with them a bit and turn them into little mini pavs…topped with banana, coconut, peaches and cream… I think I’m a genius. I may need to to test these out before Christmas Day…just to be sure.
Do you have a plan for Christmas Day? Do you obsess over your menu weeks in advance like me or is it a mad whip around the supermarket at 11pm on Christmas Eve (somehow, despite my planning, there is always a mad dash to the supermarket at ridiculous o’clock on Christmas Eve)? I’d love to hear about any foodie traditions or otherwise you have for the most wonderful time of the year!