I just got off the phone from the final Christmas lunch menu-planning session with my mum. We are a hybrid Jewish atheist family and our Christmas lunch is a pretty relaxed affair with family, a few ring-ins and a couple of hopeful dogs. This year we’ll number about 20, and if the weather is nice we’ll start outside before moving to the lounge/dining room for the main meal. Mum and dad will push the sofa and armchairs to the edges of the room and run two long tables down the centre. We’ll fill the table with food – everyone will bring a plate or three. And by 4pm there’ll be people lying on the couches, Christmas cracker hats over their eyes, pretending they’re not dozing.
Our menu mixes European tradition with Australian summer fare. You won’t be surprised to hear that the Thermomix will be busy, and with my mother and my sister both equipped with Thermomixes there’s sure to be a lot of ‘what speed did you do that on?’
WHAT’S ON THE MENU THEN?
Christmas Main Course
I am about ready to lie on the couch already! I’d love to hear about your Christmas menu. Whatever you do and whatever you eat, I wish you a delicious and happy Christmas.
Christmas Tips & Tricks
Handy ham storage tips, thanks to Otway Pork:
- Make sure the ham is not out of the fridge for more than two hours on Christmas Day (or any spring/summer day you’re entertaining).
- To store, soak a ham bag in a mixture of 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Ring out the ham bag and place the ham inside.
- Keep soaking the ham bag every two days in the water and vinegar mix to keep it fresh, tender and succulent.
Chef Daniel Wilson’s Top 3 Christmas Tips
Top chef and Queen Victoria Market ambassador Daniel Wilson has shared his top three tips for staying calm this Christmas.
Accept Help or Delegate!
Christmas is a time for togetherness. Don’t try to be a hero and do everything yourself! If Aunt Norma offers to make something to help you out don’t ‘try to be kind’ by telling her she doesn’t need to but instead gladly accept the help as it will make your job easier and fill her with warm fuzzies by being able to contribute! However, if no-one is offering to help and you’re feeling snowed under, then ask for help! Some family members might not volunteer help because they are trying to be conscious of not stepping on your toes. Take the awkwardness out and just have a conversation about it.
Be Organised & Strategic with Your Shopping
It goes without saying that food shopping for the big day can bring some of the biggest stress! Make sure you write down the menu and make shopping lists and don’t forget that Aunt Mavis is bringing the trifle so that’s one thing you don’t need to think about. One of the major stress points here is if you’re being a lastminutelarry.com, consider buying prawns frozen in a block and keeping in the freezer until the day before and then letting them defrost overnight in the fridge rather than buying them already defrosted on Christmas Eve while jostling with every Tom, Dick & Harry for not only a parking space but a space in the queue.
Use Produce that is in Season
Another no brainer is to use produce that is in season, not only is it more cost-efficient because it is abundant, but it is also at the peak of its flavour. For me, cherries are one such fruit that is synonymous with Christmas. Also, there are plenty of excellent quality mangoes, passionfruit, stone fruit and berries available at the moment. They all sound like the perfect addition to a pav to be remembered! Finally though, please remember that it is a day to be enjoyed so make sure that you have fun and enjoy yourself! Merry Christmas!