Living in Australia, December is always hot, especially in Queensland. Growing up in Sydney, my mother, like many others slaved and swelted in the kitchen each Christmas day making a huge roast lunch – turkey, ham, roasted vegetables and Christmas Pudding with custard. Usually the temperatures are in the 30C but nothing would stop the Christmas Roast.
Times have changed and living in a multicultural society in Australia means that Christmas is not necessarily a tradition followed by all. Yes there is the Christian side which is the whole point of Christmas, however those of different faiths or no faith at all regard Christmas as a time for family and friends to get together.
Seafood Feasts are the order of the day for Christmas in most Aussie homes. However, I always feel nostalgic and miss Mum’s traditional Christmas lunch. It just doesn’t seem the same without it.
Christmas in July
For a number of years now, there has been a trend for restaurants in particular to promote ‘Christmas in July’ with all the trimmings of a traditional hot feast. Although a marketing promotion it is a way to satisfy those of us who yearn for a traditional Hot Christmas lunch or dinner,when the weather is cold.
This year, after a discussion with friends we decided to host our own Christmas in July dinner. I allocated someone to bring the starters and another to bring dessert, so I only had to make the main course.
My darling would look after the drinks and even made some ‘mulled wine’ which was a first for us all. He also looked after the Christmas background music.
I planned the menu but it was not easy finding a turkey at this time of year! I was on a mission and finally found one. The turkey as they say in Masterchef circles is the hero of the dish!
On the day before, hubby and I set the table with a small gift for each person, put up a small Christmas tree and decorations and started to get into the Festive mood.
On the menu
Cob loaf with dip
Devils on horseback – this is a blast from the past – prunes, wrapped in bacon and grilled – yummy!
Roast turkey with stuffing
Roast potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes
Pan fried Brussels Sprouts with garlic and chilli
Steamed green beans
Layer cake topped with gold leaf, strawberries and cherries
The night was a great success and we all agreed that we should make this a new tradition each year. The only thing missing was snow!