Gourmet nights gets festive

I miss the twinkling decorations in gloomy light, hunkering down in front of the fire with friends and family, and the deep, dark and pungent flavours of a British Christmas. But an Aussie Christmas does offer a whole new experience.

christmas beachNina Mathews Photography

Christmas dinner for Aussies is all about roast ham and potato salad. In the blazing summer sunshine, that sounds like a cracking idea. So when I hosted Christmas a couple of years ago, my offer came with the stipulation that the oven was NOT going to be switched on on Christmas Day – BBQ only. It was all about snacks and nibbles, salads and cool creamy deserts … with plenty of drinkies and a dip in the pool!

Some of the highlights were: pesto, cream cheese and semi-dried tomato stuffed mushrooms; roasted, filled onions; and (my personal favourite) lebkuchen-spiced macarons with ginger mascarpone cream.

lebkuchen macarons

It’s just a shame that the guests didn’t behave themselves. There were tears and recriminations; de rigeur for a family Christmas. I was so traumatised by the whole event that Mr Eleanor and I elected to spend the following Christmas by ourselves (bar 150 other guests) at the rather splendid Lake House.

Let’s hope that the Boxing Day family lunch this year goes a little better …

Gourmet Nights @ Christmas

I know I promised another Gourmet Nights, but what event is more about the food than CHRIIISSSTMAAAASSS!?

It’s just Mr Eleanor and I for Christmas Day this year – that’s ok, I get to eat what I want, with a few concessions to the carnivore in my life. It is Christmas for him too (she said, begrudgingly).

Aussie Christmas Day Menu

Then we’ve got some family coming over for Boxing Day lunch. They left the UK nearly 10 years ago but still hark back to a traditional Christmas lunch. Trying to get your hands on brussel sprouts in the middle of summer is a pain in the proverbial! Ok, ok, I’ll try to stop bitching about it …

British Style Christmas Lunch Menu

I have no doubt that a few more nibbles and dishes will work their way in because, well, I just can’t help myself 🙂

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