Thursday, December 27, 2007


I know there is more to life than food and drink, but there is no doubt that some of the most memorable and delightful moments at Christmastime take place around the table, or sitting sharing food and drink together.

Our own culinary marathon started in the early hours of Christmas morning, when some friends came back with us after the Midnight Service to join us for tea and coffee, and some mince pies (made by our friend Arthur) and some of my "Yule Log."

I make these Yule logs each year, to be enjoyed by friends and family, and for us they replaced the traditional Christmas cake many years ago. I use a partly uncooked biscuit mixture, which includes nuts, sultanas well-soaked in brandy etc. and one or two "secret ingredients". The mixture is rolled into a log shape and decorated with chocolate, holly and other festive embellishments. This year I surrounded them with some white chocolate Rocky Road.

On Christmas morning, my first task is to glaze the ham and pop it into the oven, to be enjoyed for breakfast with eggs, before the present opening. Our ham this year was huge, and even with our big family it will take ages to eat it. I am already hearing complaints of being "hammed out!"

This year for our Christmas lunch, some of the family suggested we opt for some imported seafood, which would be, in many ways, more special than the baked dinner, which we often enjoy throughout the year. I happily agreed, because at this stage of life, I am happy to "go with the flow". However, it turned out that even some of the young ones are still traditionalists, so we had both - king prawns, oysters, Tahitian fish, pork, turkey, ham, Tina's lovely vegetarian mushroom nut roast, plus many vegetable and salad dishes.

There were fifteeen of us to sit down and enjoy it all! We were so thankful for our lovely big patio, which accommodated us all, and protected us from the misty rain which fell throughout the day.

Meanwhile, Brandt had set up his homebrew fridge on the back of the truck, dispensing both home brew lager and ginger beer "on tap" throughout the day!

It was an hour or two before we could tackle pudding. I made an enormous one this year, once again trying to emulate my mother's rich dark version. I think I got it a little closer than usual. I also experimented with using more prunes, in the style of the original "plum" pudding, and this definitely made it more moist.

Charles, who is our best pudding-eater, insisted we go through the ritual of flaming the pudding before we cut it - fancy me nearly forgetting that!

Much later in the afternoon, "Vanuatu George "called in with Christmas greetings.

His visit led to an impromptu Kava ceremony.

Now that was a new Christmas tradition!

But William, who was celebrating his very first Christmas, preferred his usual warm milk.

1 comment:

jenni piper said...

I laughed when i read about the Kava. Josh just returned from Fiji and we also had Kava on christmas day. bronte said why did you make my mouth taste like wood! Not impressed.

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