Let’s state right up front that I love the festive season. I’m not that “bah humbug” kind of person. I love the celebrations; the fun; the bling; carols and corny songs; the giving of presents (and, let’s be honest, the receiving of them!); and the getting-together-with-loved-ones. And I like the food. Not just the actual eating, but even more so the sharing of food with family and friends.
I enjoy the traditional ham and turkey and roast beef type feast (which many people of European background insist on Down Under, even in the sweltering heat). I also appreciate the casual barbecue and seafood outdoor meals that make more sense in this climate.Celebrating with the extended family is is great, when each person brings their speciality—(heaven help us if we don’t show up with my husband’s marmalade-glazed ham!)
|I enjoy setting our festive table with favorite table linen and accessories I've collected over the years|
I also have a soft spot for the “waifs and strays” type Christmas dinners when we make sure no-one we know eats alone. And sometimes it’s fun to let someone else do the cooking. One Christmas, when I was living in London years ago, a group of us went out to a posh hotel for lunch. It was wonderful—and no dishes to wash—but my family thought it wasn’t quite the same. (And no leftovers to enjoy for days afterward!) We've never done it since.
|My wonderful writer's group has a Christmas meeting, where each member brings a dish--these were some of the awesome desserts we shared this year|
For eight years I was editor-in-chief of a Christmas magazine put out by one of Australia’s major supermarkets and I have a collection of fabulous recipes that I love to cook at this time of year. Included on the list for this year: a fruit cake with pineapple; a choc-mint frozen ice-cream dessert; salted caramels for gifts.
|Last year, my little niece and I made Christmas cupcakes--we're hoping to do the same this year|
Note the absence of savoury dishes. Christmas dinner is my husband’s domain. I’m allowed to assist with puddings and desserts but basically it’s his show. He chooses the menu, he shops for it, he cooks it. You won’t hear complaints from me—he does an amazing job and I’m the first to shower him with compliments. I’m looking forward to it already!
What about you? Wherever and however you celebrate the festive season, do you have a favorite dish that you just have to have? Or a family custom? Who does the cooking in your house? I’d love to hear it!
I wish you all a happy, peaceful celebration with lots of time to read good books!
Kandy Shepherd writes fun, feel-good fiction. Her books The Castaway Bride, Something About Joe, Love is a Four-Legged Word and Home Is Where the Bark Is—don’t include a Christmas story among them—she intends to write one for next year!
Visit Kandy at her website