2 December 2009

Family Christmas Menu at home

| rosebud
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Arrrggghhhh. It’s December!!!!! Everyone is coming to our place this year and I don’t know what to cook. I’ve got the entire gamut of eaters from fussy bird like ones, to organic vego ones, to the more meat the better, to seafood lovers/haters – plus kids too. I’d love to get inspired by other Riotacters and their plans. This year, I want to shop for local produce as much as possible – so that’s the wine sorted! But what about other food products that are local? Any suggestions for anything – menus, wines, local produce and where to buy stuff. Cheers collective big ears!

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Sorry I also wouldn’t recommend the Jammo Trash and Treasure for locally grown produce, but maybe thats because i was stung last time i went there. It was a few years ago though. farmers Market would be best choice if you can handle the crowds….

housebound said :

If you call local region as local, then try Jammo Trash & Treasure (early), Farmers’ markets, and Poachers Pantry (for the gourmet end of the range). If you decide on the ham option, go and try to book one with a local butcher NOW – it’s worth the extra cost. I can’t say I know where you could source local tofu from, though.

Local Tofu(made in a kitchen in Fyshwick) can be bought at the Farmers market from a chinese guy there. I think they also sell it in Nth Lyneham at the local produce stall there. For local wines and Jams check out the kitchen cabinet run by ginger catering at old parliament house. Not sure about their prices though.

Ice-cream Plum Pudding:

Soak 1/2 cup sultanas, 1 cup chopped mixed fruit (I buy it already mixed and chopped) and 1/2 cup glace cherries overnight in 1/2 cup brandy or rum (I use rum – tastes better IMO). Combine with 1 litre softened ice-cream (use chocolate for the colour), 1/4 cup almonds and 1/2 cup cream. Forget the pudding bowl – I just put it back into the ice-cream container into the freezer. Serve with an ice-cream scoop into cones for a really easy dessert.

Clown Killer9:55 pm 04 Dec 09

One Christmas, back when I was only recently an ex-student at ANU a mate of mine was visiting from north of Alice Springs and we decided to do a bush tucker Christmas. We went out on the night of the 23rd and shot a ‘roo on Black Mountain, out the back of the CSIRO.

Butchering the bastard in the garage was a bit of fun, but we cooked a lot of it in the webber and it (mostly) came out great … and here’s the warning. If you’re going to do ‘roo tail or even rump give the meat a good boiling for a couple of hours (don’t worry about it getting tough – there a heap of fat in those ‘cuts’) and then slow ccok it with some strong spices or herbs – it’ll take the taste of ‘roo piss out of the meat.

If you call local region as local, then try Jammo Trash & Treasure (early), Farmers’ markets, and Poachers Pantry (for the gourmet end of the range). If you decide on the ham option, go and try to book one with a local butcher NOW – it’s worth the extra cost. I can’t say I know where you could source local tofu from, though.

what’s your recipe. gnt? mine is pretty simple – just looks complicated all written out and stuff… ; )

and poacher’s pantry goods can be found in many local iga’s, i believe, rosebud – saves a trip out to murrumbateman and their smoked garlic is to die for! the deli in belconnen (near fish shop, not near dance floor area) has a lot of deli goods some of which i believe are local produce. or, of course, saturday mornings at farmers market…!

All great suggestions! Thanks. Anybody have any specialty shops selling local goods?

Go cold. Roast a couple of meats (turkey and pork, go for the pre-prepared easy slice ones) the day before and serve cold with ham, and 3 or 4 salads. Get someone to bring prawns, as well as bread, drinks, nibbles. Serve ice-cream pudding for dessert (above recipe sounds nice, but mine is much simpler).

Lay it all out like a buffet and people can choose to eat whatever they want!

Ive always said, if you want something done YOUR way do it YOURself. There is far too much angst around Christmas, splitting up the catering between all the family means less stress for everyone. In my family we get the locals to buy the meat and salads. And the people who have to drive a distance make cake, bring chips and drinks (easier when you are travelling). Secular christmas is supposed to be about getting together as a family, so I dont see why one person has to do all the cooking.

a good watermelon salad is great – watermelon cubes, fetta cubes (good greek fetta is best, but any type works) and mint. easy peasy and delicious!

i marinated a lot of sardine fillets with lime juice, champagne, cumin and garlic last year then quickly fried them skin down til cooked as the seafood dish for 18 people last year. city market fish shop regularly has them – cheap and delicious: and healthy!

my signature xmas dish is an ice-cream xmas pudding. easy as – line a large bowl with about an inch of ice-cream a couple days before xmas and re-freeze. the trickiest part is starting a couple months earlier to soak the fruit, but a few weeks ([ie start now] would work. throw together a good couple handfuls of dried fruits and some chopped nuts and macerate for as long as possible in a glug of brandy and some sherry. add a tblspn drinking chocolate, a few egg whites (beaten stiff) and a cup or so of cream (vanilla pod infused is nice) with some ground cinnamon and nutmeg. stir it all together, fill the ‘bowl’ inside the ice-cream, re-freeze. when frozen, add another layer of ice-cream to top to complete pudding – on the day, turn it out and tuck in. best thing, as the fruit mixture is never cooked, all that excellent booze is still there – so drive carefully!

bon apetit!

outdoormagoo9:04 am 03 Dec 09

Weel I can’t comment on the vegan/vegitarian side of things since I come from a family that loves meat in all its forms, but this is what we are doing:
– Beef and Pork slow roasted on the spit (Yes I have my own spit)
– Leg Ham
– Prawns and lobster cooked over coals
– Damper
– Beer, Wine, Champers
– Christmas pudding with custard (and we even have the radional penny that has been in every christmas pudding for many decades)

How about kebabs cooked on a BBQ? You could do marinated tofu kebabs, prawn kebabs, chicken, beef etc. all threaded with other things like mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini and then served with a satay sauce.

go cold meal – loads of exotic salads, and cold ham and turkey.

poachers pantry do really nice ham.

forget the seafood lovers – it is too much hassle and won’t fit in the fridge. Or you could get them some smoked salmon.

My mum has always prepared corned+cold-pressed ox tongues for Christmas. They’re delicious. Apparently a butcher at Belconnen Markets can get them if you order early enough. Don’t be put off by the tongue aspect. As they’re pressed into a round “cake” and then sliced up before serving, they don’t look like tongues. That said, we _used_ to serve the tongues unpressed on a big long plate… Some family members didn’t like it. What a bunch of girls’ blouses they are!

Dad always prepares a variety of salads, plus trays of tiny (1.5cm diameter) open-topped puff pastry / spiced/herbed lamb pies, where you take them out of the oven a few times during baking to pour vege stock over them. This step, unsurprisingly, makes the puff pastry go a bit gooey. Delicious, again. They’re on the cover of “The Middle-Eastern Cookbook” which may or may not be compiled by Charmaigne (spelling?) Solomon.

All of our Christmas stuff is served cold, at lunchtime.

Im attempting to do a vegetarian christmas this year …. could be interesting!

I’ve found some recipes for leek and sweet potato roulade, also thinking of zucchini slice, big salad with lots of avocado, a middle eastern rice dish, roast marinated vegies, one of those nut roast things and the usual cheese/nuts/chip/homus dip/olives/semi dried tomatoes etc finger foods as starters … and some great deserts, pav, christmas cake brandy custard etc add champagne/beer/wine and treats and it should all work out! Good luck!

My 9 year old worked out our Xmas day menu the other day. I’m going with what he reckons: Chips and dips and olives; coke, champagne, wine and beer ;); turkey, ham and prawns; pavlova, mud cake and a doughnut cake. Done.

Just a small thing, but you could always get a nice cherry jam or sauce to serve instead of cranberry…would go nicely with some foods…..

Here’s a list of what’s in season now: that might help you make some choices.

How about some kangaroo instead of pork? I think that would go nicely with a cherry glaze…

would love to hear what you decide and how it goes


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