How on earth do you decide what will appear on your Christmas lunch or dinner table with such a plethora of fantastic recipes to choose from – and from so many sources, including the Internet. A week or so before Christmas, I thought I had settled on a final menu but then some Facebook posts threw me….
I am a big Nadia Lim fan, and prior to the big day, her posts made me change my mind several times about what I would prepare. Regarding dessert for instance, I had pretty much decided on trying her Lemon Curd and Blueberry Pavlova, just for something a bit different, – less ‘Christmassy’ but no doubt divine. Then a few days later she posted Dark Chocolate and Cherry Cheesecake (gluten-free) which looked like Christmas and sounded luscious as well. Then, on flicking through Annabel Langbein’s Summer Annual, I discovered a layered meringue dessert, and in a recent Australian Women’s Weekly I came across a Pavlova Christmas tree. I love pavlova, but my girls are not keen, so I put aside the last two recipes and resorted to a favourite – Annabel’s Strawberry Cloud Cake – it is so easy and so impressive! And because it looked pretty I made Nadia’s cheesecake as well – it was easy, decadent and delicious!
Traditionally I bake a ham using Jo Seagar’s apricot and maple syrup glaze, but I discovered in the Annabel annual, a similar glaze but with the addition of rum – so I combined the two and it worked well! I love concentrating on the desserts for Christmas, because they are a more creative project – once the ham is prepared I can leave it to my husband to take charge of that in the BBQ, along with the other meats – this year it was Bill Granger’s Herb-Crusted Lamb Racks, and some chicken sausages for the little ones.
I left it up to my elder daughter to bring yummy pre-lunch nibbles and wine, and my younger daughter brought a divine Prawn and avocado Salad, based on Bill Granger’s Prawn Cocktail recipe, and a very nice champagne. So ultimately, with the help of the Internet, magazines, and recipes books we had a wonderfully varied and delicious Christmas lunch from which I am still recovering!
PS – the grandchildren were not forgotten – they got a wee gingerbread house to demolish – with a hammer…