Christmas Dinner

Christmas seems to come around quicker each year. As Australia is often warm on Christmas Day, the traditional Christmas hot roast dinner of turkey, vegetables, pudding and custard may not be a favourite for all or suit the weather on the day.

For the special Christmas Challenge (7 days only), tell us what you plan to have (or did have) as your Christmas dinner. Tell us why you also chose the food that you had and is there anything you wish you as part of the celebratory meal.

The most interesting response will be awarded a Food Champions Challenge Badge.

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I had an early Christmas dinner on the 19-12-2021 . Consisted mainly of salads , I’m vegetarian . The first being a lightly spiced refreshing Thai salad and the second Egg Plant based with lentils and a mild curry with chick peas added . . My friends are Indian . I don’t eat deserts so finished off the meal with a fragrant jasmine tea .

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On the Farm; as my father used to say “Christmas, just another day in the Workhouse.” No one is coming to us and no one has invited us anywhere. Just him & me. So I asked him what he wanted. He has ordered -

A boiled or steamed plum pudding, done in a calico cloth, with very little to no fruit, that he can eat cold soaked in milk. That will be done tomorrow, but I have vivid memories of my mother’s last Christmas pud. She lit the copper (a wood fire underneath) in the outdoor laundry and put the puddings in. Kids were banned from going in there, and the smell was delectable, but when she lifted the lid, all the puddings had opened up and it was just a sea of fruit & batter in gallons of water. I’m doing mine in a stockpot on the stove with fingers crossed (my first attempt!)

Next order was for cornflake biscuits with the cornflakes throughout (all my recipes and store bought ones are only rolled in cornflakes). I have tried before but the cornflakes inside were soft. His mother used to make them, so much better, he says. I decided to try a shortbread mix and fold the cornflakes in and do a slow cook. That’s this afternoon.

Christmas lunch will be these and our usual wide variety of salad ingredients, home grown fruit & veg, nuts, left overs, hard boiled eggs, etc.

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Since this year I have decided not to go anywhere and I live alone, I have at the ready… salad doings (standard iceberg lettuce, tomato, radish, celery, apple, peanuts, all drizzled with a vinegar/OO/cracked pepper dressing), a home made potato and egg salad (sour creamed not mayo’d) and fresh sliced ham off the bone. There will also be a mini Xmas cake bought from woolies because I don’t make cake or pudding, much as I’d like to, its a bit pointless for a solo diabetic. Even the xmas cake and ham is pushing limits.

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I hope you have one of these pudding steamers. My Mum always made hers on the stove in a big pot inside the steamer which had the calico inside that. I’ve linked the retro one because its identical to Mum’s

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I always remember my grand mother (maternal) making Christmas puddings and she would add thrupenny and sixpenny coins in the mix for us kids to find .

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@vax2000 Yum! When did you say we are coming to your place for dinner? :rofl:

@zackarii A man of admirable taste. That sounds delicious.

For us:
As usual, we have no plans. We will try our luck picking up closing specials on Christmas eve from the supermarket and that is what we will eat.

Several years past, we picked up enough delicious food that we couldn’t usually buy to last for months, for the same cost as our normal weekly shopping. In the last couple of years the pickings have been much leaner.

Ce sera sera. Whatever we end up with will be great!

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The days of coins made from silver and with real value. So much effort in the pudding. Always in one of those aluminium pudding pots per @SueW pic.

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Yep had to be real silver coins not the new cupronickel mix that our coins are made of these days. So sixpence, thruppence, shillings, and florins (but not the copper based pennies and half pennies) made of silver did not affect taste of the pudding or poison the eater of the food.

These days you can buy silver coins to add to the traditional fare if you so desire (I’d probably crack a tooth before I had realised I had a coin in mine), I think it is supposed to grant luck or something of that ilk.

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After enduring the longest lockdown in the world, here in Melbourne, I’m still unsure of how to react to the end of the lockdown and to the news of thousands of new cases of the latest incarnation (Omicron) of covid19. But our Premier has promised no lockdown for Xmas, and we might as well enjoy this free time while we can.
But I’m not comfortable with the big shopping at the fish markets where people, pressed shoulder to shoulder, fight to be served. Nor doing hot roasts and tricky puddings while my solitude has made me soo forgetful of what I’m to do next!
So we have agreed, my guests will bring a plate: I’m told there’s going to be chicken, potato salad, green salad with cherry tomatoes etc…and a superb tiramisù and a Yule log.
I’ve already made little beef meatballs in a rich ragù, and tomorrow I’ll buy mushrooms to make mushroom rice. And I’ll buy cured meats.
And on the day I’ll open the jars of artichoke hearts, roasted capsicum, baby cucumbers, pitted olives, which with the cured meats will be the appetisers.
I’m sure we’ll have a good time, and who knows when we can meet again, another lockdown is looming because of the pressure put on hospitals by the huge number of sick people.

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Keeping it simple this year. Plan to have a picnic in the back garden with prawns, crusty home baked bread and homemade aioli. For dessert homemade ice cream containing home grown cherries, strawberries and blackcurrants.

Was given a bottle of lambrusco which I haven’t had for about 20 years, so may have this to accompany the meal. Might also have a locally made Seven Sheds Kentish Ale as a predinner drink.

I know after we eat, we will wish we had bought more prawns…but it is very easy to spoil a good thing.

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We will be celebrating with our adult children and a couple of their friends one of whom can’t make it home for Christmas due to work commitments. I’m serving Roast Turkey stuffed with apricot, sage and macadamia, then trimmed with bacon and pork sausages. Memories from my English upbringing with a little bit of Australia thrown in. I’m
making a rocket, sweet potato, bacon, walnut and feta cheese salad and also a Southwest Avocado Salad. For dessert there is homemade Christmas pudding with Brandy butter and an English Trifle again memorable food from my childhood. Serving the food my parents shared with us is my way of remembering them. I like to make Christmas a colourful meal.

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A cold Christmas lunch for us:

Cold Roast Turkey that has been stuffed with Macadamia nuts, pine nuts, cranberries and a herbed bread crumb mix (currently in the oven and cooking). Cold ham, risoni salad (risoni, pumpkin, feta, olives, parsley), a normal garden salad, prawns, crabs, scallops, potato salad, coleslaw, pickled onions, pickled carrot.

We also wish everyone a very happy Christmas period, may it be filled with Joy for all us, Christians or otherwise, and may it be a very safe time for all of us as well.

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I know what you are saying. Amazingly my wonderful 96 year old Mum ensured that every Christmas the six pennies and thrupences were gathered up and swapped to decimal money so that even today our plum pudding has Monday in it :heartpulse::heartpulse:

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French-herbed roast chicken! plus salads,

You mix german mustard with butter, garlic and chives, and oregano, and blend. Then separate the skin on the chicken’s breast with a large spoon, and use it to smear the mixture over the chicken.

I put a quartered onion inside the chicken.

Then bake in a very hot Weber BBQ for an hour, I use a meat thermometer that beeps!!!
Add potatoes later for ~ 40 minutes.

Yum, yum!

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Amen!

Merry Christmas to you and yours too @grahroll!

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Christmas eve meal with extended family: Australian Tiger prawns for starters, followed by cold ham, turkey buffe (nice and moist) with green, potato, chilli chicken, and mango/avocado salads, plus mother-in-law’s hot potato salad. Dijon mustards and cranberry sauce for condiments. Locally made fruit flan, plus my homemade steamed pudding with custard or ice cream (or both!).
Christmas Day then dead easy with the immediate family - leftovers! I even enjoyed some fruit flan for breakfast :smiley:

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I hated turkey as a kid because it was all dry and tastless. So spatchcocking and smoking a small turkey over charcoal in a kettle BBQ was a revelation in flavour and texture. Gave it a dried herb rub with sage leaves and butter generously smothered under the skin, and converted some family members who felt like eating turkey was a painful duty. I’ve done it 3 years in a row but not this year just because I worked right up to Xmas and simply didn’t have the energy to prep and brine a bird, let alone tend to a fire on a hot day.

This year’s spread was just a side of salmon, sticky marinated chicken thighs, a monster pile of steamed asparagus with boiled egg/caper/vinegar dressing, and roasted cauli florets with a tahini dressing. If I do see a turkey on special though, it will be a belated feast.

Dessert - giant bowl of sliced plums and berries with homemade custard. I cater for various dietary restrictions in the family so a lot of traditional options are out, plus I dislike traditional winter Xmas fare in general.

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This may seem rather elaborate but I am feeding 6-8 adults and 4 children for days so it takes a lot of food. One way to do this is to prepare in advance so that you can relax and let the leftovers (and a few fresh dishes) look after themselves. Also I like to cook and to try new things and when there are extra mouths to feed is a good time to do that. All this started a week ago as it includes cured meats that take time.

  • Homemade gravlax with mustard sauce and crunchy toasts. Boneless salmon cured in salt, sugar and dill. It was very good and the kids tried it and some came back for more.
  • Homemade pastrami. A whole brisket cured, crusted and smoked. My first time for this, the flavour and texture were great but too salty, I will adjust the curing next time. The carnivores didn’t mind though and dived in. The [ordinary] smoker was temperamental which made for a tedious day watching it.
  • Braised duck breasts with garlic plum sauce. Just pink, I managed to keep the ‘it must be rare’ brigade and the ‘ooh is that blood?’ mobs both happy. My plums and garlic.
  • A wreath of bread balls filled with herb cheese. OK but not worth the trouble, back to plain fresh bread next time.
  • German bean and onion salad. My Grandma’s recipe, we have it every year. Sadly La Nina ruined my beans so they were from Coleworths.
  • Garden salad. Ditto; supermarket vegies.
  • Half a ham baked and glazed with spiced cumquat marmalade - I have a cumquat tree. This will fuel lunches for days. Popular with all.
  • Cheesy baked potatoes. Kids loved it.
  • Tiramisu crossed with pavlova. Rather rich and a bit too sweet for my taste but the mob devoured it.

It all got to the table on time and a good time was had by all. No-one had a heart attack or diabetic incident, so I guess I will keep doing it.

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