The Twelve Foodie Days of Christmas..

Christmas at Chrissie’s House is like it is for most people – that mix of old family traditions and trying some new things to spice things up….

Southern Hemisphere Christmas in the Sun

As we move towards the festive season, I’m going to attempt to give you 12 Foodie posts to give you some ideas, or to just share how Christmas unfolds at my place…

Chocolate Chippies

Iced Gingerbread

In the weeks before Christmas I like to do a weekend of biscuit baking – gingerbread cookies; shortbread, moreish Choc chippie biscuits and a Christmas variation of Anzac biscuits – are baked and frozen. And then in the weeks before Christmas I like to box or bag them up to give away as pressies.

All the recipes come from old friends or family, and I love remembering those who shared them with me… Pre-kids I had been known to thrown dozens ChristmasMince Pies, Cathedral Window cake, several Christmas cakes and half a dozen ChristmasPuds into the mix, but sanity and lack of time has helped me curb my impulses…

I also do some Polish baking, Pierozki, Pierogi (notstrictly baking, but prepared and frozen, because they are a labour of love), and if I’m really motivated Makowiec – a Polish Poppy Seed cake, which is probably my all-time favourite Polish treat!

Part of my Wigilia spread

My Polish roots mean we celebrate Wigilia, which is the traditional meat free celebration on Christmas Eve. My Southern Hemisphere interpretation includes Barszcz (clear beetroot soup) with either Pierozki (small yeast buns stuffed with mushroom or cabbage) or Uzki (tiny “pig’s ears” –dumplings stuffed with mushroom) and a selection of hot and cold fish dishesand salads. Very suited to our Christmas in the Sun.. It’s a sit down meal and I try to have that other Polish tradition of having an extra place set – for “The unexpected traveller”… You are meant to have straw laid down under your tablecloth, but we found that that made the wine and vodka glasses fall over, and straw not as easy to come by in suburban Nelson… And every year I try to comeup with a theme for the table setting which normally hints back to the previous12 months, am thinking this year it may just be “A Wander down Memory Lane… “

Because I grew up with an English father, we have also adopted some of the English traditions for Christmas day. Crazy, maybe… But I do love turkey, Ham, trifle and a spicy hot Christmas Pudding and of course custard! No sprouts here tho, the salads left over from Christmas Eve do double duty..

Making my Home-made Mayo and Tartare sauce on Christmas Adam(the day before Christmas Eve) marks the start of the cooking marathon, that I love. I have been known to have 25 around my Christmas Tables in the past and I love the challenge of catering to every taste… I do have willing helpers tho and am ALWAYS grateful to those who wash my dishes!

MY plate of leftovers… I too, have my old faves..

But I do have a permanent countdown on my phone for BoxingDay (the day after Christmas day, which is a public holiday here) – and it’s for lying in the Sun with a full belly! LOL… Food wise, I retire from the kitchen leaving people to graze on leftovers….And traditionally everyone has their own certain favourites – there’s been known to be “Harsh words” spoken to anyone who finishes someone’s personal favourite. Hubby has a particular fondness for left over Ham Sammies, with a bowl of cherries for afters… I am often amused by the endless magazine articles and tv cooking shows that give you helpful suggestions for what to do with leftovers, in my place, the sheer weight of mouths, means its never an issue…

Post feast…

So my plan now, is to share a few of my festive recipes and some of my foodie short cuts, so that you might be inspired to try something new…

I hope that you Enjoy!

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