Sunday, November 25, 2012

I hope that all my readers are enjoying a peaceful day. Here in New Zealand it's Sunday and we are recovering from a hard day's work at my mother's house while girding our loins to go out and do it all again today. John and I are out of energy so we are taking it slowly. I have a million plants dug out of Mum's garden waiting to be planted here. They are going to have to wait until tonight or tomeoorw so I hope they survive.

Thanksgiving Feasts are over and thoughts are turned to creative ways to serve left-overs. That is never  a problem in our house. I'm glad the days of teenage raiders are over and I can be certain to find my planned cold meat is there, in the fridge, waiting for me.

I hope that everyone celebrating Thanks-giving had a wonderful day and came through with flying colours without over-indulging too much.

As my American friends recover from the traditional feasting that takes place at Thanks-giving my mind turned to our big family feast day, Christmas Day. I wrote this as a comment on another Blog but thought it worth repeating here.

We learned long ago that traditional food is not always the best way. I once turned what was supposed to be an amazing Christmas Day into a disaster because I made myself so tired I was crabby.

Living down under helps as Christmas Day, our traditional family Feast Day, can be very warm. We are on holiday and some of us are at the beach. Many families picnic the following day.

My best memories are at our beach house when I was a teenager. Roast leg of new season spring lamb, from our own farm, served with mint sauce and gravy from the roasting pan. New potatoes with butter and a mixed salad of lettuce, cucumber, tomato, radish, spring onion and grated carrot ... whatever takes your fancy, with a dressing made with mashed hardboiled egg yolks, sugar, vinegar, creamy milk, mustard, pepper and salt. Dessert consisted of too many choices but always jelly, trifle, fruit salad, icecream, whipped cream, and chilled traditional Chistmas pudding which was more like a very moist rich fruit cake. Mum used butter rather than suet in her 'Plum Duff'. As the years went by we added Pavlova and strawberries to this sweet feast and ate dessert from Christmas to New Year. When the family increased as we married and had out own children we had Pot Luck meals and added Turkey and other veggie dishes. Add to this small dishes of chocolates, nuts and dried fruit spread about to nibble on ad lib and you can't imagine the food that was available. Not a problem when at the beach because we went swimming, kayaking, walking and running and were soon ready for More Food.

Converting the traditional English Christmas Dinner to something more comfortable in our warm climate has evolved over many years. Many chefs advocate seafood, some families BBQ but one thing remains constant. It is a day of feasting with the protein, be it fish, lamb, ham or turkey, taking centre stage. The meal is incomplete without some kind of wonderful dessert.

We will have two Christmas Dinners this year. One the weekend prior with our South Island family and the other back home with our daughter and son. I feel blessed that we can share this special time with all our family even if we cannot be altogether at the same time.

I must get on with all that must be done today. I can take it easy tomorrow.

My weight remains the same. We have lots of things going on and a huge incentive to get back on the weight loss and fitness program. More about that in a day or two.



  1. Lovely day down here today as well, am hoping to get out and enjoy some of it :)

  2. ooh, I love your remembrances of Christmas joy. And the menu, scrumptious. Finished up the turkey today with a nice pot of soup. Felt good as it is quite windy and low 42's (faren.) here in NJ.

  3. I enjoyed reading about your Christmas memories, too. Sounds like you are so busy... intrigued by "We have lots of things going on and a huge incentive to get back on the weight loss and fitness program. More about that in a day or two."
    Huge incentives can be so helpful! Will be curious to read about yours. :-)

  4. Loved the reminder of the egg salad dressing. My mother in law always made one every Sunday over summer along with a lemon one to have on salads. The egg one she served over very finely shredded sliverbeet :) Thanks for the memories. :)