Isn’t it crazy to think that Christmas was only three-and-a-half weeks ago?!
We turned Xmas upside down this year – literally – as we travelled back to New Zealand for the holidays. It was my first visit back in 10 years and the first time EVER that the girls had seen their Mum’s birth country, so there was quite a buzz about this trip.
But it meant a little tweak in my festive expectations: I’ve lived in the UK for 16 years now, so I’m used to dark nights, freezing temperatures, and a table heaving with the richest, heaviest food you could ever hope to meet.
I expect that by the time we ring in the New Year there’s a little more of me to love, having been stuffed full of chocolate pudding and thick brandy cream, laden down with goose fat-crisped roasties and topped up with mulled wine and cheese.
‘Cept we do things a little differently Down Under. Obviously it’s summer in New Zealand when the big man in the red suit swings by, so heavy meals don’t have the same appeal.
As you can see by the pic of our Chrissy table (beautifully decorated by my Aunty Judy – spot Lil Sis’s cheeky face at the back), you’ll usually find ham, turkey and roast potatoes, but no Brussel sprouts – much to the disappointment of Big Sis, who absolutely loves them.
Most often these festive staples are teamed with salads and grilled veggies, maybe even a baked fish. Dessert is our famous pavlova (created in New Zealand NOT Australia *stares you down and dares you to say differently*), with fresh kiwifruit, and a huge bowl of mixed berries.
After lunch we’ll pop some beers or a bottle of crisp Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and sit outside while the kids bounce on the trampoline or – if you’re really fancy – go for a swim.
A totally different festive feel, and a little less calorific, but no less fun.
Even though Xmas is a time for guilt-free indulgence, there are plenty of ways to add extra nutrition to the family meal – in fact Organix has compiled an entire collection of healthy children’s meals and recipes in their Little Book of Christmas Dinner.
And if you thought Xmas dinner could ONLY be enjoyed once a year, think again: vegetarian nut roast, roast potatoes, steamed greens and clementine pudding makes the perfect home-cooked meal for all year round, and the recipe variations make them suitable for the entire family.
Merry January, everyone! 😉