Fiery red Christmas
I couldn’t help but notice that red is this year’s Christmas colour (yes, sadly I have made it to the mall more than once in the last week), and so I’ve prepared a little red food porn feast for you. Or at least, I like to think the pictures are pretty. Plus, I think they sum up the summer Christmas thing we’re experiencing. Totally untraditional sounding, and so is the food below, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling festively fabulous because I can finally wear pretty flowing skirts and need to slap on sunscreen and sunnies from all the sunlight. But anyway. I know you’re busy. Whether you choose to make any of the following treats, all I hope for you is that you thoroughly enjoy your Christmas feasting experience, red or not. Enjoy the hours of preparation, or if it’s a simple salad that was thrown together at the last minute, savour every drop of flavour. I don’t mean to go all thanksgiving on you, but since getting into gardening this year, I’ve truly begun to relish my food with new vigour. Happy holidays, and best wishes for the approaching new year.
This could not be any simpler, but is so refreshing (I hear Christchurch will have a sunny, warm Christmas for once, and I am already dithering over whether I should go for a short dress or short shorts…decisions decisions). Simply chop up tomatoes, rip up some basil and if you have some, some flat parsley, sprinkle over some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and tada! Pretty summer Christmas in a bowl. Teamed up with a bowl of chopped cucumber, fresh dill, squeeze of lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper, these will add colour, vitamins, and a cool calm respite from the BBQed meats at mealtimes. If you’re feeling a bit alternative:
Light and ridiculously crisp kale chips. Preheat oven to 180C (350F), tear up kale into bite sized pieces, brush with oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake on a single layer for about 5-10 minutes. You can do two trays at a time too. Kale is not exactly a supermarket staple though, you either need to grow it (grows well in winter, so you can plant it now), or head to the farmer’s market to pick it up. Stupidly healthy stuff, and the Kale chips looks ever so Christmasy sitting next to some tomatoes, or even as a bed for some kind of savoury treat.
Do I really need to tell you to scoff as many berries as you possibly can?
These mini cheesecakes ended up sinking, and like a lot of Christmas desserts, seemed to go sadly wrong. But don’t panic. Christmas is not for panicking, remember? You probably don’t remember, but in any case, use a little innovation and soon everyone will be asking why you didn’t flunk that cheesecake on purpose in the first place.
And finally, if you’re feeling domestic, or for some reason you’ve invited a whole bunch of people allergic to berries and have punnets to dispose of within days…make this candied fruit/jam like concoction (who cares really what it ends up as, they both taste fabulous) and throw it over any cakes that were a little too dry, or even plain sponges or your favourite vanilla cake recipe. If you’re short on the berries, throw in some chopped rhubarb stalks. If you’re feeling particularly luxurious, add in a split vanilla bean (or half if you’re not making much). All you need is a large handful of berries (or a mix of berries and rhubarb), a splash of water if you want it more syrupy, and about a cup of plain white sugar. Throw it all in a saucepan and let cook on low heat for about half an hour to an hour, stirring every now and then, until the whole thing is syrupy and heavenly. Your kitchen will now smell like a million dollars.
And any syrupy stuff you have spare is absolutely delicious on ice cream, dissolved in hot water as a tea, or drizzled on french toast the next morning.
Now remember to share! Have a fabulous day :)